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Suzanne Alejandre's

Understanding Factoring through Geometry

Objectives & Goals

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  1. Students will display a numeral as the area of a rectangle.
  2. Students will make as many rectangular arrangements as possible for each numeral given.
  3. Students will work cooperatively with a partner.


  1. Students will be able to visualize all the possible rectangles formed by the number of square units given. They will associate the word factor to mean the different lengths and widths of these rectangles.

    Example: When they hear "5" they will think

    Example: When they hear "6" they will think:

  2. Students will understand:

    Some numbers can only be represented by two different rectangles that have either a length equal to one unit or a width equal to one unit. These represent prime numbers.

    Other numbers can be represented by more than two different rectangles. These are composite numbers.



  1. Set of squares for each pair of students: square pattern blocks, or square cut-out pieces of paper, or tiles
  2. Grid paper that matches the squares - 3 sheets per pair of students
  3. 1 ruler per pair of students
  4. Overhead transparency of similar grid paper.

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