Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Factoring Using a Common Factor - Section 3: Independent Practice


In this activity, we are tying to connect to what students know factoring already means.  I let students "play around" with the factors of polynomials.  Often, we look at factoring as something that is done correctly or incorrectly.  When students first learn how to break numbers apart, a number like 20 can be written as 20 and 1, 10 and 2, or 5 and 4.  This is how students learn their facts.  This activity is trying to accomplish the same goal.  Students see by working with their classmates that there can be many correct ways to factor an expression.  (Note, factoring completely will be addressed in a later lesson).  

I am really happy that I began factoring with this concept.  First of all, my students gcf factoring has never been better.  Second of all, the students were much more comfortable with taking an expression apart (factoring) by thinking how they could put it back together (multiplying).  This ability to work with an expression in both directions gave students a more holistic understanding.

  Getting at what factoring means.
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Getting at what factoring means.
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Factoring Using a Common Factor

Unit 4: Polynomial Expressions
Lesson 11 of 18

Objective: SWBAT factor a polynomial expression where each term has a common monomial factor.

Big Idea: Students are introduced to factoring by writing expressions in different but equivalent forms.

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