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Q&A #323

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Factoring and quadratics

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From: loyd <loydlin@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001092610:27:08
Subject: Re: factoring trinomials

I read the two posts by Kumler & Stone and it looks like they get the
answer. 

However, I want to say that the answer is not the most important thing
for a student to give.  I have always made students show their work
and to use a trick just to get an answer is not good practice in my
opinion because it doesn't train you for the work you will be expected
to show in higher math courses.  

The method shown in almost all algebra II book under the topic,
"Factoring by Grouping" is a reasonable method.  Once the teacher
understands the method his/her self then a method can be devised to
teach it to the students.  Myself, I use colors to highlight the
common binomial factor that results from the grouping.  

I tell my students the answer by itself is not important.  It is the
method that counts.  I often ask, how did you get the answer? 
Students are often dumfounded by that since they are answer oriented.

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