# Like Radicals Card Sort Activity

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I created this like radicals card sort activity a few years ago when I was still teaching Algebra 1. Students are given 25 cards featuring radicals that range from square roots to fourth roots. Some of the radicals are simplified. Others need to be simplified. Students must group the cards into piles of “like radicals.”

This lesson was actually a last minute idea that was thrown together ten minutes before class started. I decided it was either going to be brilliant or absolutely terrible. It ended up going quite well, and I would likely still be using it to this day if I was still teaching Algebra 1.

My hope for this activity is that spending extra time on continued practice of simplifying radicals and emphasizing the idea of like radicals would make the later topic of adding and subtracting radicals much easier.

Students began the activity by cutting apart the 20 radical cards.

Many groups immediately set about to start simplifying each radical and writing the simplified radical on the card itself. I like this approach, so I think this is the type of card sort you want to do on plain copy paper instead of making laminated reusable cards.

My students used their prime factorization charts in their interactive notebooks to help make the process of simplifying radicals easier.

Each group was tasked with creating a poster that illustrated the groups of like radicals.

It was definitely interesting to see the different approaches taken by different groups.

It definitely blew some of my students minds that you could radicals with different indexes that still ended up being like radicals since they fully simplified to whole numbers.

Other students were sad that one of the cards didn’t have any like radicals to hang out with.