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HCF and LCM – Resourceaholic

March 21, 2015

This post is inspired by this blog post on resourceaholic’s page. I’d recommend you check it out first and follow @mathsjem for more of the same.

I’m blogging a response to post this as it raises two key issues for me:

  1. There are more ways to do HCF than I’d ever really bothered to think about
  2. Too much of my (and probably your) teaching is based on one of the first few ways you learnt to teach things


I really like Don Steward’s factor trees. Such a simple thing to turn the things upside down so it actually looks like a tree! I know this isn’t big news or anything but I do think it’ll be more memorable and that does matter.

I think I’ll use a combination of this method along with prime factor pairing and the (new to me) Euclidian Algorithm depending on who I’m teaching it to.

Different ways to teach things

To borrow a quote from the link:

Even if you decide to stick with the method you’re currently using, at least you’ve now reflected on how you teach this topic. Teachers rarely have the opportunity to pause and reflect.

Pleasingly,my HoF has decided that our second round of observations should be peer-to-peer. This means we actually get a chance to reflect on how someone else teaches something. I’m going to see if there’s some scope for moving more discussions like this blog post into faculty meetings in future.

Thanks Jo!


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