Finding Common Factors of 2 Given Numbers: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Things That Are Shared
  • 0:30 Factors and Finding Them
  • 2:31 Common Factors
  • 4:06 Another Example
  • 6:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mark Boster
When someone has the same trait as someone else, you can say that they share a common trait. In math, different numbers can have the same factors as other numbers. These are common factors, and we will learn how to find them in this lesson.

Things That Are Shared

While Jamie was riding the bus, she sat next to a little boy who was wearing different clothes and speaking a foreign language. When she got home, she told her mother about what she had seen. Her mother pointed out that even though they were different, they had some things in common, like their arms and legs. Common factors, if you will! Different numbers can also have common factors. Let's take a look!

Factors and Finding Them

Factors are numbers that when multiplied together make a new number. For example, the factors of 6 are 1, 2, 3 and 6. This is true because 6 x 1 = 6 and 2 x 3 = 6. But how do you actually find factors? By determining what numbers divide evenly into the number you're trying to factor. Let's learn how!

First, you start with identifying the two easiest factors of a number, which will always be that number and the number 1, because all numbers are divisible by themselves and by 1! Look, 6 and 1 - you already have two factors!

Then, you try to evenly divide the number you're factoring by all the numbers that are less than that number, with no remainder. The easiest way to do this is to put your first two factors at the beginning and end of a 'factor line' and then fill in the line as you go. So for factoring the number 6:


Now, let's use this process to find common factors.

Common Factors

A common factor is a number that's in the list of factors for two different numbers. So, all you have to do is factor each number using the factoring process we just learned, and see which factors both numbers have in common.

Since we've already factored 6, let's find the common factors of 6 and 12. We find the factors of 12 by determining what numbers divide evenly into 12 using our factor line:

Step 1: We know that our 'factor line' will start with 1 and end with 12.

Step 2: Try to divide 12 evenly by all the numbers that are less than 12:

12 ÷ 2 = 6 - Divides evenly, so 2 and 6 are factors.

Step 3: Add the factors onto your line


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