Students are working on Polynomials currently, and seem to be progressing quite nicely. In the past, when multiplying polynomials, I have taught the FOIL method, smiling man, etc., but this year decided to teach multiplication of polynomials using the term Distributive Property only- because this is the term we have used all year as well as a term they will be using in their assessments. Besides, FOIL or the smiling man is just another name for the Distributive Property anyway. Basically, I thought it would be one less thing that students would have to remember. When multiplying with trinomials and binomials using arcs to connect the terms you are multiplying, a "claw" readily appears. I have heard of other teachers using the claw term, and while I was trying to

stick using the term distributive property only...it is just too tempting to not use the term...and do something fun with it as well. Anyway, I wrote lyrics using the tune to The Monster Mash calling my song "Do the Claw", and my 8th graders were up twisting and singing the claw... Letting go of our worries on a cold Kansas day!

Do the Claw

“The Monster Mash”

by Christy Roitz

I was working on my math late one night

When my eyes beheld a scary sight

Multiplying polynomials my problems start to arise

When suddenly to my surprise!

I did the Claw

I did the Distributive Claw

I did the Claw

Just work left to right

I did the Claw

It was easy to do

I did the Claw

I did the Distributive Claw!

It is easy to do working left to right

Distribute each term to all terms inside

When you connect each term with an arc to the next

Your claw will appear right on your text!

So do the Claw

Do the Distributive Claw

Do the Claw

Do the Claw

Just work left to right

Do the Claw

It’s easy to do

Just do the Claw

Do the Distributive Claw!

I like it. It's not tossign away the "motor memory" part of doing the distributive property, but connecting the action to what it means.

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