Sometimes students will take 20 minutes to do what should only take a 2 or 3. To help show students that multiplying binomials and factoring trinomials should be quick and easy, I use speed drills in my classroom.
There are 5 drills on:
1. Multiplying binomials.
2. Mutliplying binomials (mixed with a few perfect square trinomial answers and difference of squares answers).
3. Factoring simple trinomials.
4. Factoring simple trinomials and perfect square trinomials.
5. Factoring simple trinomials and perfect square trinomials and difference of squares.
(*Note: all multiplying and factoring problems result in or start as a = 1)
I always give one of these the day after teaching each skill. The students have already had a chance to practice for homework. Now, I just want to get them to speed up. I give one of the drills as a warm-up just to let them see how fast they can go, but not for a score. Then I help them with understanding the mental math involved to go faster. We practice with flash cards or Bingo games and then I give them one of these drills at the end of the class for a "real" score.
I usually allow 3 minutes, so most of the students finish. The ones who can do the drill in less time feel really smart. And the ones who can't finish get a bit of a "wake-up call" to practice more.
Also makes a great math center idea for review. Simply set out with a 3 minute sand timer or tell your students to use the timer on their phones!