Trying to teach FOIL, without just telling them.
I wanted my kids to discover it and to fight with the idea. Trying to make this topic apply to a "lab" or the real world was difficult for me. So, I stole the ol' adding areas of rectangles together.
1. Add two different colored slips of paper onto a normal sheet of paper
We were able to have discussions about
a. what variables to assign to what
b. what to include in our dimensions
c. how to solve the problem of that extra space (the 4th/red rectangle)
d. discover how to multiply two binomials together
Did my students grasp the concept? I don't know yet. I wish I could have had about 10 more minutes of class time (we went off on a tangent about multiplying exponents in the beginning of class). The students that were engaged in our discussion have the tools to grasp the concept during their homework tonight. However, the students that turn off during our discussions will be lost tonight. They will ask me to "teach" them tomorrow, since I "didn't" today.