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In my first few years of teaching Algebra 1 and 2, there were few things that I dreaded more than -THAT- time of year. It quickly approached and loomed on my curriculum map like a dark cloud: FACTORING QUADRATIC EXPRESSIONS. Why did I dread it? ðŸ˜« Factoring quadratic expressions is a complex process! There's a wide variety of special "shortcuts", and -believe me!- I've tried them all! Here's a quick look at a few of the "shortcuts" that I personally tried in my classroom: ðŸ‘‰ THE X METHOD : In this method, students drew a large X on their paper. In the top and bottom "elbows" of the X , they wrote the value of the product of a and c , as well as the value of b (coefficients from the quadratic expression form ax² + bx + c ). The left and right "elbows" of the X are meant for the factors that both MULTIPLY to the a×c and ADD to the b . Even typing how "The X" process works has me out of breath and likel

In my last blog post ( A Teacher's Guide to Teaching Factoring (Part 1): Defeat the Dread & Ditch the Gimmicks ), I wrote about why I DREADED teaching factoring quadratic expressions in my first few years of teaching Algebra 1 & 2. I shared that my dread was fueled by 3 main truths: ðŸ˜« Factoring quadratic expressions is a complex process! There's a wide variety of special "shortcuts", and -believe me!- I've tried them all! ðŸ˜© My students dreaded factoring, too! Since students didn't really understand what factoring IS, they had a level of discomfort & a lack of confidence when factoring quadratic expressions. ðŸ˜© I felt like I didn't have enough time or enough resources to build student understanding of factoring. I shared at the resolution of my previous post that I had reflected on my teaching & decided 2 things: 1) I needed to schedule the time that my students needed to really understand factoring. 2) I needed to fi