# July Blogging Challenge + Factoring Connect Four

Haven’t blogged in such a long time…..ugh. @druinok said she was going to start a blogging challenge and try and blog everyday in July and she has encouraged me to jump on the bandwagon so I cannot disappoint! (Since she is sucking me into the twitter world….so tweet me @jomalleyiv or not.

Anyways, I figured I would blog about what I did today during summer school. I started factoring today and when we did some basic trinomials (where a = 1), I knew the kiddos would need some straight up practice. I gave them today a handwritten sheet (so high-tech cause I am awesome like that) where I created a 6 x 7 grid so I had the same number of spots as the connect four game board. I just randomly filled in some basic trinomials and threw in some that were prime just for fun. (I don’t have a copy with me at the moment so I will try and remember to upload one tomorrow for you to see)

I gave the directions that the tallest person goes first. Just like when you play the real connect four, you can only attempt problems on the bottom row first. Once someone gets a problem on the bottom row, you can then “stack” on top and try those problems. When it is your turn, pick anyone you want and factor it. If you get it right, then you get to claim that spot (I just had kids use highlighters and mark the board since all my cool supplies are at a different school for the summer). If you get it wrong, your partner can claim it if they get it right. Both players must agree but I was around to moderate if necessary. The first person to get four in a row (horizontally, diagonally, vertically) wins.

I assumed that they would get bored with it quickly like they do when practicing on worksheets (I mean who wouldn’t having 2 hours and 20 minutes of summer school math everyday) but they loved it! They kept asking to play again! One group turned their worksheet upside down and started a new game so that way they had new problems so many others followed suit and played twice. I think I will create more versions in the future and maybe do it again in the near future to practice other factoring methods.

Woohoo…day 1 of blogging done. Lets see what the next 30 days brings! If you happen to read this and have a blog, post in the comments what it is so I can check it out!