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Factoring Trinomials, a = 1 - Problem 9

Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

Factoring is a process of turning a sum or difference into a product. Many times students think of this in terms of how length times width of a rectangle is equal to the area. The trinomial we're given represents the area, and draw a 2 x 2 box to show the pieces of the area. The upper left box must be x-squared, and the bottom right must be the "c" value. We guess and check the remaining two diagonal boxes to get a sum of "b". The length and width labels represent the binomial factors of the original trinomial "area."

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