Finding Factors of Whole Numbers

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  • 0:01 Whole Numbers
  • 0:45 Factors
  • 1:41 Finding Factors
  • 3:23 Example
  • 4:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After watching this video lesson, you will be able to factor any whole number that you are given. You will learn what factors are and how a whole number can have several different factors.

Whole Numbers

In this video lesson, we talk about whole numbers. These are your counting numbers plus 0. When we count, we begin with 1, 2, then 3 and so on. But with whole numbers, we begin with 0. So we have 0, 1, 2, 3, and so on. They are called whole numbers because they don't have a decimal.

You can also think of whole numbers as numbers that can represent a number of items. For example, we usually say that we saw 6 red cars pass by. We usually won't say that we saw 2.5 cars - unless there was an accident or something went wrong!


Now, factors are numbers that multiply together to get another number. When we multiply any two or more numbers together, we are multiplying factors together. You can think of factors as simply the numbers used in multiplication.

As you can see, any number can be a factor because you can multiply any number by any other number. For example, the numbers 2 and 3 are factors in 2 * 3 = 6. When multiplied together, they give you 6. So we say that 2 and 3 are factors of 6. If you think about it, 1 and 6 are also factors of 6 because we can multiply 1 * 6 to get 6. You can think of factors as pieces that make our number, like building blocks that together make one building.

Finding Factors

We can ask the question, 'How do we find what our factors are?' How can we break apart our number into its building blocks, into its pieces? This is something that you will need to know for your tests and as you progress in your lessons.

Since we know that our factors are the numbers that multiply together to get our number, we can use what we know of the multiplication table to find our factors. For the number 6 that we mentioned, we know that 2 times 3 equals 6 as does 1 times 6. The numbers 4 and 5 can't be multiplied with any other number to get 6. We knew this from our knowledge of the multiplication tables. Our factors are 1, 2, 3, and 6.

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