Factor t-charts first caught my attention while I was visiting my new favorite resource for professional development. That’s right. I was on Pinterest. 🙂 When I want great ideas for proven instructional strategies, I look no further than the Big Three – Pinterest, YouTube, and TpT. Look, I’m very pragmagtic – give me what works. Of course I still read books by such giants as Robert Marzano and Grant Wiggins. These thinkers form the foundation. Heck, they send me so many emails that we’re practically on a first-name basis. But when it’s time for the rubber to hit the road, I can always count on my Big Three.
Factor T-Charts Freebie
That’s exactly what happened a few months ago. I stumbled upon this interesting pin by another teacher who had created a set of five printable pages to help her students learn the factors pairs for 1-100. (That’s just part of Common Core State Standard 4.OA.B.4, in case you were wondering.) The creator of this fantastic resource not only wrote a great blog post about how she uses it with her students, she’s also giving it away as a freebie from her TpT Store. That was too good a deal for me to pass up!
Sequences and Patterns
The teacher-author (Shannon Piles) introduces the factor t-charts at the very start of the school year. Well, I had missed that opportunity but, as with so much in my life, what I thought was a negative turned into a positive. I replaced my math series’ chapter introduction with a day spent on completing our factor t-charts. It was great to review with students the identity property of multiplication since every number has the factor of 1 and itself. After modeling the first few numbers and then completing the rest of the first page together as a class, students worked in pairs and used calculators to do the rest. My students started discovering lots of patterns as we completed more and more t-charts. It became a game to see who could identify a new pattern, with other students furiously checking to make sure the pattern held up across multiple terms. Dare I say it? Math was fun that day. We checked our work before gluing them into our math notebooks for future reference.
Prime and Composite Numbers
Next, we used the factor t-charts to identify prime and composite numbers, which was a lesson in the next chapter of our math series. As shown in the top photo, we color-coded the numbers as prime or composite. Our charts also came in handy when it was time to identify all the factor pairs of a given number.
Greatest Common Factor
While enjoying my day off thanks to a round of winter weather (it’s snowing lightly even now!), I took some time to prep my next week’s math lessons. Students will be learning about how to use the greatest common factor to write fractions in simplest form. Once again we will be relying on our factor t-charts to help us in this lesson. I sure am getting a lot of bang for my buck, so to speak, from my initial lesson!
But Wait…There’s More!
What else could I use these wonderful charts for in future math lessons? A few ideas come to mind, such as multiples, odd/even numbers, squares and square roots. I hope this post tempts you to consider using these simple but effective little charts with your own students.