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Lesson Plan

Find common factors of two numbers by using area models

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.B.4
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7

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Big Idea: Area models are an effective method for demonstrating how to find common factors of two numbers. This lesson builds on students' work in grades 3-5 with the distributive property and finding common factors of numbers. The purpose of this lesson is to build understanding of how to find common factors of two numbers using area models. This lesson uses area models to help students visualize how common factors can be used to write equivalent expressions using the distributive property. This builds students' ability to generate equivalent expressions using factors in 6th grade, which will prepare them for using the distributive property as a strategy to compute rational numbers and linear expressions. In this task, students are asked to find the possible arrangements of tulips and daffodils in a garden. The debrief focuses on using common factors to identify the different possible arrangements of the flowers. The distributive property is not mentioned in this lesson but the area models and arrangements can be used to make connections to the distributive property if desired. Vocabulary: factor, common factor, area model, distributive property Special Materials: Grid paper (optional)
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