Sometimes when I call these types of things a game my students get a little cranky. I think it’s because they can see through my lies. This isn’t a game. It’s just a fun worksheet (for certain definitions of fun). I like it because students traditionally struggle with both simplifying rational expressions and doing operations with them. This worksheet gives students practice doing both, and forces students to work together to make sure they actually understand what they’re doing.
I split students into pairs and give each pair one worksheet to share. Then they spend an hour working like the perfect little angels they are. They know if they did everything correctly because the answer that zeta gets for #1 will be the same as the one phi gets for #1.
Student: Help! We didn’t get the same answer! Is that okay?
Teacher: Oh noes! Better work together to figure out who made a mistake where. Isn’t this a fun game?!
I use a custom paragraph style to make it easy to keep the answers in the same document as the problems. To hide & show the answers (in Word 2013) you should:
- Find the Answers style on the style ribbon at the top of your screen.
- Right-click and select Modify.
- Change the text color to white (to hide) or not-white (to show) using the color box in the middle of the pop-up window.
- Click the Ok button.
If you don’t have the style ribbon, it’s hidden away in some menu somewhere :). You could also just delete the answers. Or print it out and then white-out over the answers.