This activity is great for breaking up the "boring" math lessons that middle school students often complain about. And can you blame them? With all the pressure leading up to standardized testing, let's remind our students that math is fun!
This activity quickly introduces/reviews prime and composite numbers. Students earn points by finding prime numbers (worth 3 points) and composite numbers (worth 1 point). Students can challenge their partner on a number for double points! This will get them excited about math and focused on the task, especially because numbers like 51 and 87 seem like prime numbers but are really composite!
There is also an extension activity that stimulates a deeper understanding of the definitions of prime and composite, and leads into a discussion about the mystery of why the number one is neither prime nor composite. An answer key is provided with rationale behind why the number one is neither prime nor composite.
This activity reinforces the following: prime and composite numbers, division facts, long division, divisibility rules, problem solving, use of tally marks, team work, math conversation, and math journaling/reflection.