May 27, 2016

Color by Number with Polynomials

I started this blog when I was teaching geometry. We did a lot of drawing in that class, and also some coloring. But there aren't as many opportunities for coloring in algebra or precalculus. Yesterday and today we did a coloring activity in algebra 1. I thought it would be a bribe to get kids to do the work, no false belief that there was anything authentic about it. They didn't even care about the coloring and were happy to do the computations without bribery! The practice was a nice mix of skills and it was refreshing to have students focused even when it's finally getting warm out.

First, students multiplied two sets of polynomials. Then, they added or subtracted the products. Finally, they matched the sum or difference with a color. I thought students would multiply two, add/subtract and then take a break to color! I was proven wrong. Most students did all the multiplication first (some not even combining the like terms in their product until later), while some others worked each row but still saved the coloring for the end. Even for students who didn't want to color at all I still encouraged them to compare their answers to the bank as a good way to check their work - it's easy to make an error (mostly students were mixing up their multiplication and addition facts when they were going back and forth between the two so frequently) in these problems. I liked that there were several steps before students reached the polynomials in the answer bank so it was more like a check sum activity than a matching game.

I didn't have an electronic copy of this file, it was in my file cabinet. Obviously we can't give our kids anything without tweaking it so we scanned, used my co-worker's awesome pdf to word converter and edited to give kids more space to work. If it's yours, let me know!

Edit 6/30/2016: Figured out the original file was from Gina and is available for purchase here.

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