by: Peter Gottlieb • 0
Here is the best tool for improving a student's skill at factoring. The app presents a target number to be factored, and the student responds by entering a prime factor (2, 3, 5, 7, 11) of that number. For example, if the initial target number is 210 (2*3*5*7), and the user enters 5, the app will do the division and respond with the partial factoring 42*5, and the user is prompted to enter a factor of the new target, 42. The process repeats until the original number (210 in this case) is completely factored. If, at any step, the user enters a number that is not a prime factor of the target number, an error is charged and the user is prompted to re-enter a correct factor. When the factoring is complete the app displays the number of errors. This automatic, real-time, scoring saves the teacher, or tutor, the trouble of correcting the exercises, and provides the student with immediate feedback. A very efficient process for all concerned.
The app can be set up to run a specified number of problems, and will keep a tally of the number of errors. This automatic scoring saves the teacher, or tutor, a lot of trouble. The other adjustable parameters are the number of factors in the original problem (2 through 5) and the maximum prime factor (5, 7, 11, or 13). The instructions give all the essential tips to help the student find a factor correctly the first time (avoiding being charged with an error) without the bother of a short division exercise to test it. Since the app does all the division, the student can concentrate on getting the factors. This will sharpen his/her skills, even in the midst of all the distractions that modern youth is subject to.