Sunday, June 9, 2013

Prime and Composite Math Mentor Text

Yesterday I spent the day celebrating the graduation of a very special class. They were the first class I ever taught...and they have now graduated high school. It was so sweet to watch 15 of my former fourth graders graduate. I am close friends with the mom of one of those girls so my husband and I spent the afternoon celebrating with her and her family.

On a personal note, fair warning that I may be a bit MIA this week. I have to finish cleaning/packing up my classroom and my husband graduates on Friday-so we will be preparing for family to come into town and for the graduation party on Saturday. I'm looking forward to celebrating his accomplishments with friends and family.


On to the teaching part of my post! I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Texts. This week's topic is math. A few years ago I had a class that was really struggling with prime and composite numbers. I tired to explain it as many ways as I could, but many of them just didn't get it. After searching for different ideas on line I discovered this book.

You Can Count On Monsters by Richard Evan Schwartz. This book gives each number between 1 and 100 a picture of a monster. All prime numbers have their own unique monster.
Monster for the number 2

All composite numbers are made up of the prime number monsters.

The page for Ten.
The monster for 10 is made up of the monster for 5 and 2
Each page shows the picture of the monster and when appropriate it shows the prime factorization of that number. As the book progresses, the composite numbers get crazier and crazier.

Monster for 22
Using this book really helped my kids to see and understand what prime factorization is. It helped give my kiddos that needed help a new way to look at prime and composite numbers.

What do you use when you teach prime and composite numbers? Be sure to head over to Collaboration Cuties for more great mentor texts!


  1. Thanks! Sometimes at middle school we miss books like this one, it will be great to use when reviewing (or introducing:) primes and composites.

  2. I'm pinning this so I remember to use it next year! Looks great!

  3. Pinned it so I can learn it. I mean so my students can learn it. :)


  4. This looks like an interesting and motivating text! Congrats on seeing that first class graduate!

    Have a great week--
    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  5. That is great that you were able to watch your former students graduate. Congrats to your hubby and I totally understand about being MIA I really struggled last week.

    Thanks for this book suggestion I have never seen this book before. Love how visual it is. I can see why it would have helped your students.

  6. Looks like a fun book. The illustrations are really interesting. But right now I'm thinking how grateful I am to teach 1st grade math :) .
    Good luck with your busy week.

    School Is a Happy Place

  7. Wow, this is so great! I am so excited to see that there is a book for prime and composite! This can be such a tough skill! This looks awesome!

    Isn't it crazy when one of our students graduates high school?? It makes me feel old! ;O)

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  8. I've never heard of this one. It looks great!!! I'll have to add it to my collection. Thanks for sharing.

    room 4 imagination

  9. Thanks for your comment on my blog-isn't it fun how we all can be connected. I also love books and always searching this is a new title for me.

  10. Looks like a fun book! What a great way to teach primes.

    Learning With Mrs. Brinn

  11. Nice! I've seen the cover for the book but never really knew what it entailed. Thanks for sharing.
    Kids Math Teacher