Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Seeking Converts: Divide Polynomials Using the Box!

Calling all who are weary from long division of polynomials, students forgetting all the caveats of synthetic division, and/or people looking for another method of division.

First of all, I love the box. I use it to multiply (I ban the word "foil" in my room) and factor, I briefly talk about it with completing the square - so why not division. I first saw the possibility on this post. I about lost my mind with excitement. Last semester I tried it for the first time and loved it.

Dividing by a linear factor? Use the box
Dividing by a linear factor w/ a coefficient other than 1? Use the box
Dividing by a quadratic/cubic/anything?? Use the box!

It always works. No tricks to remember. No extra steps. No extra multiplying/dividing. No times when you have to do something different.

The easiest way to understand is to look at the link above. I've also included the video of me explaining it to my students for their notes. I've also linked to the guided notes they take.

Students have also had great success with this and have found it easy. They've even taught their friends in other classes how to use this method =). Success!

Enjoy! Spread the word! 

PDF of notes


  1. I'm a convert just READING your post and I haven't even watched the video yet! I love all things BOX. :) Bless you.

  2. This method was part of CPM Algebra 2 when I taught it, and it really made sense and worked well, especially as a follow-up to area models for multiplication or factoring of monomials/binomials.