If you haven’t had a chance to read part 1 *Teaching Factoring Trinomials, *then go back and do that before reading anymore. Today we are going to discuss Factoring Polynomials with special cases.

## Factoring Trinomials When A>1

I hesitated to put a>1 in this blog post since it isn’t necessarily a special case, but I considered that you probably would teach this AFTER you teach factoring trinomials when a=1.

Let’s dive in!

Double check that there isn’t a GCF that can be factored out the a, b, c terms.

The AC method is a great way to teach your students how to factor. Explaining this method through text is hard to follow (I tried), so again, I am going to pass it to Sara to teach you how to factor trinomials when a>1.

Insert video here

If you love this video, then check out All Access, our curriculum membership that includes ~3 videos for every single lesson! She is also using the Student Handouts that are available in our Factoring Polynomials Unit.

**Using the Box Method**

The box method is excellent, and if you taught it when factoring trinomials when a=1, then there isn’t much new to cover. This video shows how to do this, but I also included a few graphics for you to reference.

## Factoring with Difference of Squares

I love difference of squares! We like to start by explaining how difference of squares exists. Let’s take x^2 -16. You can still ask your students, “*What multiplies to -16 that also adds to 0?*” Remember that b=0 in a difference of squares polynomial.

Forgive my repetitiveness, but remember that we still have to check to see if there is a Greatest Common Factor!

When I taught Algebra 2, we did Around the World or Head to Head Challenges using squares and square roots. I wanted students to internalize squares and square roots (for a multitude of reasons) but it served this skill very well. You may consider putting up an anchor chart so students have a visual.

**Perfect Square Trinomials**

By the time you are teaching perfect square trinomials, it is likely that students may have already factored a few perfect square trinomials. In fact, you don’t actually have to teach perfect square trinomials as a special case – it is helpful for students to recognize patterns, absolutely! **Students can still factor these trinomials using the methods already taught!**

Teaching students to recognize the form is helpful and will increase their proficiency in taking the square root of numbers.

How do you teach factoring trinomials and polynomials?

Amanda says

I also teach my Algebra II students the “tic tac toe” method. This is really just a visually organized way of using the AC method. There are a few videos on YouTube that illustrate the use of the “#” organizer.