The answer to that by the way, WAS no. Thanks to an entire 3 month unit on expanding and factoring algebraic expressions, all that knowledge from grade 5 has come right back to me.
We started off with a big review on algebra in general, and then we got started with all of the new skills. As I said, we learned about expanding and factoring expressions, but before we could get started on that we had to be taught about monomials, binomials, and polynomials. Lastly, in order to tie all of these mathematic skills together, we learned about how and when they’re able to make perfect squares. And of course, it wouldn’t be PLP if we didn’t have a project to go alongside it.
For this project I was paired with Claire. The project was to create any style of game that involves expanding, factoring, and perfect squares. It could be a card game, board game, a game of chance, a game of whatever you and your partner were able to come up with.
Upon reading the criteria, Claire and I decided on a card game that would involve some chance cards. But as we began to learn and understand new skills we realized a card game just wouldn’t be able to capture everything that we’d learned. So our final draft would be a board game. Once we had come up with the rules to the game we would move on to begin the building of the board and cards.
In order to make the game we would start with the cards. Each one either had a binomial or a polynomial on the back. Next would be the algebra that you would use to solve the expressions. Last would be making the board and trying to figure out a name for our game. If you’re interested on seeing the game and having a better explanation of the game rules, here’s a video that involves all of the above. Enjoy.. The Journey To The Perfect Square:
All in all I actually really enjoyed this project. We somehow managed to make algebra tiles pretty fun. Claire and I are both extremely competitive people so this “head to head” style of board game worked really well for the two of us. As far as the unit goes however, considering this unit was mostly review with our teacher, I do think it went on a lot longer than needed. Yes, I’m happy I learned the skills I did but there’s still so much more to prepare for and I really hope we get the chance to learn those skills this year too. Maybe we even get to make them fun again, who knows.