Uploaded by Sherene Nugent


Factoring with Algebra Tiles
Students will be able to gain a visual understanding of factoring through the use of Algebra Tiles. This
will be a hands-on cooperative group activity.
Time Frame
1 class periods of 45 minutes each
Group Size
Life Skills
Thinking & Reasoning
A set of Algebra Tiles for each group. An Algebra board. Double-sided worksheet. Overhead for
demonstration of examples.
Background for Teachers
The teacher needs to familiarize him/herself with Algebra Tiles and how they are used to illustrate
factoring of trinomials.
Student Prior Knowledge
The student needs to know the F-O-I-L method for multiplying two binomials to obtain a trinomial.
Intended Learning Outcomes
Through this entire factoring unit, the student will gain a better understanding of factoring which will
be utilized in later mathematics classes to solve more complex problems.
Instructional Procedures
The teacher will divide the class into groups of two students. Each group of students will be given a
set of Algebra Tiles and an Algebra board. The board will be utilized to help form the Algebra Tiles
into a rectangle, that will be the answer to the problem. The teacher will work out a few examples on
the overhead so the students can see how to solve the problems. Each size of Algebra Tile will be a
different color. The teacher will explain what makes up the different size of each tile and why the tile
is given its specific label. Begin the demonstration by explaining to the students that finding the
factors of a trinomial is kind of like doing the F-O-I-L procedure in reverse. When illustrating an
example, begin with a rectangle and have the students find the factors that match up. Discuss the
factors and see if they can see where the numbers are coming from. After showing a few examples,
hand out the worksheet. Explain that one student will work the first problem and write the answer and
draw the tile set-up on the worksheet, then the other student will try to duplicate the tile set-up. The
students will alternate rolls on the next problem and continue in this manner until all problems are
completed or class ends.
Strategies for Diverse Learners
After seeing the examples illustrated and hearing the teacher's explanation, have the diverse learner
demonstrate his/her understanding by writing a small paragraph or two restating the procedure of
factoring the trinomial using the Algebra Tiles.
A home construction foeman is trying to design a porch and step layout for a home. The area for the
layout is defined by the trinomial x^2 + 4x +3. Using Algebra Tiles, help the foreman design the porch
and step layout by factoring the trinomial.
Assessment Plan
The assessment for this particular portion of the factoring unit will be accomplished through
completion of the worksheet.
Algebra Tile Factoring
Obtained from an extended substitute assignment at Midvale Middle School. Loree Rominger was the
regular teacher who supplied instructions for the lesson plan.
Ted Mabey, B.S., M.Ed.
Jolene Morris