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Ready-Set-Tech: Factor Trees

Ann Stephenson, Charles R. Hadley Elementary, Miami, FL

Grade Level  3rd - 5th
Subject Mathematics
Background By making factor trees on the computer, children can develop a better concept of multiplication and its processes. They will understand that a number that divides another number evenly, without a remainder, is called a factor of that number. For example, 4 is a factor of 20, because 4 divides evenly into 20 without leaving a remainder. All the factors of 20 are: 1,2,4,5,10,20. All the factors of 24 are: 1,2,3,4,6,8,12,24. Notice that 20 has 1 and 20 as factors and that 24 has 1 and 24 as factors. Every number always has a least 1 and itself as factors. Ask the students to explain this rule.

To learn to factor numbers
To learn concepts of numbers

Materials Computers, paper, Microsoft Works or Word, online capability, Factor Tree Work Sheet
Procedure 1. Students will open Paint in Microsoft Works or Word.
2. In the upper center of the page place a number, such as 24.
3. Draw a line to the left of 24 and a line to the right of it.  











2 x 2


2 x 3

4. On the next line, factor 24, such as 4 and 6.
5. Continue until it is factored out.
6. Numbers can be different sizes as they are factored down.
7. Lines can be different sizes and different colors to help visually with comprehension.
8. When students are finished they may draw a frame around their tree and print it.
9. Students can visit the following site to learn more about factor trees:
Factor Tree  
Math Advantage  
10. Students can ask about creating factor trees at Dr. Math 

Tips The numbers on each level of the factor tree branches can be in different colors to assist in comprehension.
Evaluation  Students will locate calculator on their computer (look for it in Accessories on a PC or under the Apple icon on a Mac) and use it to factor the numbers on their Factor Tree Work Sheet, ask them to start from the bottom of the tree, multiplying up until they arrive at the top with the correct answer. Check answers with classmates.


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