Yesterday algebra started multiplying polynomials. A lot of the problems were products of monomials with polynomials, something like:

**x(3x² + 8x – 14)**

For the entire year I have been looking for a way to get students to remember to distribute the x to each term. A lot of students call it Santa hat, I didn’t introduce that, who knows…?

I was looking through Youtube earlier in the week and came across this video.

I played it for my classes after they worked on the problem above; blank stares, they were not sure how it connected. I told ’em that **x **was a new car and asked *“According to Oprah, who gets a new car?”*

**EVERYBODY GETS A CAR**

…

**EVERYBODY GETS AN X**

Then we moved onto products of binomials

**(x + 3)(x + 4)**

**EVERYBODY GETS AN X**

and

**EVERYBODY GETS A 3**

Today, I talked about FOIL. I was really excited for once to get a bunch of blank stares again, after showing them this:

They didn’t need FOIL to remember to multiply terms, or make a face by connecting terms. They just did it. Their future is looking hopeful when multiplying binomial by polynomial or polynomial by polynomial.

Students even started using the word “**distribute”** instead of “**everybody gets an x”,** without any prompting on my end.

This content isn’t the most exciting, but my students are excited that they are having a ton of success in multiplying these things.

Thanks Oprah.

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