My students have always had a hard time factoring, probably because of the multiplication and backwards thinking. This year I started our unit with a whole lot of thinking and a whole lot of hands-on - with cereal!
Intro to Factoring
In this trinomial, we needed to multiply to 12, so students counted out 12 pieces of cereal.The idea is that students will work their way though different arrays of cereal that make perfect rectangles and write down the side lengths.
As they worked their way through the different combinations, students wrote their pairs in the box and looked for a pair that add to B.
When I finally introduced the first actual trinomials, I heard a lot of, "This is light work!", which I have found to mean, "This is easy?". I loved it! Once the foundation was there, moving to negative numbers was a lot easier.
A fun way to summarize a factoring unit is with a factoring pennant. Students get to color while also showing their understanding of factoring quadratics. The finished products are also a great way to decorate your classroom.