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Factoring Puzzle for Quadratic Trinomials

I’ve been a fan of this factoring puzzle for factoring quadratic trinomials since I worked through it at a Common Core workshop I attended (OGAP) in the summer of 2013.

factoring quadratic trinomials puzzle for practicing factoring polynomials with movable pieces

Over the last couple of days, I have been going back through these resources that I originally blogged about and giving each resource its own individual page.

You might be interested in a few of these new pages like The Constant Chair Regression Activity or The No Fives Dice Activity for Modeling Exponential Decay.

It is my hope that this re-organization will make it easier for teachers to find much-needed resources when they are searching my blog.

Factoring Puzzle for Quadratic Trinomials

I consider this factoring puzzle (page 20 of this PDF) to be my first exposure to open middle style problems.

I have always found it inspiring to look through the Resources for Algebra Blackline Masters shared online by the Public Schools of North Carolina.

Now that I am digitizing many of my activities that I used to do with laminated paper (and hope to be able to do so again in the future), I decided this was a prime candidate for digitizing.

Factoring Puzzle for Quadratic Trinomials with Movable Pieces

Digital Versions of Factoring Puzzle for Quadratic Trinomials

Google Slides

I created a google slides version of this factoring quadratics puzzle.

Google Slides version of Factoring Puzzle for Quadratic Trinomials


Kathy Henderson turned this into a Desmos version, as well. Students use the drawing tools to fill in the missing boxes.

Desmos Activity Builder Version of Factoring Puzzle for Quadratic Trinomials

Printable PDF Version of Factoring Puzzle

I know the original was already in PDF form, but I wanted to format the puzzle to look like the rest of my activities. Silly, I know.

Factoring Puzzle (PDF) (6227 downloads )

Factoring Puzzle (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (2058 downloads )

Puzzle Solutions

I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.

However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.

If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.

factoring quadratic trinomials puzzle activity