Prime and Composite Numbers

05 March 2013
Our math class was SO much fun today!!!  So fun I thought it just may be "bloggable".  ;)

We start out our day with 15 minutes of skill drill (every day) - we're still drilling those multiplication facts - but to keep them engaged, I try to keep it as fun as possible.  Right now we're using my Multiplication Tic Tac Toe for the smartboard - the kids are loving it.  I divide the class into two groups (grade 5 and grade 6) and they work out the solutions on their whiteboards before answering.  They are allowed to check answers with a partner before one student from the group offers the answer aloud.  So much fun!  The best part ... well, I think the picture below speaks for itself ...

We then moved on to today's lesson - we're reviewing prime and composite numbers.  We completed a math journal entry on them yesterday (check back on Sunday to see it), but have been discussing them throughout our current unit.

I started out by randomly handing out my magnetic numbers (you can grab a copy of the numbers by clicking on the link - just print out on magnetic paper).  I put up two hoops - one for prime numbers and one for composite numbers - and asked the students to come up and put their numbers in the proper hoops.  This is what we got after the first try:

We then used our current reading strategy, turn and talk, for math today.  Students "turned and talked" to their classmates to discuss the placement of some of the numbers.  They had to PROVE and convince other students why some of the numbers needed to be moved.  This is what we then ended up with:

YAY!  So, we started out the lesson old-school style - with magnetic numbers and the blackboard -  so we then turned to our technology.  I showed the students a brainPOP video on prime numbers.  I have the subscription to the app on my iPad, so I place my iPad under the document camera and project it.  (Yes, I know there is a little doo-hickey I can use to connect my iPad to the computer, I even
think I have one, but it's just so much easier to slide the iPad under the camera).  ;)

We then used our netbooks to play a fun game with prime and composite numbers - Fruit Shoot.  They had a lot of fun with this one.  You can see one of my students using his math journal to check his answers as he played the game.  (Happy, happy teacher).

We ended today's lesson with a fun prime number maze that I whipped up using Worksheet Works.  If you haven't used this site before, you have to take a peek.  It's so quick and easy to whip up a worksheet (and differentiate worksheets for the students working at different levels in your class).  We don't do a lot of worksheets in my class, but every once in a while a student needs a little practice on a concept ... or will miss a few lessons while sick or on a trip ... or my own kids need a little extra something something to keep them busy at home ... ;)  
Such a fun, fun lesson today - and that equals success in my books!  

Happy Tuesday!!!



  1. Hi Jenn, I am loving your site and all of your ideas! I'm new to 6th grade after many years in primary and I am feeling very inspired by all of your cool ideas! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  3. How long is your math block each day? Sounds like a great lesson!

  4. Sounds like a great lesson. I always enjoy teaching prime and composite and all the connections you can make with multiplication and division.

  5. I love Worksheet Works! The sheets can be a huge help sometimes in math. I really enjoyed reading about how you reviewed these numbers...especially the part where they had to prove it to a peer! Thanks Jen!! :)