Expanding Brackets Spiders: TES Maths Resource of the Week

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What is it?
Despite being a little bit of an arachnophobe, I have been very pleased to see a growing number of these “spider” activities appearing on TES. They are simply ideal for getting students to practise key skills in an engaging way, whilst at the same time allowing them to spot patterns and make connections. This particular one on brackets is a prime example. Students are challenged to complete spiders that start with the basics of expanding double brackets, right through to factorising tricky quadratics. They do this by filling out the missing boxes in the brackets spider. As with all good resources, students get through a large amount of important work without necessarily realising it.

How can it be used?
This set of sheets provides ideal practice following the introduction of brackets, or as part of a revision exercise. Students can work together, or on their own, and can be challenged to identify which squares they found the trickiest to complete and discuss why that might be the case. Best of all (and I love it when this is the case) the answers are provided, which makes maring a breeze. The author has also kindly provided a template, which could be used by the teacher to create their own examples, but better still give this to the students. If they can both complete and create spiders, then we can be pretty sure that they understanding is secure.

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton

Download: Expanding Bracket Spiders
View the author’s other resources


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