Q&A #18119

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: "Bottoms up" as a method to factor trinomials

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From: KarenM

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2010021420:58:25
Subject: re:  "bottoms up"

I was thrilled to see a more useful name for the factoring method I
have been teaching for many years AND someone else who uses it.  No
one else ever seems to know this method.  I learned the method as the
"T", because that's how one can set it up.  I like "bottoms up" better
because it will remind students that the "bottom" numbers must become
the first terms in the two binomial factors.  A previous response in
this thread suggested we not teach this method because students might
forget to factor the GCF.  However, I find that this method actually
helps my students remember that the GCF must come out first, because
otherwise the factoring doesn't always work ... remind students to
check by FOIL!  I always show my students several methods for
factoring trinomials and let them use whatever method they like best. 
Personally, I love the "T", or "bottoms up"!

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