Reflection: Complex Tasks Factors: Prime Factorization - Section 3: Student Practice


In past years, I normally only taught students how to find the factors for numbers up to 48 so the u-turn method and building arrays with colored tiles were the only strategies I taught students to find factors. However, the 4th grade Common Core Standards specifically states that students should be able to identify the factors for all whole numbers "up to 100." For this reason, I wanted to provide students with one more tool to use in conjunction with the u-turn method. This is because solely using the u-turn method and colored tiles to find all the factors for 96 (a much more complex task) isn't the most efficient process. 

Being that this was the first time I have taught prime factorization to 4th graders, I was really excited to see how this lesson would go! In order to prepare students to apply this strategy to more complex tasks, such as finding the factors for the numbers 50-100, I wanted students to apply first apply it to smaller numbers 21-40. This worked out beautifully as students were able to use the u-turn method and their own understanding of smaller numbers to make sense of the prime factorization method itself.  

Overall, most students were able to successfully explain their thinking and complete the factor chart.


  Complex Tasks: Reflection
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Factors: Prime Factorization

Unit 6: Factors & Multiples
Lesson 2 of 11

Objective: SWBAT find the factors for the numbers, 21 - 40.

Big Idea: Students will use the prime factorization and U-Turn methods to identify the factor pairs for numbers up to 40.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, Factoring (Number Sense), prime factorization, arrays, prime, composite
  110 minutes
prime factorization example
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