Math Forum - Problems Library - Elementary, Factors, Primes

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Elementary: Factors, Prime Numbers

Students in grades 3-5 study classes of numbers and investigate their properties, learning that different kinds of numbers have particular characteristics - for example, that prime numbers have only two factors, and that square numbers have an odd number of factors. As they do multiplication problems, students learn factors and what their product represents - how, in area models, a product is related to its factors.

Problems appropriate for elementary students in which factors, factoring, or prime numbers play an important part are listed below. These problems address the NCTM Number and Operations Standard for Grades 3-5 expectation that students should understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems, and should be able to describe classes of numbers according to characteristics such as the nature of their factors.

To find relevant sites on the Web, browse and search Prime Numbers in our Internet Mathematics Library; to find elementary sites, go to the bottom of the page, set the searcher for late elementary level (3-5), and press the Search button. See also About Numbers in the Dr. Math archives.


Access to these problems requires a Membership.

Anderson's Pumpkin Patch - Teaching the Young Learner Group and Lisa Lavelle
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 2. How many students are there in Ms. Juncos's fourth grade class? ... more>>

Birds in Trees - Steve Maurer
Elementary, difficulty level 3. Can you figure out the number of trees in the courtyard? ... more>>

Birthday Beach Bash - Lisa Lavelle
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 3. Help determine how many balloons were needed for party favors at the end of this celebration. ... more>>

Calculator Double Vision - Lisa Lavelle
Elementary, difficulty level 2. Enter a 3-digit number twice on a calculator and use division to get the original number. ... more>>

The Chocolate Allergy Revelation - Antiquity (Steve Earth)
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 5. Use meta-reasoning to deduce the ages of three people based on a product, a sum, and a seemingly irrelevant third piece of information. ... more>>

Five Digits of Fun - Lisa Lavelle
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 4. Find a five-digit number based on these clues. ... more>>

It's an open and shut case! Or is it? - Lisa Lavelle
Elementary, difficulty level 3. A Razzle Dazzle Elementary School locker problem. ... more>>

Jellybean Fractions - Lisa Lavelle
Elementary, difficulty level 2. Determine good and bad choices in playing the Jellybean Fractions Game. ... more>>

Jellybean Rectangles - Lisa Lavelle
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 3. Have fun figuring out strategy in the Jellybean Rectangle game. ... more>>

Peanut Butter and Jelly - Lisa Lavelle
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 3. How many sandwiches can we make before using up a package of bread and jars of jelly and peanut butter at the same time? ... more>>

Puzzling Puzzle Pieces - Lisa Lavelle
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 2. Explore the ways 108 puzzle pieces can be arranged. ... more>>

Rabbit's Run - Lisa Lavelle
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 1. Help Regina develop options for building her rabbit's run. ... more>>

Summer Shoe Leftovers - Teaching the Young Learner Group
Math Fundamentals, difficulty level 4. Determine which of the leftover shoes might satisfy three shoppers' needs. ... more>>

A Very Special Number - Lisa Lavelle
Elementary, difficulty level 2. Find a number with some interesting divisibility properties - can you put them all together? ... more>>

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