This was a complete success in my classes and I'm so excited to share it with you!
My students often struggle with picking out like terms, which makes them struggle with adding and subtracting polynomials. I knew I had to come up with something that was hands-on and this is what I made.
It is an activity where your students will work in pairs. (I paired them by ability) You could have them do it individually, but I think it would take too long. The students cut out a bunch of different terms and use them to represent addition and subtraction with polynomials. Once they have rearranged the terms to show the addition or subtraction, they group up the like terms. Then, on the group paper they write the answer, and they glue the problem onto construction paper.