To refresh your memory (in case you blocked it out), this crappy method taught you how to multiply binomials.

To begin, you multiply the

__irsts, which would be the first term of each binomial. Then you multiply the__

**F**__uters. Then you multiply the__

**O**__nners. Then you multiply the__

**I****asts. The result is the product of the two binomials.**

__L__*Boring!!*

In my opinion, the process should not be taught, learned, studied, or considered. Why bother with an algorithm that applies only to one operation (multiplication) and only to one type of factor (binomials)?

I would like to suggest to math teachers everywhere that the average person (who can add, subtract, multiply, or divide regular constants) is well-equipped already with the schemata to successfully operate with polynomials of ANY size.

A few years ago, I mentioned this strategy at a Math Department meeting, and my colleagues loved it. They had never considered it!

Rather than belabor a description of it, here's some how-to visuals which I hope will make sense. Email me at ThatCatholicGirl@Catholic.org if you have any questions!