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My Algebra 1 students are currently working their way through our unit on polynomials. We have new math standards in Oklahoma this year which has required me to change things up a bit. In the past, my students needed to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and factor polynomials. The new standards STILL have them doing all of that. But, they also need to be able to add, subtract, and multiply functions written in function notation. We do functions and function notation waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy before we ever talk about polynomials. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and combine these two skills.
I made a question stack for my students to use to practice adding and subtracting polynomials in function notation. If you don’t know how a question stack works, this post explains it pretty well. Basically, students are given a set of 10 double-sided cards. Students lay the cards out with the ANSWERS facing up to form an answer bank. Students choose one card to flip over. This will be the first question. When they figure out the answer, they locate that answer in the answer bank. That card is flipped over and stacked on top of the previous card to reveal a new question. The answer bank gets smaller and smaller as students work problem after problem. It’s self-checking which means I can target my time to helping the groups who need it most.
Each group got a laminated page featuring four polynomials and a snack bag with their deck of cards in it.
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The four polynomials:
Here are the 10 problems students worked through as they completed the question stack:
I tried my best to vary the notation so students would be used to the different ways the question could be worded.
Here is the answer bank:
I had my students work in pairs for this activity. In some class periods, a few students would choose to work alone. I also had the occasional group of three when the class consisted of an odd number of students.
My students were engaged. There was good group-talk going on. And, we did lots of practice.
Free Download of Adding and Subtracting Polynomials in Function Notation Question Stack Activity
Adding and Subtracting Polynomials in Function Notation Question Stack Cards (PDF) (536 downloads)
Adding and Subtracting Polynomials in Function Notation Question Stack Cards (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (347 downloads)
Adding and Subtracting Polynomials in Function Notation Question Stack Function Sheet (PDF) (425 downloads)
Adding and Subtracting Polynomials in Function Notation Question Stack Function Sheet (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (337 downloads)
Make Your Own Question Stacks
Want to make your own question stack activity? I have created an easy to use printable question stack template that works perfectly every time. All you have to do is add your own questions!
More Question Stack Activities
- Compound Inequalities Question Stack Activity
- Make Your Own Question Stack Template
- Order of Operations Question Stack Activity
- Evaluating Expressions Question Stack Activity – Advanced
- Distributive Property Question Stack Activity
- Question Stack Explanation Card
- Factoring Trinomials with GCFs Question Stack Activity
- Rationalizing the Denominator Question Stack Activity
- Adding and Subtracting Polynomials in Function Notation Question Stack Activity
- Operations with Radicals Question Stack Activity
- Evaluating Expressions Question Stack Activity – Basic
- Rational Expressions Question Stack Activity
More Activities for Teaching Polynomials
- X Puzzles Review Game
- Quadratic Area Puzzles
- Shared Factors – A Quadratics Puzzle
- Naming Polynomials Poster
- Naming Polynomials Speed Dating Activity
- Dividing Polynomials Using the Box Method Puzzles
- Area Model Puzzles from Christie Bradshaw
- Adding and Subtracting Polynomials Graphic Organizer
- Writing Polynomials in Standard Form Foldable
- Factoring Quadratics Foldable
- Multiplying Polynomials Foldable
- Naming Polynomials Practice Sheet
- Polynomial or Not Color Coding Activity
- Polynomial Frayer Model Template
- Roots Solutions Zeros X-Intercepts Posters
- Multiplying Polynomials Egg Hunt Activity
- Human Polynomials Activity
- Introducing Algebra Tiles to Students
- Building and Naming Polynomials Activity
- Factoring Trinomials with GCFs Question Stack Activity
- Factoring Polynomials Using the Box Method Directions
- Looking for Patterns in Factoring Quadratics
- Factoring Quadratics Question Stack Activity
- Dividing Polynomials Using the Box Method Activity
- Dividing Polynomials Using the Box Method Foldable
- Multiplying Polynomials Using the Box Method Foldable
- Adding and Subtracting Polynomials Notes
- Parts of a Polynomial Practice Book
- Standard Form of a Polynomial Interactive Notebook Page
- Factoring out the GCF of a Polynomial Foldable
- Factoring vs Distributing Card Sort Activity
- Factoring Quadratics Using the Box Method Foldable
- Naming Polynomials Graphic Organizer
- Factoring Quadratics Graphic Organizers
- Adding and Subtracting Polynomials Activity
Monday 27th of February 2017
Thanks! This was a great way to use function notation. Here in Ohio they use it on our test too. An easy concept that messes them up. This was a great format for practice! Thanks for sharing!
Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)
Thursday 2nd of March 2017
Glad you found it useful!