Students must think about the factors of each number as they play this game.   Students quickly learn the value of selecting prime numbers as a strategy.   The beauty of the game design is that students will review the factors of many numbers and mentally add the sum of these factors together in search of the "best move."
- Play as partners or as two teams.
- Team A chooses a number. That number is eliminated from the playing board and Team A earns that many points.
- Team B must identify all the factors of Team A's number that are still on the board. Team B earns points equal to the sum of these numbers.
- Now Team B picks any number still on the board and earns that many points.   Team A must identify all the factors of Team B's numbers still on the board to earn the sum of those points.
- Play continues until no numbers remain on the playing board.
- Teams A and B total their points.
- The team with the most points wins.
Math Center Activity:
- Print out the number cards   on card stock, laminate them and cut the numbers apart. Affix a magnet to the back of each number and place on a magnetic cookie sheet.   Several cookie sheets can be stored in the math center for use by students on Game Day or when they have completed the day's work.
- Copy the Factor Blaster gameboard and place several copies in sheet protectors in the math center.   Students can use two different colored dry-erase pens to mark their numbers on the board.
Differentiating the Game:
- Vary the numbers given to student pairs.   Use larger numbers as an enrichment game.   Use the numbers 1-20 for a more simple version.
- Remove 3-4 numbers from the sequence as an enrichment challenge.   Removing 24 or 20 from the board might change student strategies.
- Encourage students to think of variations and write the directions for their version of the game so that classmates can try it.
Note:   This game is very similar to Factor Game.   In Factor Blaster, however, students may choose a number that has no factors left on the board.   This encourages students to search for that "perfect number" choice that doesn't allow your opponents to find any factors still on the board.   Students master the prime numbers as a result of playing the Factor Blaster version as these numbers do not give the opponents points once the "1" has been removed from the playing board.
Who Has? Multiplication Deck
Build in a quick review of multiplication facts for your class by including this 3-5 minute routine several times a week.   See Who Has? Activities page for additional suggestions for using this strategy.