Simplify Algebraic Fractions by Factoring 2

Take your class through the mechanics of simplifying algebraic fractions by factoring trinomials. Though the steps for factoring are assumed known, the process of identifying and canceling common factors are detailed with care and precision. The common mistake of trying to cancel individual terms instead of factors is particularly emphasized with humor and flashing red Xs. A great lesson to add to your arsenal of teaching rational functions and their simplifications.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Give each individual in the class a polynomial, then have them work in pairs to determine what common factors the polynomials have. Repeat for multiple pairings
  • Develop a memory-style matching game with algebraic fractions and their simplifications
  • Consider providing a link on the class website for on-demand homework help in a traditional setting or pre-class viewing in a flipped-classroom model
Classroom Considerations

  • Accessing the lesson video requires Internet and YouTube access
  • Consider prepping remediation ahead of time for weaknesses in trinomial factoring that become apparent as students work through the lesson
  • Pausing the video periodically at each problem's introduction would allow the class to discuss and make an attempt at finding the solution
Pros

  • Pleasant and engaging narration with analysis beyond the reading of slides
  • Examples of all types included with different attack methods detailed
  • Emphasis on avoiding common mistakes that, if they become habit, can derail algebraic efforts for many levels
Cons

  • No review of factoring methods
  • No problems for classwork or lesson slides available
Common Core