Help students discover "short cuts" when simplifying products of binomials. In this discovery investigation activity, students will look for patterns to simplify the following special products: product of two binomials with just a variable (no coefficient) and a number, product of the sum and difference of two terms (difference or squares), and square of a binomial.
This investigation can be done in pairs or groups, or as a whole class activity. By allowing students to discover these patterns on their own, they are more likely to recognize these patterns on their own and retain the information. This is especially useful when moving on to factoring later on.
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