Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hello my name is x+3--activities for teaching polynomial and rational functions, by A. Mosaad

This is a quick post to tell you all about an easy and fun activity to use for polynomial and rational functions. I learned of it by attending a workshop of the same name as the title at the Rutgers "Good Ideas in Teaching Pre-Calculus and..." workshop that I also blogged about here. Here is the abstract:
It began with the presenter, Amro Mosaad, giving everyone a nametag with a factor on it, like “x-1” and x+3” and have them pair up and give them one of the following worksheets. They have many tasks, such as find the zero and graph their product and then graph their quotient...this is so good after you’ve taught polynomial graphs and rational functions. They can switch papers with another group and have them check work on Desmos.

This can also be done with zeros and complex zeros. Amro said, "Find your twin," meaning, find your complex conjugate.
Amro also suggested the "mystery polynomial" activity: Get into groups of 2 or 3 with no one you have been in a group with yet. Give your group the polynomial you just came up with and your “name” and your new partner(s) that you never worked with before will need to figure out who your other partners were. Awesome!
Here are the links. Thanks to Amro for sharing them with me!

I thought this was a great formative assessment activity.

One attendee I was working with suggested that students check work on www.mathway.com wow!! I have never seen this website before, but I will definitely be using it in the future!