Thursday, November 20, 2014

NaBloPoMo #14 Factoring Methods

We are solving quadratics.  We taught factoring as our first method.  And for factoring I first illustrated the "Box" method because it is commonly used in Algebra 1.  I was hoping to awaken previously learned skills, and make connections to prior learning.  Then I taught grouping which I see as the go-to method of factoring.  It is the distributive property undone.

In previous years we would practice factoring after learning these two methods for a day or two and then move on to completing the square.  This year is not much different except ... I decided to give students time to compare/contrast the two factoring methods.  My purpose for the comparison activity was to help students internalize factoring instead of just memorizing steps.

Students worked collaboratively using Google Docs, Slideshow, or Drawing ... it was their choice.

They had to illustrate problems using both methods and then compare the two.

Here are a few screenshots of pieces of their work ...


  1. Love the idea, but I think I'd do diamond/box vs slide and divide.

    Then polynomial long division vs synthetic division.

    1. Thanks! Some of the other teachers on my team teach slide and divide. Let me know if you have your students compare methods ... would love to hear about your project!