Thursday, March 12, 2009

Four Fun Ways to Review Factoring Trinomials

This week in Algebra I, we're studying how to factor trinomials. The kids have done really well so far, so I just want to review tomorrow and build their knowledge and confidence heading into a quiz on Friday.

I thought about revisiting my FOIL bingo game from two weeks ago, which the kids found difficult at the time because I was really asking them to un-FOIL. Their bingo cards contained factors, and the call sheet contained the trinomials, so if they had known then what they know now, it would've been a breeze. I'm leaning towards not using it so as not to wear out the novelty of the game. I'd like to have it in my arsenal for later in the year.

Instead, a little online research turned up four fun review games for factoring trinomials:
  1. Factoring Cut-Out (PDF) - Students cut up a sheet of sixteen cards that have a mix of factors and trinomials (and a few other polynomials) written on all four sides. They have to rearrange the cards so that each trinomial lines up with its correct factor. The coefficient of "a" is one for all of the trinomials, so this should be fairly easy. I'm definitely using this one tomorrow!
  2. "I Have... Who Has...?" Factoring (Word) - Essentially a matching game, students would have to work cooperatively in a large group in order to match each trinomial to its factor. You could adapt this by deleting "I Have" and "Who Has" from each card and making this a straightforward matching game, or by having small groups play a "Go Fish" type of card game.
  3. Algebra Connect Factoring Game (PDF) - It looks simple enough to set up and play, but you would need several pairs of dice.
  4. Factoring Puzzle (PDF) - This is similar to Factoring Cut-Out, but there are two different versions to play. There's a ton of related materials on the Henrico County Public Schools Algebra 1 website.
The first three games are from, a math lesson database that I explored for the first time today. The site has a small but seemingly high quality collection of free resources and activities all uploaded by teachers. One warning: I found the site's built-in search completely useless--I couldn't even find the activities listed above when searching for their exact titles! Instead, search the site via Google by adding "" before your desired terms.

Share links to your best resources in the comments!