I started this lesson with some theatrics. I asked them to simplify the fraction shown in the picture, and of course they all wanted to cancel the terms (as expected). I let them do it, and then changed the pretty pink heart into the fiery eruption you see here. I told them that those red slashes are like daggers through a math teacher's heart. I also told them that, when they go to college, I never ever want them to make the mistake of canceling out terms. Cancel factors, not terms! We spent a lot of time talking about the difference between factors and terms, and why this rule is true. We talked about why you can't add 5 and 5x, but you can cancel the 5's in 5/5x. I think this was time well spent, because this canceling problem is a persistent weed. From there, we practiced factoring and canceling. Pretty straightforward. In the following lesson, we multiplied and reduced products of polynomial fractions. There really were no new skills to learn, so after modeling one problem, I had them do independent practice work.
And now, I am caught up on postings!
Lesson 11 (Reducing Polynomial Fractions) doc / keynote / quicktime
Lesson 12 (Multiplying Polynomial Fractions) doc