Factoring Quadratics

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For this blog post I will list the steps used to factor a quadratic equation.  A simple quadratic equation looks like this: Ax² + Bx + C.  Factoring means you are trying to reduce the equation into simpler terms.  For this example I will use the equation  x² + 6x + 8.

Steps:  #1.  Determine the factors for “c”. 

                        Ex. Factors for 8 are 1×8 and 2×4

            #2.  Which set of factors will add up to “b”.

                        Ex. 2+4=6

            #3.  Determine the factors for “a”

                        Ex. (x) (x) = x²

            #4.  Write the following binomial

                        Ex. (x + __) (x +__)      

                        and fill in the correct factor from steps 1 and 2.

                        Ex. (x + 2) (x + 4)

 

I have always been the type of person who has to write things down in order to reinforce my learning.  Writing involves thinking about the concepts just learned, putting those thoughts into my own words and writing those thoughts down.  By taking the time to organize the information and make connections to what I already know I can better understand the new material.  Many of my students would benefit from the same process.  I will ask students to keep a journal or blog when the computer cart is available to our classroom.  The writing prompt I could give to students is to explain how to factor a quadratic equation to a younger sibling or friend.

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One response »

  1. Donna,

    I love how kid-friendly your explanation is! My students could easily follow these steps and understand them. Having kids write an explanation for younger students encourages them to think critically to include the necessary informaiton in appropriate vocabulary.

    Pat

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