Better Homework Questions

This semester, I am spiralling my grade 10 academic course for the first time. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use the textbook, but given that we don’t have enough books for the five sections of the course currently running, I volunteered to do without. This means that I am creating my own homework sets as I go. I really like doing this – I like thinking about what I want my students to practice and not be constrained by the questions in the book.

We have been working on linear and quadratic visual patterns for the past few days and multiplying binomials naturally arose. I wanted the homework questions I created for multiplying binomials to reflect what we have done so far in class and extend. Here is the first question:


I took inspiration from Open Middle for my second question, although there is nothing open about the middle of these! My goal is to set up the link to factoring really early. My hope is that factoring quadratics will be intuitive for my students, after doing a number of these kinds of questions.


I welcome feedback! I am working alone on these so I would greatly value suggestions for improvement.


4 thoughts on “Better Homework Questions

  1. Also, I like the fill-in-the-blanks idea with the second question. Definitely making them think in ways they wouldn’t if you were just having them practice expanding binomials.


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