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November 2011, Volume 17, Issue 4


No Child Left Unchallenged
Darin Beigie
Design lightbulb questions for your students using these six simple methods.

A Fruitful Activity for Finding the Greatest Common Factor
Carol J. Bell, Heather J. Leisner, and Kristina Shelley
As students fill baskets with differing numbers of fruit, they develop the concept of GCF—often before learning the formal definition.
Second Look:
Factors and Primes

Fractions: How to Fair Share
P. Holt Wilson, Cynthia P. Edgington, Kenny H. Nguyen, Ryan S. Pescosolido, and Jere Confrey
Develop and strengthen students’ rational number sense with problems that emphasize equipartitioning.

Your Inner English Teacher
Conrado L. Gómez, Terri L. Kurz, and Margarita Jimenez-Silva
By using deliberate strategies to adjust the phrasing of word problems, teachers can provide a richer mathematics experience for ELLs.

Second Look - Factors and Primes

Building Numbers from Primes
Use building blocks to create a visual model for prime factorizations. Students can explore many concepts of number theory, including the relationship between greatest common factors and least common multiples.

Making Connections with Prime Numbers
Prime numbers and their connections to related topics.

Investigating Prime Numbers and the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search
Middle school students learn about patterns, formulas, and large numbers motivated by a search for the largest prime number. Activities included.

Teacher to Teacher: Dialogue: A Route to ACT-ive Learning
An innovative method to introduce the concepts of greatest common factor and least common multiple. Students engage in a scripted performance, using factor cards and prime factorization to find GCF and LCM. Script is included.

Illuminations Lesson: The Venn Factor
Students use a Venn diagram to sort prime factors of two or more positive integers. Students calculate the greatest common factor by multiplying common prime factors and develop a definition based on their exploration.

Number and Operations Standard for Grades 6-8

In grades 6–8, students should deepen their understanding of fractions, decimals, percents, and integers, and they should become proficient in using them to solve problems. By solving problems that require multiplicative comparisons (e.g., "How many times as many?" or "How many per?"), students will gain extensive experience with ratios, rates, and percents, which helps form a solid foundation for their understanding of, and facility with, proportionality. The study of rational numbers in the middle grades should build on students' prior knowledge of whole-number concepts and skills and their encounters with fractions, decimals, and percents in lower grades and in everyday life. Students' facility with rational numbers and proportionality can be developed in concert with their study of many topics in the middle-grades curriculum. For example, students can use fractions and decimals to report measurements, to compare survey responses from samples of unequal size, to express probabilities, to indicate scale factors for similarity, and to represent constant rate of change in a problem or slope in a graph of a linear function.