Looking for a way to help struggling students understand a systematic, virtually fail proof way to factor trinomials (whether a = 1 or not!)? This is it.
Students are reminded of the result produced when two binomials are multiplied together. Then led into the idea that factoring is simply undoing this. The notes include one example problem (where a is not 1) and step by step directions for the process of factoring by the "AC" method. Some also call it the "Slide and Divide" method.
This method had many of my struggling students factoring with more confidence and precision. The process, if followed, is great for troubleshooting when students suspect they have made a mistake. With this method the structure helps them identify their mistake faster and keeps them organized.