I created a game for students to learn about simplifying radicals before they actually learn how to simplify radicals. The idea is for students to find matching numbers (or variables) and take them 'outside' the radical.

I had a student film this while I taught the students how to play.

Here is a link to the cards and square root mat.

I think I'd like this even more if it included composite numbers. Maybe they could match and write the remaining factor where the card was in dry erase? (Such as matching a 3 with a 27 if they write 9 where the 27 card used to be) I like the prime cards in their hand, but I think maybe a different deck could work better for the initial radicand then the game play would force them to find factors. Love the setup!!

ReplyDeleteI love this concept! This is a great way to get students started. Once the students master this, then, it opens it up to higher tiered card games. Thanks for sharing!

ReplyDeleteI must be missing something because I do not understand what is being taught here. Could you provide some more background information?

ReplyDeleteSure. When I teach simplifying radicals, I tell my students to look for pairs. For example: When simplifying sqrt(12), I have them do the prime factorization and change it to sqrt(2*2*3). Since there are a pair of 2s, a single 2 is written on the 'outside' of the square root symbol. 2 sqrt (3).

DeleteI explain to the class that the pair of 2s was really a 4. and the square root of 4 is 2.

How many sets of prime number cards do you use for a game?

ReplyDeleteI made 8 of each number.

DeleteI thought this would be too simple, then I watched my students trying to simplify radicals and realized I needed to back up a step, so we played this in class today (they liked it). Strategy question: why should they match their cards with other people's radicals? Seems like its just helping others out. Is it just a rule that they have to? Would it be better to play with cards face up to keep everyone honest?

ReplyDeleteThe only strategy there would be that they each get a point/token rather than nothing. I was also looking for a reason to make the students interact with each other. In my class, this is the first time many of the students are meeting each other because they come from different feeder schools. Still at this point in the year they are reluctant to talk to the other students.

DeleteThanks, my kids really enjoyed playing this, and I felt like it hammered in the basic concept of grouping pairs when simplifying. I added variable cards, too (x, y, and z).

DeleteI just stumbled across your blog - thanks for all the inspiration! I'm doing my radical unit next, so this is perfect :)

ReplyDelete