Today was my favourite visual pattern:
I asked them to show me how they see the pattern growing which many find really difficult. They count the squares and see how many are being added but don't relate it to the pattern. A few finally coloured in the corner squares and explained to me that the remaining number of tiles on each side was equal to the step (pool) number. Here is the consolidation:
I love how you can see the pattern in many ways AND show that all the associated rules are equivalent.
We returned to factoring after the visual pattern and tackled negatives. We did two examples together - they had algebra tiles out and I drew on the whiteboard. The second example required the addition of zero pairs of x-tiles.
Some were still struggling but they were doing better than yesterday. So on to speed dating! They each took one question on a brightly coloured sheet of paper and factored it.
I asked them to write the result, fold the paper just above the result and trade papers. They each then had to multiply the binomials to see if the factoring was done correctly. The goal here is that they become the expert at factoring their question and will be able to help anyone struggling as they do the speed dating. I gave them 5 minutes for this - it was not enough, but I found it helpful to have the timer so I could gauge how they were doing. Once they were all done we arranged the desks into two long rows of desks facing one another. They folded their papers along the line I had made below the question and set it to face the person opposite them.
And then we began! I gave them 3 minutes for the first couple and then 2:30 and then 2:00. Some were getting really good at factoring, others were likely still learning how to factor. I think it was more engaging than sitting with a worksheet. Oh - here is the file with the equations to be factored (I printed 2 per page).