Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doing "The Claw"

Man- time has gotten away from me. We are already well into January and I have not posted to my blog in a month! I enjoyed Christmas Break with my family and welcomed my 6th grandchild just last weekend. Throw in a couple of snow days, and time is just flying by. My students did a great job on their Feltron Projects from first semester, and several are currently hanging in the front office and along the hallway to the principal's office. The second semester always includes stress for me as we begin to prepare to take the state assessment tests. I am not sure if I will ever figure out a way to not get stressed over this annual event. If anyone knows of a strategy for this please share!

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 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
Just work left to right
Do the Claw
It’s easy to do
Just do the Claw
Do the Distributive Claw!

1 comment:

  1. 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.