Education Technology

Factoring trinomials and Expanding binomial x binomial

Published on 10/30/2006

Activity Overview

This activity uses CAS(TI-89) to investigate patterns in factoring and expanding. Through the patterning, students construct their alegebraic knowledge on factoring and expanding, rather than be given a set of rules to follow

Before the Activity

The first page of the document highlights the Ontatrio curriculum expectations that this activity covers. (Grade 10 and Grade 11 course)

During the Activity

The activity has classroom ready handouts. Students first use the algebra tiles and CAS to investigate patterns in expanding a binomial x a binomial . The algebra tiles are a very useful hands-on approach, but has limitations. firstly it is an area model which is fixed, as well as they become cumbersome when dealing with negatives. By using CAS with the tiles, you can then remove the tiles for questions involving negatives or fractions and still look at the patterns. Student use the pattern to construct their knowledge and then predict the next result. A similar approach is taken for expanding trinomials. The overall goal is to have students able to solve these algebra questions with paper and pencil, the tiles and CAS are tools that can be used to asssist students in getting to that stage

After the Activity

Review student answers:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary