Factoring with Algebra Tiles Summary Students will be able to gain a visual understanding of factoring through the use of Algebra Tiles. This will be a hands-on cooperative group activity. Time Frame 1 class periods of 45 minutes each Group Size Pairs Life Skills Thinking & Reasoning Materials A set of Algebra Tiles for each group. An Algebra board. Double-sided worksheet. Overhead for demonstration of examples. Background for Teachers The teacher needs to familiarize him/herself with Algebra Tiles and how they are used to illustrate factoring of trinomials. Student Prior Knowledge The student needs to know the F-O-I-L method for multiplying two binomials to obtain a trinomial. Intended Learning Outcomes Through this entire factoring unit, the student will gain a better understanding of factoring which will be utilized in later mathematics classes to solve more complex problems. Instructional Procedures The teacher will divide the class into groups of two students. Each group of students will be given a set of Algebra Tiles and an Algebra board. The board will be utilized to help form the Algebra Tiles into a rectangle, that will be the answer to the problem. The teacher will work out a few examples on the overhead so the students can see how to solve the problems. Each size of Algebra Tile will be a different color. The teacher will explain what makes up the different size of each tile and why the tile is given its specific label. Begin the demonstration by explaining to the students that finding the factors of a trinomial is kind of like doing the F-O-I-L procedure in reverse. When illustrating an example, begin with a rectangle and have the students find the factors that match up. Discuss the factors and see if they can see where the numbers are coming from. After showing a few examples, hand out the worksheet. Explain that one student will work the first problem and write the answer and draw the tile set-up on the worksheet, then the other student will try to duplicate the tile set-up. The students will alternate rolls on the next problem and continue in this manner until all problems are completed or class ends. Strategies for Diverse Learners After seeing the examples illustrated and hearing the teacher's explanation, have the diverse learner demonstrate his/her understanding by writing a small paragraph or two restating the procedure of factoring the trinomial using the Algebra Tiles. Extensions A home construction foeman is trying to design a porch and step layout for a home. The area for the layout is defined by the trinomial x^2 + 4x +3. Using Algebra Tiles, help the foreman design the porch and step layout by factoring the trinomial. Assessment Plan The assessment for this particular portion of the factoring unit will be accomplished through completion of the worksheet. Rubrics Algebra Tile Factoring Bibliography Obtained from an extended substitute assignment at Midvale Middle School. Loree Rominger was the regular teacher who supplied instructions for the lesson plan. Authors Ted Mabey, B.S., M.Ed. Jolene Morris