This activity teaches students how to use an area model, or the Box and Diamond Method. Students use Algebra tiles first to create rectangles based on their area. Then, they work backwards to find the dimensions of the rectangle. This leads into the Box and Diamond Method of factoring.
Included are step-by-step notes to give to students as a reference for the Box and Diamond Method. This is a great way to get students interested in factoring. Using the area model allows students to see the reasoning behind the method. This takes away the "gimmick" of the method.