Multiplying out polynomial factors and collecting like terms is sometimes called "expanding" and "simplifying".  However, it is also possible to take a polynomial and change it back into the multiplication question that you started from. This process is called "factoring".  There are many different ways to factor a polynomial, and you will need to look for patterns to determine which kind of factoring can be done with different types of polynomails.  Today, we will look at the most basic type of factoring, but one of the most important - the greatest common factor.  This is the first kind of factoring that you should always look for.

Things you should be able to do after today:

  • factor a polynomial using the greatest common factor
  • factor a 4 term polynomial by factoring in groups
  • recognize when a greatest common factor of -1 needs to be used


  • Notes


  • p220 #1-7ace #8-13, 16, *17, *18
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