Skip to Content

Steps for Simplifying Radicals

steps for simplifying radicals with square root of eight above words

I typed out the steps for simplifying radicals for my Algebra 2 students to glue in their interactive notebooks. When I had students write out the steps by hand last year, it took WAY too long.

Steps for Simplifying Radicals

  1. Write the prime factorization of your radicand. (I teach my students to do this using the birthday cake method for prime factorization.)
  2. Determine the index of the radical. (Vocabulary is important here. I teach radical vocabulary using a parts of the radical graphic organizer.)
  3. If the index is 2, circle groups of 2 identical numbers or variables. If the index is 3, circle groups of 3 identical numbers or variables, etc.
  4. The number or variable from each circled group will show up outside the radical symbol 1 time.
  5. Anything left uncircled will remain under the radical. If everything under the radical symbol is circled, the radical symbol will disappear.
  6. Multiply the numbers and variables outside the radical together.
steps for simplifying radicals algebra interactive notebook math

Then, we did examples of simplifying radicals in our notebooks.

steps for simplifying radicals algebra interactive notebook math