Simplifying a Radical Expression

This Simplifying a Radical Expression video also includes:

Starting from the basic definition of a radical as a square root, this short but deep presentation walks the learner through irrational numbers, using prime factorization to simplify square roots, and rationalizing denominators. Each concept is explained and then fleshed out with multiple examples, including ones with variables, ones where the denominators cancel, and ones that don't work out in nice clean fully-factored form. A great lesson to supplement existing curriculum or use for one-on-one explanations.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Post on a class website for viewing before class in a flipped classroom model or for on-demand remediation help after teaching the topic
  • Use to differentiate instruction while teaching prime factorization as an application example for advanced learners
  • Link to a math history lesson on irrational numbers, particularly the Greeks, Pythagoras, and the sordid history of the square root of 2
Classroom Considerations

  • YouTube access is required for viewing of the video
  • Learners who struggled with prime factorization might require remediation on that skill to achieve success in this lesson
  • Only square roots are covered in the simplification procedures, if later lessons require more general treatment of radicals
  • Consider pausing the video between examples if viewing as a class to allow time for seatwork and questions
Pros

  • Multiple examples of each concept with potential pitfalls emphasized
  • Presentation builds logically from basic definitions through more complex constructions
  • Pleasant narrator speaks slowly and clearly, following slide text but adding relevant explanation
Cons

  • Presentation not broken into printable slides or notes
  • No problems for classwork after the lesson are provided
Common Core