Posted by Peter on 11th March 2013

Understanding factors

Understanding factors can prove to be quite tricky, but in fact is a fairly simple concept, with once again knowing times tables being crucial. These pages begin by trying to find the factors of a number on an organised ‘trial and error’ basis by seeing which numbers when multiplied together will make the target number.

When doing this it saves time if it is understood when to stop.

For example; the factors of 10:

Try 1:  1 x 10 =  10        1 and 10 are factors of 10
Try 2:  2 x  5  =  10        2 and 5 are factors of 10
Try 3:  3 x ??  =  10       3 is not a factor of 10 (so he cannot have 10 tables in 3 equal groups)
Try 4:  4 x ??  =  10       4 is not a factor of 10 (so he cannot have 10 tables in 4 equal groups)
Try 5:  5 is already known to be a factor of 10 2 x 5 is the same as 5 x 2. There is no need to go further than this.

Introducing factors

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