Factoring Trinomials (a > 1) Discovery Activity
Teaching factoring trinomials where a > 1 is so difficult. There are so many "methods" to teach this concept. I have taught them all and I have finally decided that the one method that is the most mathematical is the educated guess and check method. I fear that students will not remember all the steps to the "tricky" methods once they leave my class. So, I prefer to factor intuitively.
Therefore, this is an activity to introduce the idea of factoring a trinomial where "a" is greater than 1. The students work in pairs and are given a trinomial to factor and 4 possible pairs of factors. The 4 choices are very similar in that they either change the signs or the position of the numbers in the back of each pair of parentheses. These 4 answer choices represent a logical way to set up the possible factors for the trinomial. The students complete the multiplication, find the correct factorization and then answer some questions about patterns that they observed of how and why the numbers were chosen in the factor choices the way they were (see preview to make this clearer). There are 2 of these questions that can be run off front to back.
Then, on the next two questions (3 & 4)(can also be run off front to back), they create
the possible factoring options based upon the patterns that they observed in the first two questions. Then they multiply the options and find the correct answer. All trinomials are either ax^2 + bx + c or ax^2 - bx + c so that the factors will either be both positive or both negative.
This is a great discovery activity to begin to teach the concept because it explores using the numbers in the trinomial to guide the choices that they make in their factors. 4 pages total. Key included.
This activity was written as a first day introductory activity to explore the concept and is recommended and intended to be followed up with my FactoringTrinomials (a > 1) Practice
(which contains very similar trinomials to factor). Then, the next day, my Factoring Trinomials (a > 1) Notes
are recommended to be used to give the students something to refer to while factoring these trinomials AND to explore the other 2 sign possibilities (ax^2 - bx - c and ax^2 + bx - c).
Buy all 3 resources together for a 2-day lesson plan with my Factoring Trinomials (a > 1) Mini Bundle and save money at the same time!
All of my resources are color-coded and sorted by topic. To find more resources on Factoring, please return to my store and look for the hot pink background or choose the Factoring
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