The teaching community on twitter has been a daily source of inspiration for me over the years. I follow a variety of educators and # but I particularly enjoy and use ideas from the maths teachers I follow.

This image is courtesy of @the_chalkface, a high school maths teacher in the UK but that doesn’t put me off drawing on his ideas and using them with my elementary students in an IB school in China.

I went back and forth on how to use this resource with my grade 4 students. Here is what I decided on:

- I split the class in two groups – half got the chart with numbers no grid, the other half got the chart with a grid but no numbers
- After 10 minutes of recording what they notice and wonder they paired up with someone from the other group to make connections between the two charts. There were lots of ‘aha’ moments when I gave a copy of the chart with the grid and numbers to record all their wonderings and patterns etc.
- Most students had identified the square numbers and were starting to make connections to the factorization activity we had done the previous week.
- Finally I presented the chart showing prime factorization and let the students go with their wonderings:

- Is there a pattern with the factorizations that don’t have an exponent?
- Most factorizations have a 2 in them – is there something special about the numbers that don’t?
- Why are numbers on top of the diagonal written differently to the ones below?
- What is the connection with prime numbers?
- Are there other ways of factorizing that use exponents?

All resources can be downloaded from this website.

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Fantastic to see how you are using these. I love the idea of giving different students different versions and letting them investigate separately then together. I’m inspired to try some of this myself now!