What is The GCF Ladder method
The GCF Ladder method is a technique for finding the greatest common factor (GCF) of two or more numbers. It involves breaking down the numbers into their prime factors and using a “ladder” diagram to find the common factors.
Benefit
The benefit of learning the GCF Ladder method is that it can help students understand the concept of prime factorization and how to find the GCF of two or more numbers. It can also be a useful tool for solving problems that involve finding the GCF, such as reducing fractions to lowest terms. Additionally, understanding prime factorization and the GCF can help students with other math concepts, such as finding the least common multiple (LCM) and solving divisibility problems.
How To Find The GCF Ladder Method
 Write the numbers in a “ladder” diagram:
Number 1
Number 2
… (if there are more than two numbers)  Break down each number into its prime factors:
Number 1 = Prime factor 1 x Prime factor 2 x …
Number 2 = Prime factor 1 x Prime factor 2 x …
…  Identify the common factors:
Number 1 = Prime factor 1 x Prime factor 2 x …
Number 2 = Prime factor 1 x Prime factor 2 x …  Multiply the common factors together to find the GCF:
GCF = Common factor 1 x Common factor 2 x …
For example, to find the GCF of 12 and 18 using the GCF Ladder method:

 Write the numbers in a “ladder” diagram:
12
18  Break down each number into its prime factors:
12 = 2 x 2 x 3
18 = 2 x 3 x 3  Identify the common factors:
12 = 2 x 2 x 3
18 = 2 x 3 x 3  Multiply the common factors together to find the GCF:
GCF = 3 = 3
The GCF of 12 and 18 is 3.
Note: You may need to repeat steps 24 for each number if there are more than two numbers. For example, to find the GCF of 12, 18, and 24, you would repeat the process for each number and include any additional common factors in the final result.
 Write the numbers in a “ladder” diagram:
Sample Test Question
Find the GCF of 15, 30, and 45 using the GCF Ladder method.
Answer:
1. Write the numbers in a “ladder” diagram:
15
30
45
2. Break down each number into its prime factors:
15 = 3 x 5
30 = 2 x 3 x 5
45 = 3 x 3 x 5
3. Identify the common factors:
15 = 3 x 5
30 = 2 x 3 x 5
45 = 3 x 3 x 5
Identify Result: 3 x 5
4. Multiply the common factors together to find the GCF:
GCF = 3 x 5 = 15
The GCF of 15, 30, and 45 is 15.