This activity consists of 10 centers and is used as the classwork to learn how to factor out greatest common factors instead of a worksheet. Because factoring is typically difficult for students to grasp, I like to use this the first day I teach so the students can work together to help one another grasp the initial concept.
Each center consists of 5 simple GCF Factoring problems. The first two problems are common number problems. The third problem is a common variable. The last two require simplification prior to factoring.
I groups students in 3's or 4's to complete this activity. Every student must write every problem in order for the group to get credit. Once the group agrees on an answer, they write the answer on the answer sheet provided (less grading!).
Typically it takes groups 10 minutes to complete each center although some standard and EC classess have needed more time. I post a timer on the SmartBoard and at the end of the time the students pass the center on to the next group. Another strategy is to have the groups actually move themselves, but this only works for my best behaved classes.