I don't understand the steps of how to do it. Do we add first or multiply? Why do we have to make a chart? How do we find our answer?
How do we factor trinomials?
Example of Factoring a Trinomial
Factor x2 + 5x + 4
1) identify a,b, and c in the trinomial
ax2 + bx+c a= 1
2) write down all factor pairs of 4
(Note: since 5 is positive we only need to think about pairs that are either both positive or both negative. Remember a negative times a negative is a positve. As the chart on the right shows you -2*-2 is positive 4...so we do have to consider these two
negative factors. This is probabily easier to understand if you watch our video lesson factoring trinonmials)
3) identify which factor pair from the previous step sums up to c
4) Substitute that factor pair into two binomials (x +4)(x+1)
5) If you'd like, you can check your work by multiplying the two binomials and verify that you get the original trinomial (x +4)(x+1) = x2 + 5x + 4
There are several resources on the internet that can help you out. You can begin by watching this video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Kz7lUvl43hM
You can read a tutorial here: http://www.mathwarehouse.com/algebra/factor/how-to-factor-trinomials-step-by-step.php
Here is an alternative video: http://https://www.khanacademy.org/math/algebra/quadratics/factoring_quadratics/v/factoring-perfect-square-trinomials