ALEX Learning Activity

Adding and Subtracting Polynomials: Game

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Kristy Lacks
System:Marshall County
School:Douglas High School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2651
Adding and Subtracting Polynomials: Game
Digital Tool/Resource:
Adding and Subtracting Polynomials Game Math=love Blogspot
Web Address – URL:

Math=love is a blog by Sarah Carter who posts lesson ideas and activity ideas on the internet that are free to everyone.

This activity is a game about adding and subtracting polynomials.

This resource was created as a result of the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 9-12
Algebra I
10 ) Understand that polynomials form a system analogous to the integers; namely, they are closed under the operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication; add, subtract, and multiply polynomials. [A-APR1]

Learning Objectives:

Students will add and subtract polynomials.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

  1.  The teacher will gather students into groups as the teacher sees fit. 
  2. The teacher will distribute the game cards, penny, whiteboards, and markers to each group.
  3. The directions to the game will need to be explained using the blog as a reference.
  4. The students will be directed to place the cards face down into three stacks making sure that they are grouped by color.
  5. The students then will turn one card of each color face up to create the first polynomial.  Then the students will turn over one card of each color to create the second polynomial.
  6. Next, the students will flip the penny to determine heads or tails.  Heads will mean the students would find the sum of the two polynomials.  Tails will mean that the students would find the difference.
  7. The students will solve the problems on the whiteboards individually.
  8. After both students have an answer, they will compare their answers.  If they both have the same answer, they will move on.  If they didn’t get the same answer, they will call the teacher over for help.
  9. The steps will then be repeated for the next problem.
Assessment Strategies:

The teacher will assess student content knowledge by walking around the room and observing as the groups add and subtract polynomials. 

Advanced Preparation:

  1. The teacher should read over the directions posted on the Math=love Blog.
  2. The teacher will need to print, cut, and laminate (if preferred) the game cards in three different colors of paper. Printing one color for x squared terms, another color for x terms, and a final color for constant terms. Printable Game Cards 
  3. The teacher will need to gather a penny for each group.
  4. The teacher will need a mini whiteboard and marker for each student.
  5. Students will need to have prior knowledge of how to add and subtract polynomials. 
Variation Tips (optional):

A worksheet could be created or the teacher could ask the students to write down the problems and answers.  This could then be turned in to help monitor student achievement.  This could also be used in the place of the whiteboard and marker if a classroom set isn’t available.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):

ALCOS 2019

Alg One 7). Add, subtract, and multiply polynomials, showing that polynomials form a system analogous to the integers, namely, they are closed under the operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: add, difference, like terms, polynomials, subtract, sum, terms