Education Technology

Factors Galore C: Prime Factorization

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this activity, students use the calculator to find the prime factorization of a number.

Before the Activity

  • Set up the calculator as explained in the activity
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 15 - 19 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Enter a number as both the numerator and denominator of a fraction
  • Use the calculator to find the new fraction simplified by the lowest prime factor
  • Record the factor on the Activity sheet
  • Repeat the process of simplifying the fraction by reducing the fraction by the lowest prime factor each time until the fraction is completely simplified
  • Record all the prime factors on the Activity sheet
  • Understand that the product of the common factors is the prime factorization of the number
  • Express the prime factorization using powers
  • Discuss an alternate way to find the prime factorization using the factor tree
  • After the Activity

    Students' complete the Student Activity sheet.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary