Multiplying polynomials: Quilts from Judy Chaffee
I met Judy Chaffee at Escape from the Textbook community. She mentioned a polynomial quilt activity that was a hit with her students. This are materials for the activity, posted with Judy’s permission here since she does not have a blog yet – maybe one day!
Judy writes:
I start with showing them how regular multiplication looks (shape wise) using an array. We discuss that when you multiply one digit by another, you get a rectangle and when you multiply one digit by itself you get a square. We then look at how a variable looks when multiplied by itself a number. Next they draw it on paper and then cut their scrapbook paper to match the sizes used in their drawing.
I just started quilting myself and I think this summer I will actually make a quilt using this idea. Oh yeah, I start the lesson with talking about quilting and how some mathematicians are using quilting and math. I’ve included my powerpoint for this part.
Here are a few of the quilts students made:
This is the summary Judy made for the students:

http://letsplaymath.net/2011/06/17/mathteachersatplay39/ Math Teachers at Play # 39 « Let's Play Math!