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Multiplying Monomials and/or Binomials and FOIL - Problem 6

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

Many students who are visual learners like to multiply polynomials using an area, or rectangle model. We know that the area of a rectangle can be found by doing length times width, so we designate one polynomial factor to be the length, and the other to be the width. From there, we set up a "rectangle" with as many boxes as we have terms along each side (here, two boxes for each binomial siide) Multiply each column top times the left row on the side to fill in each box. If done correctly, you can look along the diagonals for "like terms" to combine to get your final area product.

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