This problem, which acts like a function machine, provides an opportunity to also introduce children to the idea of common factors. Four whole numbers (inputs) are each placed in a small box and those boxes are placed in one special box. Solvers are given the four outcomes and are challenged to find what multiplication might have gone on in the big box to get those results. The Teachers' Notes page offers suggestions for implementation, key discussion questions, ideas for extension and support.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


Grade 3,Functions,NSDL,Grade 4,Factors,Critical thinking,Strategies,Number concepts,Arithmetic,Analyze and persevere,Concept formation,Division,Number and operations,Upper Elementary,Algebra,Grade 5,Multiplication,Composition and decomposition of numbers,Informal Education,Whole numbers,Use appropriate tools,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-027,Practice Standards,Life Science,Elementary School,Reason quantitatively,Algebraic thinking,Chemistry,Operations,Number sense,Mathematical language,Mathematics,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20140728160921085T,Connections,Problem solving,Communication,Process skills,Education,Construct arguments,Reasoning



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike


This resource has not yet been aligned.
Curriki Rating
'NR' - This resource has not been rated
'NR' - This resource has not been rated

This resource has not yet been reviewed.

Not Rated Yet.

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467