505 views

Uploaded by Katherine Risbrough

Activities for simplifying and solving rational expressions

Activities for simplifying and solving rational expressions

© All Rights Reserved

- Grade 10 Civics Exam Review
- Light it up
- Horizontal Asymptote Exploration
- Intro to Rational Functions
- Contextual Clues
- Persuassive Speech Outline
- LESSON PLAN in Geometry
- 2013-09-16 Abstract Functions 1
- Monte Carlo Simulation - Central Limit Theorem
- Mathematics in Ancient India
- Standard Error of the Mean Central Limit Theorem
- History of Mathematics
- Normal Distribution chapter 10
- Importance of History of Mathematics in Math Learning
- Chapter 08 Sampling Methods and the Central Limit Theorem
- What I Learned About Drugs
- Apollonius of Perga
- A Brief History of Mathematics
- Central Limit Theorem
- Inverse Trigonometric Functions and Their Graphs

You are on page 1of 10

Common Vocabulary

Rational expression, simplified rational expression, opposite polynomials

Instruction Tips

A rational number is the ratio of two integers. A rational expression is the ratio of two

polynomials.

When students evaluate rational expressions for a specified value using a calculator, they

often forget to insert the parentheses that are necessary to group the numerator and

denominator. For example,

2+6

must be entered as ( 2 + 6 ) / ( 3 2 ) , which is 8. If students

32

only enter 2 + 6 / 3 2 , their calculator will give them a value of 2. This is a good place to

remind students that fraction bars (like parentheses) also act as grouping symbols, separating

the numerator and denominators into their own groups for evaluation.

Students begin the study of rational expressions with all sorts of interesting misconceptions.

The most dangerous misconception is the idea that terms can be cancelled. For example,

x +1

students are often quite sure that the x 's in

can be cancelled. Here is a good

x+2

2 +1

3 1

counterexample (let x = 2 ):

. Clearly, . Where does this misconception come

2+2

4 2

from? Well, we did just teach students exponent rules not too long ago, and in those rules,

3 x

1

with . Your students

we taught them to replace the x 's in an expression like this:

1

4 x

may not have made a clear distinction between rules that apply to terms in addition and rules

that apply to factors in multiplication. If this is the case, then they do not see the difference

3+ x

3x

and

.

between expressions like

4+ x

4x

Since we generally use slash marks to cross out factors that we replace with ones, students

can become easily confused if they also use slash marks in situations like this: 3 x + x + 2 .

Students may not realize that in one case, the like terms sum to zero, and in the other case,

1

common factors are replaced by . It may help to use paired examples to demonstrate the

1

two concepts and differentiate between what the students see as two types of cancelling:

3( x 2)

.

3 + x x + 2 vs.

2 ( x 2)

1

and x + 2 . Consider

x+2

x+2

1

are equivalent expressions and these look very similar to

and

that x + 2 and

1

x+2

x + 2 . Make sure to keep revisiting examples that simplify to have 1 in the numerator or 1 in

the denominator so that you can find and correct any students who are making this mistake.

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

Even after successfully completing all the factoring and simplifying steps, students will often

take incorrect action when confronted by the answer. For example, the following student

x 2 + 9 x + 20 ( x + 4 ) ( x + 5 )

x +4

4

action would not be surprising: 2

=

= . If you tell

=

3

x + 2 x 15 ( x 3) ( x + 5 )

x 3

1

x+4

students that the problem is done at the

step, you do not give them the opportunity to

x3

make the cancelling mistake that they are likely to make on a test. However, you can give

them this opportunity (and correct their thinking) by simply asking Are we done? after

every step of the simplification.

As students factor the numerator and denominator of rational expressions, it is quite helpful

to write any non-factoring expressions within parentheses. For example, to simplify

x 2 + 3x + 2

, we first write it with the numerator factored and the denominator in parentheses

x +1

( x + 2 )( x + 1)

as

( x + 1)

. This serves three purposes. First, it reminds students that they did try to

factor the denominator and that it did not factor. Second, it is visually easier to pick up on the

factors that simplify if they look more similar. Third, students are less likely to try to

cancel pieces of the factor if they can see it must be held together as a group.

they are suddenly flummoxed when presented with an expression like x 2 + 5 x to factor.

Many will even start this by writing a set of empty binomial parentheses. Here is an example

of what you are likely to see:

( )(

) ????

x2 + 5x

=

2

x + 12 x + 35 ( x + 5 )( x + 7 )

So, even though GCFs do not frequently show up in these problems, you should still start

every factoring process by reminding students to look for a GCF first.

If students only see polynomial opposites written in the opposite order, like

5 x

or

x5

x 2 + 3x 4

, they can easily leap to the wrong logical conclusion. That is, the student

4 3x x 2

begins to believe that any two expressions, written in the opposite order, are opposites.

What, then, will they do with an expression like

x+3

? It is likely that these students will

3+ x

see two opposites here. Make sure you change the order in some of your examples of

opposites, for example

5 x

5 x

is an equivalent expression of

.

x5

5 + x

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

Guided Learning Activity: Undefined Expressions. Using this worksheet,

you can cover the topics of evaluating rational expressions (the students will

need to use some scratch paper for this one) and finding numbers that cause a

rational expression to be undefined. The same three expressions are used

throughout the worksheet so that you can draw connections between the

answers found in each variation of the procedures. (RAT-1)

Start with a few examples from fractions.

1

25

2 5

1

=

=

=

2 35 2 1 3 5 1 3

5+5

o What if it was written like this:

?

5 + 25

10

o Simplify:

30

2227 222 7

8

=

=

77

7

7 71

49 + 7

o What if it was written like this:

?

49

o Simplify:

56

49

2 5 x x y y y

10 x 2 y 3

25 x x y y y

x

=

=

o Simplify:

=

4

2 35 x y y y y 2 1 3 5 1 x 1 y 1 y 1 y 1 y 3y

30 xy

In numerical fractions, the numerator and denominator must be factored before we simplify

the fraction. The same rule applies to rational expressions. To simplify a rational expression

you must remember one step: FACTOR FIRST!

Examples: Simplify.

( x 3)( x + 5 ) x 3

x 2 + 9 x + 20

x 2 + 2 x 15

2 x2 8

x 2 + 7 x + 10

2 x 2 11x 21

x 2 14 x + 49

( x 7 )( x 7 ) x 7

x2 9

x2 + 8x 9

( x + 3)( x 3)

( x + 9 ) ( x 1)

x2 + 5x

x 2 + 12 x + 35

2 ( x + 2 )( x 2 )

( x + 5)( x + 2 )

x ( x + 5)

( x + 5)( x + 7 )

2x 4

Factor out a GCF and difference of squares.

x+5

x

Students have difficulty with the numerator.

x+7

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

activity works well in groups or with students working in pairs at a whiteboard

(have students draw an empty grid on the board for their answers). (RAT-3)

7

7

( x + 2)

25

52

x+4

x 4

3

5+3

3

5 3

x5

(factor out a 1 )

5 x

For two polynomial expressions to be opposites, every corresponding pair of terms must be

opposite.

2 3x + x 2

Example: 2

x + 3x 2

( x + 2)

can be rewritten as

2 + ( 3x ) + x 2

x 2 + 3 x + ( 2 )

3x is negative in the numerator and positive in the denominator (opposites)

x 2 is positive in the numerator and denominator (not opposites)

Thus, 2 3x + x 2 and x 2 + 3x 2 are not opposite polynomials.

2 3x + x 2

could not be simplified without factoring first.

x 2 + 3x 2

Example:

15 2 x

2 x 15

can be rewritten as

15 + ( 2 x )

2 x + ( 15 )

2x is negative in the numerator and positive in the denominator (opposites)

Thus, 15 2x and 2 x 15 are opposite polynomials.

15 2 x

could be simplified to be 1.

2 x 15

Example:

a 8

a + 8

can be rewritten as

a + ( 8 )

a + 8

8 is negative in the numerator and positive in the denominator (opposites)

Thus, a 8 and a + 8 are opposite polynomials.

a 8

could be simplified to be 1 .

a + 8

x 2 + x 20

Simplify.

16 x 2

( x 4 )( x + 5) = ( x 4 ) ( x + 5) = ( x + 5) = x 5

=

( 4 x )( 4 + x ) ( 4 x ) 1 ( 4 + x ) ( 4 + x ) x + 4

or

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

x+5

x+4

Student Activity: The Ones Recycling Center. There are all sorts of

student misconceptions about what kind of expressions are really opposites and

what kinds of expressions are really equivalent. This activity targets those ideas

by having students work only with these concepts. (RAT-4)

Student Activity: Which of These is Not Like the Others? Students have a

lot of trouble deciding on whether their answer is equivalent to the one in the

book. (RAT-5)

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

Undefined Expressions

A rational expression is an expression of the form

A

B

To evaluate a rational expression, you may find it helpful

to first create the parentheses skeleton.

Example 1:

Evaluate

x2 + 4x 5

for x = 2 and x = 3 .

x2 9

( )2 + 4 ( ) 5

Parentheses skeleton:

( )2 9

( 2 )2 + 4 ( 2 ) 5 4 + 8 5 7

Evaluate for x = 2 :

=

=

5

49

( 2 )2 9

( 3)2 + 4 ( 3) 5 9 12 5 8

Evaluate for x = 3:

=

=

= undefined

99

0

( 3)2 9

Expression

Parentheses

Skeleton

Sometimes I seriously wonder

if you are even trying to be rational...

x =1

x=4

x=0

x = 2

x = 13

3x 12

x2 + 2x

3x 2 + 8 x 3

x2 5x + 4

x 2 16

x2 + 2x

It is often easier to perform the evaluation if the rational expression is factored first. This way,

you can quickly see the values that create a factor of zero in the numerator or denominator.

Example 2:

Evaluate

x2 + 4 x 5

for x = 0, x = 1 , and x = 3 .

x2 9

( x + 5)( x 1)

Factored form:

( x + 3)( x 3)

( 0 + 5)( 0 1) ( 5)( 1) 5 5

Evaluate for x = 0 :

=

=

=

( 0 + 3)( 0 3) ( 3)( 3) 9 9

(1 + 5 )(1 1) = ( 6 )( 0 ) = 0 = 0

Evaluate for x = 1:

(1 + 3)(1 3) ( 4 )( 2 ) 8

( 3 + 5 )( 3 1) = (8)( 2 ) = 16 = undefined

Evaluate for x = 3:

( 3 + 3)( 3 3) ( 6 )( 0 ) 0

As soon as you see a factor of zero in the numerator or denominator, you can

quickly find the value of the answer.

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

Expression

Factored Form of

the Expression

x =1

x=4

x=0

x = 13

x = 2

3x 12

x2 + 2 x

3x 2 + 8 x 3

x2 5x + 4

x 2 16

x2 + 2 x

Recall that we can solve an equation like ( x + 3)( x 5 ) = 0 using the zero property. Because of

the Zero Factor Property, either x + 3 = 0 or x 5 = 0 . This leads us to solutions of 3 and 5.

Example 3:

x2 + 4x 5

undefined?

x2 9

We can answer the question by solving the equation x 2 9 = 0 .

Factor first: ( x + 3)( x 3) = 0

Set each factor equal to zero and solve:

OR

x+3=0

x3=0

x = 3

x=3

x + 4x 5

is undefined for 3 and 3.

x2 9

2

The expression

Expression

Factored Form of

the Expression

Solve the resulting equation.

Where is the

expression

undefined?

3x 12

x2 + 2 x

3x 2 + 8 x 3

x2 5x + 4

x 2 16

x2 + 2 x

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

Student Activity

Match Up on Simplifying Rational Expressions

Directions: Match each of the expressions

in the squares in the table below with an

equivalent simplified expression from the top.

If an equivalent expression is not found

among the choices A through E, then

choose F (none of these).

nal

Ratiosions

A 1

B 1

C x+5

x

D

3

E 3x

F None of these

Expre

9 x 3 + 15 x

3x 2 + 5

x 2 25

x5

x 1

1 x

x2 + x

3x + 3

( 3x + 2 )( x + 1)

3x 2 + 5 x + 2

x 1

1+ x

3x3 6 x 2

x2

3x + 1

1 + 3x

3 x3 27 x

( x + 3)( x 3)

x3 + 2 x 2 + x

3x 2 + 6 x + 3

x 2 + 10 x + 25

x+5

3x 1

1 3x

x2 + 6x + 5

x +1

x 2 + 25

x 2 25

x 8

x + 8

18 x 2 3x

1 + 6 x

miss the good old days when fractions

only involved numbers ...

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

Student Activity

The Ones Recycling Center

Directions: In each pair of expressions, make a decision about whether the expression

is equivalent to 1 or 1. Then sort each expression into the correct recycling bin below.

If an expression does not belong in either recycling bin, just leave it out! The first one

has been done for you.

The 1 Bin: The numerator and denominator are equivalent.

The -1 Bin: The numerator and denominator are opposites.

x 1

1 x

x+2

2+ x

x3

x+3

x2 1

1 x2

x2 + 6x + 9

3( x + 4 )

( x + 4 )( 3)

v2 1

v2 + 1

x 3

x+3

x + 3

3 x

y2 + 1

1 + y2

x2 + 2 x 1

x2 + 2x + 1

x2 2x 3

3 + 2 x x2

ab

a + b

x 2 + 3x + 1

3x + 1 + x 2

5 x

5 x

( x + 3)

( x + 3)

x2 + 9

x 1

1 x

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

Student Activity

Which of These is Not Like the Others?

Directions: When you look at your answer to a problem and compare it to the answer

in the back of the book or a friends answer, you might find that they are not quite the

same. This does not mean that one of them is really different though. In each row of

the table, all the expressions are equivalent except for one of them. Circle the

expressions that are the same and place an X over the oddball expression in

each row. The first one has been done for you.

Heres two hints if youre really stuck:

You could evaluate all the expressions for the same given value and see which

expressions have the same result.

You could try factoring out a 1 if the numerator and denominator look suspiciously

like they might be opposites.

4

x

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

x+3

x4

4

x

4

x

x 3

x4

x 3

x + 4

x+3

4 x

x5

x5

x5

x + 5

x5

5 x

x5

x5

x 4

x 4

x+4

x+4

x+4

4+ x

x +1

1 x

1+ x

x 1

x +1

x 1

x4

x + 4x + 3

4 x

x + 4x + 3

x4

( x + 1)( x + 3)

4

x

x 4

x+4

1+ x

1 x

4 x

x + 4x + 3

2

Algebra Activities Instructor's Resource Binder, M. Andersen, Copyright 2011, Cengage Learning

- Grade 10 Civics Exam ReviewUploaded byLuna
- Light it upUploaded byhyschuchhardt
- Horizontal Asymptote ExplorationUploaded byhyschuchhardt
- Intro to Rational FunctionsUploaded byhyschuchhardt
- Contextual CluesUploaded byhazium
- Persuassive Speech OutlineUploaded byajmeredith
- LESSON PLAN in GeometryUploaded byLore Na
- 2013-09-16 Abstract Functions 1Uploaded bySam Shah
- Monte Carlo Simulation - Central Limit TheoremUploaded bydevalj
- Mathematics in Ancient IndiaUploaded bySwanand Raikar
- Standard Error of the Mean Central Limit TheoremUploaded byASHISH
- History of MathematicsUploaded bykuzhalidurai
- Normal Distribution chapter 10Uploaded byAleciafy
- Importance of History of Mathematics in Math LearningUploaded byHaniz Radzi
- Chapter 08 Sampling Methods and the Central Limit TheoremUploaded bywindyuri
- What I Learned About DrugsUploaded byChristopher Santiagoh
- Apollonius of PergaUploaded bycuzed
- A Brief History of MathematicsUploaded byJason Urtula Gimena
- Central Limit TheoremUploaded byyashar2500
- Inverse Trigonometric Functions and Their GraphsUploaded bysanjeev
- Central Limit TheoremUploaded byRamchandra Reddy Vanteru
- Algebra Tutorial-Word ProblemsUploaded byDr Srinivasan Nenmeli -K
- Sampling and Sampling DistributionsUploaded bypRiNcE DuDhAtRa
- Math Gr 7 Teachers Guide q12Uploaded bysmpaderna08
- clock problemUploaded byRekha Sinha
- Construction and Properties of TriangleUploaded byapi-3731257
- Central Limit TheoremUploaded byYesar Bin Mustafa Almaleki
- Central Limit TheoremUploaded byNikhil Thapar
- Drugs in the Philippines CompilationUploaded byMarro Mendoza

- Algebra 1Uploaded byMelvinSalunga
- College Algebra syllabusUploaded byLisa Blair
- UPKARS's -CAT Complete Course - 3000 CAT QuestionsUploaded byPrince Jain
- magic of Definite IntegralUploaded bysagar
- 1 1 limits to infinityUploaded byapi-299265916
- curriculum mapUploaded byapi-281266186
- Syllabus Math 98H SP10Uploaded bycmcavoy
- Partial FractionsUploaded bySaket Jain
- Inversion of the Prandtl-Meyer Relation (1975)Uploaded bySangeet SOURAV SUNDERROY
- 2-5 Rational Functions.pdfUploaded byerica
- Mathematics Class 12 Part 2Uploaded bylirol
- Algebra 2 CCSS Unit Organizers_Rev_8!19!13 (1)Uploaded byrcarteaga
- Thompson. Elliptical Integrals.Uploaded byMarcomexico
- Rudin Exercise SuppUploaded byshalfordus
- Calculus Applied to Business Part03Uploaded byChatterly Ignacio
- Intro ScilabUploaded byAldiansyah Nasution
- Rational FunctionsUploaded byTannao
- Rules of AlgebraUploaded bymicroramesh
- Ch06 Integral CalculusUploaded byLino
- unit planUploaded byapi-253021879
- Aclc Algebra SyllabusUploaded byLen Anastacio
- Absorbing Boundaries for the Time-Domain Analysis of Dam-Reservoir-Foundation Syst (1997) - Thesis (268)Uploaded byJulio Humberto Díaz Rondán
- Math ReviewerUploaded byPauu Estrella
- Calculus II - Partial Fractions.pdfUploaded byJonathan Majaw
- MIR - Faddeev D. K. and Sominsky I. - Problems in Higher Algebra - 1972Uploaded byavast2008
- Orthorectifying DigitalGlobe Imagery in OrthoEngine Using the Rigorous and RPC ModelsUploaded byFerdie Misnadi
- Notes and HW on Multiplying PolynomialsUploaded byJoric Magusara
- Lesson 1 Functions, Function Notation, Domain & RangeUploaded byKaren Dela Torre
- Key to Brother Duncans Focus for Final Exam Review SheetUploaded byJonathan D.Duncan
- Http Tutorial Math Lamar Edu Classes Alg PolynomialFunctions AspxUploaded byAkash Tuti