Factoring Trinomials by Using the Punnett Square

Factoring is one of the first places in math that a young algebrist runs into multiple ways to work a problem. For the more concrete learner who needs a visual structure for problem solving, this presentation of factoring using a Punnett Square works fabulously. Beginning with a leading coefficient of 1 and all positive values, these examples progress through more complex coefficients and signs gradually. The narrator explains the attack method for each problem thoroughly, building on skills from previous examples. A great introduction or refresher to one of the more powerful factoring methods.

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CCSS: Designed
Additional Tags

Instructional Ideas

  • Consider linking online on a class website for pre-class viewing in a flipped classroom or for on-demand remediation while learners work independent practice problems
  • Include as one of several approaches to factoring, in a kind of choose-your-method suite of factoring tools
  • Extend by having learners develop word problems, i.e. area of rectangles problems, that would result in the given quadratic equations
Classroom Considerations

  • Presentation requires Internet access
  • No mention of situations where the trinomial cannot actually be factored 
  • Consider pausing the examples before the narrator works them to allow for questions and seatwork of problems before video explanation
  • Learners with weaknesses in finding the GCF of a pair of terms might struggle disproportionately to the rest of the class
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information

  • Calm and approachable narration
  • Attack strategies remain consistent throughout the different examples
  • Each problem is worked thoroughly and step-by-step
  • Examples start with the most basic and gradually become more complex as features are changed one-by-one

  • No problems for post-presentation practice provided
  • Printable slides or note pages to go along with the presentation are not available
Common Core