Solve by Completing the Square

This Solve by Completing the Square lesson plan also includes:

What do geometric squares have to do with quadratic equations? A lesson on solving quadratic equations by completing the square teaches middle and high schoolers how to use algebra tiles to create squares. They then use what they learned from the tiles to formulate general rules on how to complete the square.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the activity to introduce completing the square
Classroom Considerations

  • Be sure to have algebra tiles available
  • Lesson uses a document camera, but you can use an overhead projector or SmartBoard for the same purpose
Pros

  • Pupils generalize steps to complete the square on their own rather than being explicitly told the steps
  • Moving from the concrete to the abstract helps learners develop a deeper understanding of completing the square
Cons

  • Resource asks learners to complete the square for the case where a > 1 as homework
  • Notes and Nuances section references a pencast on the Algebra Wikispace, but there is no link in the section
Common Core