I am attaching one of my favorite creations for factoring quadratics.  Originally, it only worked when a = 1 and then I realized that if I added a box then it would be an universal graphic organizer (GO).  (Sorry, I just can’t call it a worksheet :))  Working with high school students, many of them resisted working with tiles (to factor) because they associated manipulatives with elementary school.  I found that a paper/pencil GO was more attractive to teenagers than the tactile experience.  However, I do agree that tactile is important, but that’s another post.

The first time I introduced this GO was in 2010 with an Algebra I class that needed extra support.  Some students used the GO exclusively and were quite adept at it, other students saw the patterns and factored without the GO.  When I first introduced it, each student had the GO in a page protector with a dry erase pen.  I projected the GO and wrote directly on the image.  It was successful, but I was surprised when students received the assessment that they weren’t sure what “factor” meant.  I coached quite a few students by saying, “Remember the box?”  Most students were able to factor when given the cue.  So, fast forward to 2011, I really emphasized that using the “box” was meant we were Factoring!  Definitely worked better.

And this is how the graphic organizer looks filled out, this is from 2010 before I figured out how to put it in the Mobi gallery, so it’s a snapshot of my computer screen.  It is also before I figured out how to delete pages before I made them into PDF’s, so scroll down to the 2nd page to see the actual work.  I am using the Mobi (mobile mouse), which influenced my handwriting.

So…it took me two days to embed the above document (the second one was SO fast).  I wanted to resist Scribd because I have over 100 accounts with passwords and usernames, argh!  However, I couldn’t seem to get it to work from Google docs which apparently now is Google Drive (will the changes ever end?).  I only saw a link, but not a way to embed.  I tried a few times and now am a Scribd member.  It is always interesting to find out who is friends with whom in the tech arean.  WP and Scribd link so easily together.

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