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Quadratic expressions are considerably more complicated to work with than linear expressions, and students often find them hard to handle.
Students may carry out factorising of quadratics by applying poorly-understood procedures that make little mathematical sense to them, and this can be especially so when it comes to non-monic quadratics (those where the coefficient of x2 is not 1).
In this lesson, students approach factorising non-monic quadratics by trying to find factorisations which will expand and simplify to produce a quadratic expression of a specified form.
This entails lots of useful practice at expanding pairs of brackets and collecting like terms, and also gives opportunity for students to unpick what is going on, so as to gain insight into how the inverse process of factorising works.
By working backwards in this way to obtain the necessary factors, students build a deeper understanding of factorising quadratics.
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For more KS4 maths lesson plans from Colin Foster click here.