Date January 2006
Class Algebra 2
Teacher Mary Beth Weier

Algeblocks - Adding polynomials, Multiplying polynomials, Factoring polynomials, Completing the square, Solving equations
The students enjoyed the hands on activity and found it an interesting way to review some algebra skills.  They felt the Algeblocks helped to better understand adding polynomials, completing the square, and solving equations, but they thought multiplying polynomials and factoring polynomials was confusing using the Algeblocks.  This was the first time I have used Algeblocks with the students, and I would use Algeblocks again to help teach algebra skills.

Date Nov. 30, 2005
Class Algebra 2
Teacher Lanette VonSeggern

Algebra tiles - factoring

Currently in my Algebra 2 course we are reviewing factoring procedures.  So I thought it would be interesting to use the tiles with these students first to work out the snags in my tiling process.

I introduced the tiles to the students by asking them to discover how each shape was related width and length wise.  After we had rules for each tile, I introduced the tile mat to utilize positive and negative tiles.  I gave the students a problem and asked them to create a rectangle with those tiles.  I then asked them to write the length and width of the rectangle.  Without any further directions, many students identified this process as factoring.  We did 4-5 examples and then discussed the rules of factoring polynomials.

I discovered that the kinesthetic learners really like the tiles but all other learners (if they already know the factoring rules) do not have the patience to deal with the tiles.  Many of the students did not like having to create a rectangle to develop the factors.  Others thought this process was good at showing the principles of factoring.  I am anxious now to try it with my Algebra 1 students.