I’m trying out CPM’s Algebra 2 book and so far it’s pretty much fantastic. I don’t want to give away many details of the lesson plan I used today, since they asked me not to reproduce it. But I have to tell you about the basic mechanic: polydokus.
A complete polydoku has 4 main sections – one for each of two polynomial factors, one for the product of said factors, and another area for the work. You can figure it out from this already-solved puzzle:
Of course, much of this data is redundant. Try your luck at this unsolved puzzle:
These puzzles are fun and satisfying. I tried it in class today and students had the perfect amount of difficulty with them. I explained the puzzles only as much as I explained them here, and the students seemed to enjoy figuring them out.
The payoff comes in when the puzzle looks like this:
Have your kids solve this polydoku, and then ask them, “Hey, by the way, what’s ?”
The CPM lesson went on to have the kids discover remainders, and even connected it to the factor theorem for finding roots of an equation, but I’ll let you ask CPM about that.
You know who’s a polydoku convert?
[pointing emphatically at myself with my thumbs] This guy.