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# What does he think “factoring” means?

What does this kid think “factoring” means? And, at least to me, the more interesting question is: where did that conception of “factoring” come from? Tease it out in the comments.

## 5 replies on “What does he think “factoring” means?”

David Weessays:

Pretty sure he’s trying to find the “greatest common factor” (because it has the word factor in it) and failed?

Dan Henriksonsays:

He is typing the expression into his calculator. The calculator is giving the variables a value of zero.

Christine Lenghaussays:

Students need to do & draw before they are able to dream (work abstractly) to really have a robust understanding of maths. They need to experience factorising (I use squares which represent a^2, rectangles = a and units size 1) then you can see that if you had the 3 ‘a’ rectangles underneath each other there would be 2 units in each of the 3 rows (=6) so factorising it becomes 3 (rows) lots of a + 2 (columns) which we write as 3(a+2). It’s hard to describe in words but I hope you can get the idea.

maxmathforumsays:

I want to see the problem above, where 2 + 3(5) becomes 6(5) becomes 30…

[…] and determine what is happening conceptually or procedurally that would lead to that conclusion. This problem has an especially enlightening mistake that shows up in the second […]