# Teaching expanding brackets and factorising - how to make it fun?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by westcountrygirl, Mar 4, 2009.

1. ### westcountrygirl

Does anyone know of any interesting or fun methods of teaching how to expand double brackets and how to factorise?
I have been using worksheets and textbooks which just list hundreds of questions and both myself and the children are feeling very bored!

2. ### ian60New commenter

Why does it have to be fun? I do not believe we are paid to be entertainers.

3. ### westcountrygirl

Because I'm a PGCE student and I get marked down on my lesson observations if my lessons are not fun and engaging for every student in the classroom.

Thanks for everyone's ideas, I used some of them in my last lesson and it went down very well.

4. ### MathsHOD

In a sense I agree with you but I think that this is a huge over simplification of the issue (my statements are equally a simplication but slightly less 'overly' so I think).
In a utopian world all people would do activities that are of long term personal benefit irrespective of the enjoyment that the activity brings in it's own right.
For example I know that going running every day would make me fitter yet I do not do so. Why? Because I do not enjoy running. I do go running a couple of times a week though. Now if running, in it's own right, was enjoyable I would certainly go more often. I find watching a good film on the television to be enjoyable but this does not serve the purpose of getting me fit so it is not an acceptable substitute for physical activity such as running.
The same ideas can be applied to students learning.
If we give them an entertaining lesson that does not educate them mathematically then that is failing them in the same way that watching the TV failed me in terms of getting fitter.
If we give students a dull lesson that educates them then they may put some effort into the lesson (in the sense that I do some running) because they know it is good for them but many will not give it 100%.
If we are able to combine the 2 (when possible) then the enjoyment factor will likely increase the effort level and thus the rate of student progress.
And, as the initial post said, the teacher is bored of the current diet of lessons therefore this is, in it's own right, a reason to look at changing the diet so that she can take greater enjoyment out of her work without beign detrimental to the learning of the students.

5. ### TandyNew commenter

Ian, the activity I suggest is not because it is entertaining or fun, but because it gives students a deep understanding and a feeling of success... this is why the love it... not beacuse it is a game, but because children inherently want to <u>understand</u>.