Build arrays to illustrate multiplication and match to basic multiplication facts
Grades 3-5

Learning and understanding number operations is a focus of 3-5 math. This activity allows a natural review of the commutative property as it occurs in addition and it lends a good transition to thinking about multiplication beyond the repeated addition model.

The teacher should review the terms ``row" and ``column" with the students before starting to develop arrays.

The teacher demonstrates how to construct an array with a chosen shape or object and counts out the number of items in the first row.

The students will choose an object or shape and make a row. Using the Copy function, reproduce the row a number of times.  This arrangement is called an array.

The teacher should encourage students to use math vocabulary such as a factor times a factor = a product as a good practice for young children.
Students should write the multiplication sentence (equation) that describes each array they create.

Print out product array pictures!  A booklet of various arrays can be constructed.

The teacher will check the students' creations to see if the number sentences (equations) match the arrays.

Students  verbalize the multiplication fact depicted by their scenes.  Students will write down the equation they have illustrated.

The teacher may also pass out fact cards and students will create new screens to show these facts.  Match them to the screen as the teacher or aide checks to see and hear the times fact. (Each child should match the correct fact card to the correct sene if asked.)

The teacher should have students count the number of total objects in their arrays.  This way they check to see if the number sentence matches the result.

Create the fact families for the all basic Times Tables.

Create a LARGE class or grade level team bulletin board of the multiplication facts from the printouts of students' work.

Laminate the pictures of the arrays and have classmates write the multiplication facts on the pictures with a vis-a-vie marker.

Use the Stacking mode to make more complicated multiplication scenes.  By stacking, multiplying is done twice or more, and repeated addition of products takes the students and this activity to the next level of 2-3 step multiplication. (Grades 4-5)

For second graders or beginning third graders, encourage the recording of the multiplication sentences in the repeated addition form.  (Most second graders have the notion of multiplication and it is taught after all basic addition facts are known, as repeated addition).

Create a class book of all the multiplication, Facts to Know book, or Our Fact Families book.

Bring in array models from home such as egg cartons, partitioned boxes or muffin tins.  Have an array scavenger hunt around home and the school.  Remember NOT to forget to look up at the tile ceiling and lights! Are they arrays?

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