# Factoring Expressions Problem Set

Name:_____________________ 10/5/2011

For all of these problems, unless you have separate directions, factor by undistributing.

SECTION ONE: Getting Started

SECTION TWO: Pulling out the lil’ guy
To factor , first find the smallest number, and then try putting that number outside the parentheses. To factor , first find the smallest number, and try putting that number outside the parentheses.

Try it:

Try it:

SECTION THREE: Knowing when to give up
At this stage, it will be helpful to make an observation. It’s not always possible to undistributed an expression in this way. Consider . In this case, it’s not possible to take any number and put it on the outside of a parentheses.

For these expressions, determine whether or not there is a number that we can put outside the parentheses. Check your answers by distributing forward, and seeing if you arrive at the original expression.

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Factoring Expressions Problem Set

Name:_____________________ 10/5/2011

A guide to SECTION FOUR: Consider . If you were to take the smallest number and put it outside the parentheses you would have 10 on the outside of the parentheses. That’s not going to work though. If you’re not sure about why that wouldn’t work, make sure that you stop here and try out a few possibilities for putting 10 on the outside. Distribute forward to see if the factoring worked.

Still, we can put part of 10 on the outside, even if we can’t put all of 10 on the outside. There are two options of what we could put on the outside, because 10 has two parts: 5 and 2. Try both of these, and figure out which one of these will allow you to factor the expression.

SECTION FOUR: One step further…

For SECTION FIVE, make sure that you factor completely. What that means is that, if you can, you should always undistribute more. Take You might start by sticking 3 outside the parentheses: . But you can do some more factoring here, because you can take out the smallest number. So do that, and you’ll get , which is factored completely.

SECTION FIVE: Leave no man behind!