Every year, because I get a blend of students from different Algebra 1 teachers, I find I have to review how to factor polynomials and trinomials in my Geometry classes.
On the first day of review for Geometry students, I do primarily GCF factoring, and focus on the meaning of the verb factor, which basically means to express a term with multiplication as the last operation.
On the second day, I focus on trinomials, but use the "box", "generic rectangle," or "area model" to represent the terms of a trinomial.
I emphasize the fact that the "diagonal products," much like "cross-products", are always equal. (To see this, please hover over thumbnail 3, and you'll see that both diagonals have the same product, in this case, - 90x^2).
I also tell them always to put the two most "unlike" terms (in this case, 6x^2 and -15) in opposite corners, which facilitates the process.
On the third day, I throw in situations such as a difference of squares, where they have to think of adding zero as the middle term to make it look more like a trinomial. (Some students need to physically write in "+0x" on their papers; others can do that step mentally.)
This is the worksheet for the third day.
The file includes spiral review problems.
For this worksheet, students write directly on this worksheet.
Please download the pdf preview file first, so you can see exactly what's included; the product file is a word document, which you may personalize for your students.