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Factors and Multiples are useful throughout maths, but it’s easy to get them mixed up. Here’s how to remember the difference:

**FACTORS:** The factors of a number are like the * ingredients* that make it up. If you have the “X-Factor” then you have the missing ingredient needed to be a superstar! Let’s take the number 12:

12 = 1 x 12

= 2 x 6

= 3 x 4

You can think of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 as being the ingredients that make up the number 12, but in fact they are the *factors* of 12.

**MULTIPLES:** if you have *multiple* email accounts, then you have an email account, and then another one, and another… In the same way, the *multiples* of a number are the numbers in its times table. The multiples of 12 are: 12, 24, 36, 48… Each time you are adding on another 12, then another, then another…

Take a look at this “Factors and Multiples” tower: you’ll see that the **Factors** go down to the **Floor**, but the **Multiples** go up to the **Mountains** (in fact the multiples keep on going forever!).

So here are the proper mathsey definitions:

The **FACTORS **of a number are all the integers (whole numbers) that divide into it with no remainder.

The **MULTIPLES **of a number are the numbers in its times table.

Thank you to my friends at the ATM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics) for their help in compiling this month’s blog. If you’ve enjoyed it, check out some of my other blogs and then why not try to arrange a Maths Day for your school? House Of Maths can arrange maths talks, shows or workshops for your Primary or Middle school in Dorset, Hampshire and the South.

Comments welcome, please visit the House Of Maths Facebook Page

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