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Adding polynomials with algebra tiles is the goal of this lesson. The learning process is a lot more straightforward and concrete with tiles. To this end, study the model below with great care.

Example #1:

Add 2x2 + 3x + 4 and 3x2 + x + 1

Step #1:

Model both polynomials with tiles

Step #2:

Combine all tiles that are alike or the same and count them

You got a total of 5 light blue square tiles, so 5x2

You got a total of 4 green rectangle tiles, so 4x

You got a total of 5 blue small square tiles, so 5

Putting it all together, we get 5x2 + 4x + 5

I hope from the above modeling, it is clear that we can only combine tiles of the same type

For example, you could not add light blue square tiles to green rectangle tiles just like it would not make sense to add 5 potatoes to 5 apples

Try adding 5 potatoes to 5 apples and tell me if you got 10 apples or 10 potatoes. It just does not make sense

Keep this important fact in mind when adding polynomials

We call tiles that are alike or are the same type “like terms”, so this means again that you can only add like terms

Basically, likes terms are terms with the same variable and the same exponent

For example, 2x2 and 5x2 are like terms because they have the same variable which is x and the same exponent which is 2.

To add like the term, just add the coefficients, or the numbers attached to the term, or the number on the left side of the term

2x2 + 5x2 = (2 + 5)x2 = 7x2

Example #2:

Add 6x2 + 2x + 4 to 10x2 + 5x + 6

Combine all like terms. You could use parentheses to keep things organized

(6x2 + 10x2) + ( 2x + 5x) + (4 + 6)

(6 + 10)x2 + (2 + 5)x + 4 + 6

We get 16x2 + 7x + 10

Example #1: Done by combining like terms and adding the coefficients

Add 2x2 + 3x + 4 to 3x2 + x + 1

Combine all like terms. You could use parentheses to keep things organized

(2x2 + 3x2) + ( 3x + x) + (4 + 1)