Monday, November 14, 2016

Donut FACTOR-y

Last week I taught one of my favorite lessons to my sweet fourth graders. The Donut FACTOR-y.

Even though the concepts factors and multiples are not listed as major skills in fourth grade, I feel the need to establish a solid foundation with my kiddos since, after all, factors are the building blocks to multiplication.

We've created factor rainbows in the past to list the factors of each number in order to categorize numbers as prime or composite, but I felt that many of my students needed a more conceptualized approach to learning exactly what factors are and what it truly means to be prime or composite. The result: the Donut FACTOR-y lesson.

Ok, well I didn't actually come up with the activity until I saw these babies at Target...

Oh, and my classroom theme is all things sweets, so these are PERFECT for engagement with my little BROWN-ies. So...Factors + Donuts = Donut FACTOR-y. I tell my kiddos that we run an exclusive donut factory that is popular with celebrities. Celebrities come from all over the country to get our specially packaged donuts. What's so special about our donuts? Well aside from being delicious, we can package the donuts multiples ways in nice, neat arrays. Celebrities don't want their donuts to move around and get ruined in their boxes so we make sure they are happy by showing them ALL the possible ways we can package their donuts into an special array packages. Then we put a stamp on the box that tells our customers if they have a PRIME or COMPOSITE order.

Y'all, my kids ATE this up. Literally...

I gave each student a bowl of donuts, a paper towel, and a personal board. My students slid the order form template into their personal boards and used dry erase markers to complete each celebrity order. The students created their arrays on the paper towel, and recorded their arrays on their boards along with the factor pairs, and the label of prime or composite. 

I made up some celebrities to get us started as a whole group and then gave each group task cards that included celebrity orders so that they could practice the skill with their peers. Every now and then I'd let on task tables/students munch on a few donuts. You can even do this with Cookie Crisp cereal if you can't find the donuts!

If you are interested in this activity for your sweet learners, you can find the instructions to the entire activity, the personal board template, the celebrity cards in my TPT store by clicking HERE or by clicking the picture below. The activity pack also includes a template and cards if you choose to do the Cookie FACTOR-y with Cookie Crisp cereal. 

You can also find this activity in my Factors and Multiples Bundle. This bundle includes lesson plans for my entire, 5-day Factors and Multiples Unit, task cards, personal board templates, SCOOT activities, Homework, and more. To find the bundle, click HERE or the image below.

Have fun!


  1. I've heard about that. My friend said he had read something similar in

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