Illuminations: Difference of Squares

This activity uses a series of related arithmetic experiences to prompt students to generalize into more abstract ideas.

In particular, students explore arithmetic statements leading to a result that is the factoring pattern for the difference of two squares. A geometric interpretation of the familiar formula is also included. This lesson plan was adapted from an article by David Slavit, which appeared in the February 2001 edition of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.


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Addition & Subtraction, Algebra & Pre-Algebra, Exponents & Square Roots
Middle School, Educator

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Illuminations (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)

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