This activity is inspired by something I saw on the Mathspad website, but I wanted a simpler version to use in a first lesson with Year 7 on expanding double brackets. There are therefore no negatives in this activity, and the leading coefficient in the quadratics you obtain is always 1.
The students are given a table of algebraic expressions and 15 quadratics they are trying to create. They pick 2 expressions from the table, multiply them together and see if they’ve created one of the quadratics. If not, they try again! Each expression can only be used once, although most expressions appear multiple times in the table.
I’ve used this with a mixed ability Year 7 group, and it worked well. Weaker students can pick expressions at random and see what they get, whereas stronger students may start with the quadratic and ask themselves how they can create it - essentially factorising quadratics!
Solutions are provided.