Factoring Perfect Square Trinomials

Tutoring on Factoring Perfect Square Trinomials

Learning Objectives:

Understand to Factor Perfect Square Trinomials.

Math Tutoring on Factoring Perfect Square Trinomials

Perfect square trinomials are algebraic expressions with three terms that are created by multiplying a binomial by itself. To factor a perfect square trinomial, we need to be able to recognize perfect squares. So, if we have a trinomial, where the first term is a perfect square, the second term is a perfect square, and the middle term is twice a x b, it will be a perfect square trinomial.

The formula is: (a + b) ² = a² + 2ab + b². Because a perfect-square trinomial is still a trinomial, we follow the steps in the backward FOIL method of factoring. However, we must account for one extra step at the very end where we express the answer as a binomial squared. While this formula is a time saver, there are several other methods to factor trinomials with a leading coefficient not equal to 1, the trial-and-error method, the grouping method, and a method called bottoms up.



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Hook Questions:

1.    How do you square a binomial?

2.    What is a trinomial square?

3.    How do you know if it is a perfect square trinomial?

4.    What does it mean for a trinomial to be a perfect square?




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