Anyways, let's talk about the Snowflake method for multiplying trinomials. I first learned this method from a colleague in Greenville, Mississippi during my first year of teaching. I have used this method from then until now. I didn't use it last semester, but I feel like it's a trusty method for the most part. After not using it last semester, I decided it was time to dig it back out for students.
To do the snowflake method, here are the following steps.
- Label a, b, and c, which is standard for working with quadratics in the form ax^2+bx+c=0
- Draw your snowflake, which is an x with a horizontal line through the center.
- Place the a terms on the sides above the center line.
- Place a*c at the top.
- Place b at the bottom (b for bottom).
- Find your two factors that multiply to get a*c and add to get b.
- It's still guess and check, though.
- Take the sides of your snowflake and write as binomials.
- Check using distributive property.
Here is a link to a video I made using ShowMe. Snowflake Method for Factoring. Check it out!
Here are a few pics from our classroom. If you have any questions about the Snowflake Method, please feel free to contact me by filling out the contact me form on the side of the blog. I would love to discuss the method with you.