Super Math Teacher

The thoughts of a middle school math teacher

Factoring polynomials

on April 30, 2017

I hate teaching factoring of polynomials.  Every year, it is a struggle to get students to remember how to factor the different types of trinomials.  So many rules and tricks!  It is confusing.  This is what I have always heard from students as they try factoring.

This year, I changed my method.  I wish I could take credit for it, but I found it somewhere online.  It is the tic tac toe method.  It works.  And my students actually understood the method.  THey could apply it to all types of trinomials!

I watched mt students during the test.  SOme students knew the other methods for factoring, but most used the tic tac toe method.  Even my students who struggle with math content all year were being successful.  I count this as a win!

The steps are explained in my powerpoint, below.

Factoring polynomials

Here are some samples of my students’ work.




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