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Students discover how to factor a quadratic function using the Box Method.
The activity begins with a quadratic expression with a = 12,
b = –13, and c = –4. Each successive step of the provided program will instruct students how to create a "box" with organized terms that will lead to the factors of the polynomial.
Lists help the student to find a pair of factors that add to the linear term. Even negative and positive numbers may be tested to find the correct pair. In this case, 3 and –16 works, while no other pair has a sum of –13x.
The values are stored so that the next few steps can be completed by the student.
When the box is complete, the binomial pairs are found on the outside of the box, and should be checked by expanding.