If you haven’t had the chance to use the ladder method (or the upside down birthday cake method, as some call it), I highly recommend it.
Ways to Use the Ladder Method
As you can see in the anchor chart (sorry it’s not as pretty as some!), math students can use the ladder method for:
- finding greatest common factor (GCF)
- finding least common multiple (LCM)
- finding lowest terms fractions
- finding prime factorization
- finding the least common denominator (not pictured)!
So many uses!
Benefits of Using the Ladder Method
2) In addition to helping math students find GCF and LCM, using the ladder method helps students see the relationships between numbers more clearly. It’s very easy to see what factors the numbers have in common and how those factors ‘contribute’ to the LCM or GCF.
Ladder Method for Factoring
The steps to use the ladder method for factoring are:
1) Put the expression into the ladder.
2) Take out the common factors, one at a time (common factors go outside the ladder, then divide each number in the expression by that factor and put the quotient below the numbers in the ladder. Repeat until all common factors have been ‘removed.’)
3) Multiply the numbers on the left of the ladder – these are the GCF and go outside the parenthesis in the factored expression.
4) Put the numbers at the bottom of the ladder into the parenthesis.
Ladder Method Resources
I shared a ladder method fold-it-up in my guest post, but you can also click the button below, if you’d like to download it.
Ladder Method Doodle Notes
I’ve also created a fun Doodle Notes page to help students with the Ladder Method!
Select the button below to see the Ladder Method Doodle Notes on TPT.
If you’ve used the ladder method before, I’m sure you understand why I love it:-)
If you haven’t used the ladder method yet, I hope you’ll give it a try!