Saturday, December 26, 2009

Factoring Trinomials using Tic-Tac-Toe Method

Factoring Trinomials can be difficult for middle school students...lots of guess and check. Many times they will give up. I have found that using a tic-tac-toe graphic organizer chart helps students to select their factors for the trinomial and makes factoring a breeze. I have never seen this method in any math textbook, so I am attaching my factor direction worksheet that I give to my students. The tic-tac-toe organizer has made teaching middle school students to factor trinomials easy for me, and much less painful for them as well. Let me know if you have questions about how to factor using this method.


  1. Thought you guys might like it ...(came across your blog while searching)
    This is tic tac toe with a twist.

    First it has movable pieces and is played on 3x3 board. Each player gets only three pieces and they are moved around on the board to complete a row. This adds dynamism of changing scenarios and requires strategic placement and movement.

    Second there are special pieces - The Stars!
    The stars have some restrictions on their movements but they also have spacial move . Stars can be swapped! Adding another layer of surprise and twist.

    Anyway kudos to all teachers who make maths fun to learn . PLEASE keep it up

  2. I created an animated video proof of the "factoring trinomials by grouping" method that shows WHY we multiply to get AC and then find the factors of AC that add to B. It's on my blog at and called "Factoring Trinomials: An Animated PROOF!" if you'd like to check it out.

    On my site, right on the front page, is also an animated video of factoring trinomials. Bith videos are nice and colorful for the kiddies with short attention spans!

    I'd also love your feedback. Summer vacation will be here on Tuesday (yes, we have to come back on a Monday- thanks snow days!) and I have no solid plans for the summer. I'd love to make more math videos on topics students need!