Factoring quadratics is an important concept in math and is sometimes not the most exciting concept to teach. When I was teaching in Memphis, my students were reading American Born Chinese by Gene Yang and I was directed to his online comic that was dedicated to factoring. The idea of incorporating festered in my mind for few years and I last year I decided to incorporate the comic into my unit on factoring.
I would encourage you to explore Factoring with Mr. Yang for a few minutes before reading the rest.
I give my students guided reading-I am attaching the condensed file below. The night before we start the unit (I did give this after they finished the test before it...I may change that this year) I had my students click through tabs: Introduction, 1, and 2 while completing the worksheet. The next night they complete lesson 3 and the following night lesson 4.
My students did enjoy the activity. I mean, it makes factoring more interesting and your teacher is asking you to read a comic for homework.
I enjoy using group activities for students to review concepts. This particular activity has 3 different group options each dealing with finding the GCF of two binomials; 1st: Explain only using words how to find the GCF, 2nd: Use only picture/symbols to find the GCF, 3rd: Act out a scene (more descriptions below). I wish I could remember what website I found this activity but for the life of me I cannot.
I break the students into groups and set a timer for 10 minutes. Then each group presents. This whole activity takes roughly 20 minutes from start to finish. I used this particular activity during a review day before a test.
My favorite part of this and especially for my thespians in class:
Act out this scene: The monomial 50x^2y and 120xy^3 want to get married. 50x^2y's mom thinks that her daughter has nothing in common with that crazy boy, number 120xy^3. They all go on Oprah/Dr. Phil/Ellen to work it out. The wise Dr. Numbers will be there to help. You will be given 10 minutes to rehearse your scene and then the group will present to the class.
Characters: Mon, daughter, crazy boy, and Dr. Numbers
The acting scene is so fun! I provide that group with blank sheets of paper with tape to name character name cards. I wish I had saved the video...
Educator who loves math and working with students.