This learning activity will be used during a lesson on Algebraic Expressions. Students will work in pairs to translate between words, tables, symbols, and area representation of algebraic expressions.
This learning activity results from the ALEX Resource Development Summit.
Piet Mondrian is an artist famous for creating his masterpieces out of line art that utilized clean lines through rectangles. This activity will help us to create our own “Mondrian” by using our knowledge of factoring Quadratic trinomials through the use of Algebra tiles and area models.
This activity was created as a result of the ALEX Resource Development Summit.
Previously in this video series, students saw that a squared expression of the form (x + n)2 is equivalent to x2 + 2nx + n2. This means that, when written in standard form ax2 + bx + c (where a is 1), b is equal to 2n and c is equal to n2. Here, students begin to reason the other way around. They recognize that if ax2 + bx + c is a perfect square, then the value being squared to get c is half of b, or (b/2)2. Students use this insight to build perfect squares, which they then use to solve quadratic equations.
Students learn that if we rearrange and rewrite the expression on one side of a quadratic equation to be a perfect square, that is if we complete the square, we can find the solutions of the equation.
Module 4, Topic A introduces polynomial expressions. In Module 1, students learned the definition of a polynomial and how to add, subtract, and multiply polynomials. Here, their work with multiplication is extended and connected to factoring polynomial expressions and solving basic polynomial equations (A-APR.A.1, A-REI.D.11). They analyze, interpret, and use the structure of polynomial expressions to multiply and factor polynomial expressions (A-SSE.A.2). They understand factoring as the reverse process of multiplication. In this topic, students develop the factoring skills needed to solve quadratic equations and simple polynomial equations by using the zero-product property (A-SSE.B.3a). Students transform quadratic expressions from standard form, ax2 + bx + c, to factored form, f(x) = a(x - n)(x - m), and then solve equations involving those expressions. They identify the solutions of the equation as the zeros of the related function. Students apply symmetry to create and interpret graphs of quadratic functions (F-IF.B.4, F-IF.C.7a). They use the average rate of change on an interval to determine where the function is increasing or decreasing (F-IF.B.6). Using area models, students explore strategies for factoring more complicated quadratic expressions, including the product-sum method and rectangular arrays. They create one- and two-variable equations from tables, graphs, and contexts and use them to solve contextual problems represented by the quadratic function (A-CED.A.1, A-CED.A.2). Students then relate the domain and range for the function to its graph and the context (F-IF.B.5).
Students apply their experiences from Module 4, Topic A as they transform quadratic functions from standard form to vertex form, (x) = a(x - h)2 + k in Topic B. The strategy known as completing the square is used to solve quadratic equations when the quadratic expression cannot be factored (A-SSE.B.3b). Students recognize that this form reveals specific features of quadratic functions and their graphs, namely the minimum or maximum of the function (i.e., the vertex of the graph) and the line of symmetry of the graph (A-APR.B.3, F-IF.B.4, F-IF.C.7a). Students derive the quadratic formula by completing the square for a general quadratic equation in standard form, y = ax2 + bx + c, and use it to determine the nature and number of solutions for equations when y equals zero (A-SSE.A.2, A-REI.B.4). For quadratics with irrational roots, students use the quadratic formula and explore the properties of irrational numbers (N-RN.B.3). With the added technique of completing the square in their toolboxes, students come to see the structure of the equations in their various forms as useful for gaining insight into the features of the graphs of equations (A-SSE.B.3). Students study business applications of quadratic functions as they create quadratic equations and graphs from tables and contexts, and then use them to solve problems involving profit, loss, revenue, cost, etc. (A-CED.A.1, A-CED.A.2, F-IF.B.6, F-IF.C.8a). In addition to applications in business, students solve physics-based problems involving objects in motion. In doing so, students also interpret expressions and parts of expressions in context and recognize when a single entity of an expression is dependent or independent of a given quantity (A-SSE.A.1).
In middle school, students applied the properties of operations to add, subtract, factor, and expand expressions (6.EE.3, 6.EE.4, 7.EE.1, 8.EE.1). Now, in Module 1, Topic B, students use the structure of expressions to define what it means for two algebraic expressions to be equivalent. In doing so, they discern that the commutative, associative, and distributive properties help link each of the expressions in the collection together, even if the expressions look very different themselves (A-SSE.2). They learn the definition of a polynomial expression and build fluency in identifying and generating polynomial expressions as well as adding, subtracting, and multiplying polynomial expressions (A-APR.1). The Mid-Module Assessment follows Topic B.
In Topic D, students are formally introduced to the modeling cycle through problems that can be solved by creating equations and inequalities in one variable, systems of equations, and graphing (N-Q.1, A-SSE.1, A-CED.1, A-CED.2, A-REI.3). The End-of-Module Assessment follows Topic D.