Sunday, November 11, 2012

Factoring Practice #made4math

I had blogged last Thursday that I thought my Algebra 2 students would do pretty well on their factoring assessment on Friday. Guess I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch... It's not that they did badly, for they didn't, but they didn't do as well as I had hoped and expected. I really want them to have a solid factoring foundation as we proceed through the year. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take the math placement test that many colleges use to decide where students place into college mathematics. One of the biggest things that struck me was how many problems used factoring as a part of the process in solving the problem. Now that I have seen that, I want to make sure my students have that solid foundation in factoring. I decided that I would hand back their assessments on Monday and then set them up into groups of 4 (and some 3s) to work through 6 stations for 5 minutes a piece.

Here are the 6 stations:

Station 1 - Correct their Assessment
I have set the groups up so that at least one person has mastery of factoring (or very close if I didn't have enough in a class). I want them to actually rework the problem(s) they have missed so they can figure out what they did wrong.

Station 2 - Multiplying Polynomials
I used something I found in the Row Games Box Files I have access to. I have adjusted it for time.

Station 3 - Factoring using GCF
I have a match puzzle that I am using here. Students will have to factor the problems and match them to the answer to create a 3x3 square.

Station 4 - Factoring x^2 + bx + c
I set up a Four in a Row Game - students will play in pairs. They will draw a card, factor it, and then mark their initials on the card where the 2 factors are. First to get four in a row wins. This file has 2 different cards for the same set of factoring problems. The factoring problems are on page three - top half goes to page 1 and 2 cards, bottom half goes to page 4 and 5 cards.

Station 5 - Factoring ax^2 + bx + c
This came from @algebrainiac1, who responded to my tweet after their assessment with several ideas. This game is called "Old Poly" and I am assuming it's based on "Old Maid." Directions are on the first page. I did leave a full page of blank Old Poly cards if you wished to add cards.

Station 6 - Factoring by Grouping (2 and 2)
I did an "I have, Who has" for this one. I think @algebrainiac1 had suggested it also. I did add the directions at the end.

Hopefully, this will help students review the concepts well before reassessing, which will be on Tuesday. I hope this helps someone out. If you cannot download the files via box, feel free to email me at lmhenry9 at gmail dot com and I'll be happy to email you the word document(s).

Monday update - I originally thought it would take them 5 minutes a station. I underestimated the time. These can mostly be done in 10 minutes. 15 minutes would probably be better. For Old Poly - I have way too many cards and would probably adjust that number down in the future.


Jeanette said...

I love your stations. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be adding a link back to your post from my website.
Thanks again

Ms. Mac said...

All of these activities are great. I'm going to try a couple with my Algebra 2s once we get to factoring...we're stuck on graphing quadratics right now :/

Emma Cay said...

Thanks for sharing. I was attempting to help my little brother with his factoring homework last night. It did not go well.I wish I would have know these tips were available.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Thanks for posting...I don't know why I am just seeing this now, oh wait, it's because my g-reader was well over 350 for a VERY long time! I am glad some of the activities helped and I love your stations! Thanks for the shout out!

Kathryn said...

I realize how old this post is, but I wanted to thank you for putting so many good factoring resources out there. I just finished the unit, but I wasn't 100% pleased with how my students did. I'm going to take a few minutes each day this week to do one of the activities so we can continue to review our weakest areas. Thank you!