How Flexible is a Number?
Why do we see things like eggs and water sold in stores in packs of 12, 6, or 24 but never 11, 13, or 17?
How flexible is any given number?
These were the questions the the fourth graders investigated today.
The class was broken into groups and each group was given a set of dot cards. Each card represents a particular number. Each group was then given the task of ranking their numbers from most flexible to inflexible. After each group explored their numbers, we then created a class continuum with all of our numbers. Each group got the opportunity to share where they placed their number and why. The mathematicians based their reasoning on the number of factors a number has, what its multiples are, and whether or not it was a prime or composite number.
Mathematicians also worked to move and adjust other groups numbers which led to great discourse, productive argument, and justifications all about the room. It was an awesome opportunity for the mathematicians to apply what they have been learning with prime & composite numbers, factors, and multiples.