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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