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A graphic organizer approach to factoring 2nd degree trinomials

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

1

**Tic-tac-toe Factoring
**

• If you have been having a little bit of trouble with factoring trinomials, this graphic organizer, based on a common tic-tac-toe grid, may be just what you need. To get the most out of this presentation, use pencil and paper and work through the instructions slowly and carefully. Keep in mind that tic-tac-toe will not do the factoring for you. But it will keep everything organized so you can concentrate on the numbers. I hope it helps. Have fun!

•

•

•

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

2

Step 1

• Draw a tic-tac-toe grid with an extra box at the bottom right.

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

3

Step 2

• Arrange the three terms of the trinomial in the boxes as shown.

ax ax

2

2

+ bx + c c

bx

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

4

Step 3

• In the upper right box corner put the product of ax2 and c.

ax ax

2

2

+ bx + c c ax 2 c

bx

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

5

Step 4

• Now we will put some numbers in and work through the process.

ax

2

c

ax 2 c

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

6

Step 4

• Now we will put some numbers in and work through the process. Use the trinomial 8x2 – 14x + 3 and set it up as shown.

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 2 8x2 c 3 ax 2 c 24 x 2

•

-14 x

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

7

Step 4

• Now we will put some numbers in and work through the process. Use the trinomial 8x2 – 14x + 3 and set it up as shown. Remember that the term in the upper right box is the product of the terms in the left and middle boxes.

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 2 8x2 c 3 ax 2 c 24 x 2

•

•

-14 x

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

8

Step 5

• Now find a pair of factors for the value of ax2c that will add up to bx. Put these two factors into the two boxes in the right column.

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 2 8x2 c 3 ax 2 c 24 x 2 -12 x -2 x -14 x

•

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

9

Step 6

• Now find a pair of factors for the middle term of the right column that will also be factors of ax2 and c. Be sure to watch the signs of the factors.

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 2 8x2 4x c 3 -3 ax 2 c 24 x 2 -12 x -2 x -14 x

•

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

10

Step 7

• Now do the same for the bottom term of the right column.

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 2 8x2 4x 2x c 3 -3 -1 ax 2 c 24 x 2 -12 x -2 x -14 x

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

11

Step 8

• • Now all the boxes of the tictac-toe grid are filled in. Check that the two bottom terms of the first column are factors of the top term.

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 8x2 4x 2x

2

+ bx + c 3 -3 -1 24 x 2 -12 x -2 x -14 x

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

12

Step 8

• • Now all the boxes of the tictac-toe grid are filled in. Check that the two bottom terms of the first column are factors of the top term. Do the same for the terms in the middle column.

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 8x2 4x 2x

2

+ bx + c 3 -3 -1 24 x 2 -12 x -2 x -14 x

•

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

13

Step 9

• The trinomial is now factored. Each pair of diagonal terms is a binomial.

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 8x2 4x 2x

2

+ bx + c 3 -3 -1 24 x 2 -12 x -2 x -14 x

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

14

Step 9

• The trinomial is now factored. Each pair of diagonal terms is a binomial. Here are the two factors of the trinomial: (4x – 1) (2x – 3)

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 8x2 4x 2x

2

+ bx + c 3 -3 -1 24 x 2 -12 x -2 x -14 x

•

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

15

Step 9

• The trinomial is now factored. Each pair of diagonal terms is a binomial. Here are the two factors of the trinomial: (4x – 1) (2x – 3) Therefore:

8 x 2 - 14x + 3 ax 8x2 4x 2x

2

+ bx + c 3 -3 -1 24 x 2 -12 x -2 x -14 x

•

x

1 3 and/or x 4 2

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

16

**Try it. You’ll like it!
**

That’s all folks!

© D. T. Simmons, 2005

17

Graphic organizer for factoring trinomials

Graphic organizer for factoring trinomials

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