Rookie Year: Day 117

I am really struggling to get these typed on time lately. I don’t know if it is fatigue or what. If I don’t sit down and type immediately after my final block, I keep putting it off.

My class yesterday was probably rough for the students but I wasn’t sure how else to teach it. I needed to show them how to multiply polynomials and so I ran through examples while they took notes. This ended taking the whole class. I could tell that they were tired.

Also my thoughts are running together because yesterday is blending in with today.

I showed them how to multiply binomials using the distributive property, an area model, and finally FOIL. I stressed the distributive property and area models heavily, telling them that FOIL can be useful because it is quick, but they shouldn’t let it replace understanding. Many of the students seemed to favor the area method, which I was happy about. That is probably because I also favored it during instruction, as I think it is the most clear and can be less cumbersome than straight distributive property when the polynomials are bigger than binomials.

If I taught this lesson again, I think I would keep the direct instruction to just monomials, binomials, and monomials distributed across binomials and then see if the students are able to extend an area model for use with bigger polynomials.

It’s amazing to me how different classes and groups of students will respond to the same lesson over the course of the day.

Thanks for reading.

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