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Prime Factor Puzzle: TES Maths Resource of the Week

March 28, 2017 - TES, TES Resource of the Week (ROTW)
Prime Factor Puzzle: TES Maths Resource of the Week

To see all of the work I do for TES Maths, including Resource of the Week, Inspect the Spec, Maths Newsletters and Topic Collections, please visit the TES Maths Blog here

What is it?
I love a puzzle, and I love anything to do with prime factors. So, you can imagine my delight when those two things are combined together in this wonderful activity. Students are presented with a grid of numbers, each number being surrounded by four boxes. Students must fill those boxes with the prime factors of those numbers. But there is a twist! The completed grid must work for all the numbers that are in it. So, it is not enough for students simply to list the prime factors of a number, they must also consider the shared prime factors of the numbers around it. It gets quite tricky, quite quickly!

How can it be used?
For me this is an ideal example of something I feel incredibly passionate about: purposeful practice. Students have the opportunity to practice the key skill (prime factor decomposition), but in an interesting and engaging way. There is also the opportunity to discuss the properties of these numbers – for example, how can I tell if a number has 2 as one of its prime factors? More importantly, they also get to develop crucial skills such as problem solving, logical reasoning and deduction, all of which will serve them in good stead for whatever mathematical challenges come their way in the future. I think it is fair to say, I love this resource!

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton

Download: Prime Factor Decomposition Logic Puzzle
View the author’s other resources

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