Thursday, January 27, 2011

Algebraic Prism

Here is a worksheet I gave to my H. Geometry kiddies today. It was something I had made for my H. Algebra 2 kids last year, but now slightly modified to remove the function notation, specific questions about the degrees of functions, etc. The L-shaped prism looks that way entirely on purpose: Can your kids still properly identify the base shape and the height when it's an "irregular" shape, lying on its side?

I introduced to them the "box method" of multiplying polynomials, and they loved it. (You algebra teachers know what I'm talking about. Way better than drawing distributive arcs any day!)

(#4 of Pg. 2 is a little ambiguously phrased, because I want kids to remember on their own that the easiest way to find volume, once you have the base area, is to multiply by the height. They then later show that there is a different way to come up with the volume, and that it gives you the same formula in the end. See #6 on Pg. 3.)

They absolutely loved it (...It's always funny what gets kids going...), and we got into some pretty good geometric discussions about how surfaces on opposite parts of the prism correspond in area (ie. Area of DKMF = Area of CJIB + Area of AHNG), and how a little geometric intuition can save us a lot of work when calculating algebraic surface area!

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