A Strategy for Remembering the Difference between Primes and Composites and an Amusing Teacher Story (by Sig)

A Strategy for Remembering the Difference
between Primes and Composites

Subject: Prime and Composite numbers

Objective: To ensure that students who understand the concept of prime and composite numbers do not mix up the terms.

Whenever I taught prime and composite numbers I noticed that some students who understood the concept mixed up the terms. This misunderstanding caused them to miss all the problems when tested.

I came up with the mnemonic device that numbers are like people. Prime numbers are Picky People who only have one friend while composite numbers are folks who enjoy Company.

Reinforcement: I had the students do a skit in order to increase retention of the concept.

Evaluation: I made up a worksheet so each student could draw prime and composite numbers with their factor friends.

It was a fun lesson that made a nice bulletin board.

An Amusing Teacher Story

Here’s what happened one day when we were reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, our core literature novel:

In case you didn’t know, the characters in the story are personified mice and rats. It is a riveting story with several dramatic plot twists.

One morning as we were reading the novel aloud, a mouse—a REAL one—ran across the classroom in full view of the students. This was a very unusual occurrence in our suburban setting. The students were surprised and curious.

“Is that Mrs. NIMH?” they asked.

I smiled and calmly took the class outside to continue reading this wonderful book.

I couldn’t have planned it any better.

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