The Best Way to Factor Trinomials – A Practice CDF Program

I have created a Mathematica object that people can use to practice factoring trinomials the “best” way.  It is a CDF file (computable document file) and requires a CDF plug-in which can be found here.  Once you have the plug-in you can go to Mathematics‘  demonstration site here and browse through wondrous mathematical demos.

The trinomial practice object is located here.   Sometimes it stops working for unknown reasons.  All I can say is reload and start again.

As you work through the problems, you will see that the method generalizes beautifully.  For instance, if you are factoring $15x^2+51x+18$, you might not notice the greatest common factor of $3$.  If this $3$ was factored out, the trinomial would be easier to factor, but the method doesn’t care.  Here is the example worked out.

A factoring problem that gives students trouble is something like this $3x^2+5x$.  Append a zero and using the “best” factoring method as done in the example.

And finally what if we had to factor $3x^2$.  It is already factored and the “best” factoring knows it as in this example.

The “best” way to factor trinomials is fun to learn and very useful.  Give it a try. 