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Discussion: All Topics in Algebra
Topic: Factoring Quadratics

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Subject:   RE: Factoring Quadratics
Author: StMathCat
Date: Mar 1 2009
After viewing the YouTube video, I have the following comments.  The method
seems a bit contrived and takes out the mental math exercise that I always
consider a big part of factoring. I tend to discourage writing down all the
factor pairs unless absolutely necessary. That always seems to make factoring a
rather tedious process instead of fun, and I do consider factoring fun. It does,
however, take out the trial and error of the signs, but without really
explaining why.  I came across a paper on the web a few years ago when searching
for other methods of teaching factoring entitled "Taking the Trial and Error out
of Factoring Trinomials" by H. Paul McGuire at San Diego Miramar College.  I
revised his method and summarized it on a single sheet for my students, and they
said it made sense to them and they did seem to catch on faster to the whole
process. Mr. McGuire's method also works best when a=1, but it,of course, can be
applied when a > 1.

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