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Topic: [math-learn] Re: Factoring in Algebra 1
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jan 30, 2001 1:08 AM

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Ladnor Geissinger

Posts: 313
From: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Registered: 12/4/04
[math-learn] Re: Factoring in Algebra 1
Posted: Jan 30, 2001 12:11 AM
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Allow me to play the devil's advocate for a bit. I think it is useless and
a waste of time to teach any factoring other than x^n -y^n =
(x-y)*(x^[n-1]+...+y^[n-1]). That gives us geometric sums and many other
things. I am a great fan of the difference of squares case, from which we
immediately get completing the square (CTS). Since CTS is so much more
useful than the quadratic formula (QF), I see no reason to have everyone
learn the QF. If these ideas were followed in middle/high school, how much
time would be saved? How many fewer students would think math is useless
and difficult and not something they want to have anything to do with in
their future (and so their carreer options are considerably narrowed)? wrote:
> try using factoring by re-grouping or grouping.... no guessing... it is in
> most precalc and clac books.. i have taught it at the 7th-12 grade levels and
> for the most part it works very well.. briefly....
> 2x^2 - 7x + 6
> multiply the leding coeficient by the 6 and get +12.. list the factors of
> +12...
> +3, +4 and -3, -4
> +6, +2 and -6, -2
> +1, +12 and -1, -12
> then see which ones Combine "add" to -7..
> then break up the middle term
> 2x^2 -3x -4x +6
> Factor the 1st two by GCF, then the second two by GCF
> x(x-3) -2(2x - 3)
> then finish.... (x-2)(2x-3)
> Actually you are factoring the (2x - 3) from each.... It works very welll...
> all you need is mult/div/add/subtract then GCF factoring.... it is most
> difficult as above... when there is a factoring out a negative... and kids
> when practicing enough get the two numbers quickly...
> Joseph R. Vignolini
> glen cove high school
> a.k.a. joe viggs
> a.k.a. mr v
> a.k.a. Odin

Ladnor Geissinger
Math Dept, CB 3250 Phillips Hall
Univ of North Carolina
Chapel Hill NC 27599, USA

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