I actually have my students make a Factor Tree using construction paper. They are each given a composite number that must be factored until all that is left are the prime "roots" of the number. They then must write the equation for their tree in correct form and again with exponents. The next step is to cut out their tree trunk and have the correct number of roots at the bottom. They start at the top of the tree with their original number and work their way down to the roots. In the top of the tree they use green construction paper to make the leaves of the tree and write both equations (with and without exponents in the treetops). I call it a Forest of Prime Factors when I display them.

Thank you so much for posting this teacher tube site. On another site, I saw how to find LCM and GCF w/ stacks, but there was no explaination on how to teach it, just the model. I thought I knew how to do this by looking at the model, but I ran into some problems w/ some combination of numbers that I didn't know how to do. So, this year, I didn't feel comfortable teaching factoization by using stacks....even though I really wanted to. I used factor trees. But after seeing this video, I feel comfortable teaching Prime Factorizaton w/ stacks. Thank you so much. You made my day.

I have never seen the "stacks" method of teaching prime factorization, LCM, and GCF before... and it's intriguing. My question is, though, is it a crutch or just another great way to teach it? Nowadays it's all about modeling and explaining why this and that works, etc. Does the stacking really show why the LCM is the LCM? Or the GCF is the GCF? Or is it a crutch to get you to the right answer without actual knowledge of why it is?

When I followed the teacher tube link it took me to a featured video page. I can't find the video referenced above. A search yielded several videos. Can you be more specific as to what I should be looking for to find this specific video?