Simplify Algebraic Fractions by Factoring

A brief presentation with laser-like focus, this video talks young mathematicians through the mechanics of simplifying algebraic fractions by factoring trinomials. While the factoring itself is assumed to be a mastered skill, the steps for identifying and canceling common factors are detailed with care and precision. Notable is an emphasis on the common mistake of trying to cancel individual terms instead of factors. This video makes a great tool to add to your arsenal of simplifying rational functions.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Give the class a simplified form of an algebraic fraction and ask them to come up with rational polynomial expressions that could have the simplification
  • Create a matching game or scavenger hunt with algebraic fractions and their simplifications
  • Link the video on the class website for homework assistance or pre-topic viewing in a flipped classroom
Classroom Considerations

  • Viewing lesson video requires Internet access
  • Consider prepping remediation ahead of time for weaknesses in trinomial factoring that become apparent in this lesson
  • Pausing the video at each problem's introduction would allow the class to ask questions and attempt at solving themselves
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information

  • Clear and easily understood narration
  • Examples of all types included, some simplifying greatly and some not at all
  • Numbers are messy enough to involve some real algebraic manipulation without being so difficult as to derail the purpose of the lesson

  • No review of factoring methods
  • No problems for classwork or lesson slides available
Common Core