Factoring Trinomials, a is not 1 - Problem 5 213 views

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

You can think of factoring in terms of using the area of a rectangle to find the side lengths. Start with a 2 x 2 box, and we know the first term must go in the upper left, and the third term must go in the bottom right. From there, you'll need to guess and check the outside values that would let your remaining diagonal boxes sum to the "b" term. The length and width that you discover represent the factors of the trinomial. This requires a lot of persistence and you'll get better with practice- don't quit!

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