4th Grade Math
posted by Carol .
Re: Factor Numbers
My son has to write at least two ways to break down numbers  I know he did not learn this in school but I would like to help him at home, please help me I have not done this work in over 30 years. He has to break down the numbers 56, 12, 42, 36, 24 and 60. If you can explain to me 1 problem of what they word as a break down, I would be able to do the follow and figure out the rest. Thank you!

12... 4 and 3 go together to make 12 then 4... two and two go into four... and then 3 2 and 2 are left because nothing goes into them
12
4 3
2 2 
"to break down" a number is not a mathematical term
If your son's textbook actually uses that terminology I would find that disturbing.
Perhaps they mean to express the number with lowest prime prime factors
e.g.
12 = 2x2x3
36 = 2x2x3x3
etc