The Factor pairs exercise appears under the 4th grade (U.S.) Math Mission, 6th grade (U.S.) Math Mission, Pre-algebra Math Mission and Mathematics I Math Mission. This exercise introduces the idea of factor pairs for composite numbers.
Types of Problems
There are two types of problems in this exercise:
- Identify pairs of factors of the number: This problem provides a number or area that is an integer. The user is asked to identify all the options from a multiple select list that are factor pairs for the number, or possible lengths and widths for the rectangle
- Find the other pair in the factor pair: This problem provides a situation where one half of a factor pair is provided. The user is expected to fill in the other half of the factor pair as appropriate.
Strategies
Being able to create a factor tree quickly can help to perform this problem well. Factor trees are also valuable for concepts like LCM and GCF which will lead into increased ability with fractions.
- The area of a rectangle is a product so it is a natural word problem to identify factor pairs.
- The Find the other pair in the factor pair problem is sometimes worded as a split into rows or columns word problem.
- Given one factor, division of the large number by one factor will yield the other.
Real-life Applications
- Multiplication is needed and used by mechanics for repairing cars by multiplying when they overhaul the engine, measure the pistons or just to put in a new gearbox or engine.