Factors and Multiples: My First Unit in 6th Grade Math

As I begin to prepare for back to school, I am reminded that teaching factors and multiples at the beginning of the year aids in teaching future units.

Check Out How I Have Organized My First Unit in 6th Grade Math.

Students sitting in front of laptops working on an assignment.

Chapter 1: Factors and Multiples

In my first chapter, I start by talk to my students about factors and factor pairs.  I show them how to find all the factors of a number by finding factor pairs using a factor rainbow.  This leads to a conversation about prime. composite, and square numbers.  By looking at all the factors of a number, students can identify if that number is prime, composite, square, or a combination of these.  Finally, in chapter 1, I introduce multiples.

Chapter 2: Common Factors and Common Multiples

In chapter two, I take the students knowledge from factors and multiples, and start discussing common factors and common multiples.  I start with common factors and discuss that the number 1 is ALWAYS a common factor of any two numbers.  I also have the students start thinking about how they will use these concepts in the real world.  I show them that common factors are used to solve "sharing problems".  I then move on to common multiples and we discuss how to find common multiples.  I also show them that common multiples are used to solve "cycle" problems or problems that involve repetition.  Part of this chapter involves word problems for my students to practice these skills.

Mid-Unit Quiz

Here is where I check my students progress so far in this unit.  I give my students a quiz review to complete and then I give them a quiz that I use to assess my students.

Chapter 3: Prime Factorization, Distributive Property, and Order of Operations

Chapter 3 is where I start to introduce some new topics.  First, I introduce prime factorization.  I show my students that by using factor pairs, they can reduce a number down to a factor string of only prime numbers.  This is where I introduce short hand notation and exponents.  Here is a link to my FREE prime factorization lesson.  

I then move on to the distributive property.  I introduce this by having students discover that there are two ways to find the area of a big rectangle when it is created by two smaller rectangles.  

A copy on the notes I use when teaching the distributive property to my students.


I end this unit by teaching order of operations which includes parentheses and exponents.  I also give my students a couple of pages of word problems to help them discover which operation they should use when solving story problems.

Unit Test

Here is where I take a final assessment over my entire unit. 

In Conclusion

This unit has three chapters.  Each chapter has between 3-4 lesson in it.  My lessons include notes and practice worksheet that concentrate on a particular topic or standard.  This unit has a quiz review and a quiz that covers the first two chapters and a test that covers the entire unit.  Answer keys are included!  If you want to check out my first unit click on GOOGLE or PDF.  I have created it in two different versions to suit your needs.

I have also created an ENTIRE curriculum for 6th grade math.  I have made this in two versions as well.  If you are interested in looking at the entire 6th grade curriculum click on the GOOGLE version or the PDF version.  

For the Google versions, I assign the lessons with my students using Google Classroom.  I have put text boxes on the Google Slides to make it easier for my students to type their answers.  I have also made them 8.5x11 so they can easily be printed off as well.  Here are 3 reasons why I love using Google in my math classroom.  

A pinterest pin that says factors and multiples: my first unit in 6th grade at the top and a picture of students at the bottom.

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