Activities to Teach Students to Make Arrays to Model Multiplication

Multiplication is a fundamental concept in mathematics that helps students develop their problem-solving skills and is also useful in daily life. Arrays are a powerful visual tool that helps students understand multiplication in a more concrete and conceptual way. Making arrays to model multiplication can be a fun and engaging activity for students of all ages, and it can help them solidify their understanding of this important mathematical concept.

There are several activities that teachers can do with their students to teach them how to make arrays to model multiplication. Here are some of the activities that teachers can use to make the learning process more engaging and effective:

1. Candy Arrays

This activity involves using candy to make an array that models multiplication. Students can use candies like Skittles or M&Ms to make an array that shows how multiplication works. For example, if a student wants to model 2 x 4, they can use eight candies to make two rows of four candies each.

2. Lego Arrays

Lego is another great tool for teaching students how to make arrays to model multiplication. Students can use Lego blocks to make an array that shows how multiplication works. For example, if a student wants to model 3 x 2, they can use six Lego blocks to make three rows of two blocks each.

3. Post-it Note Arrays

Post-it notes are an easy and accessible way to teach students how to make arrays to model multiplication. Teachers can provide students with blank Post-it notes and ask them to make an array that shows how multiplication works. For example, if a student wants to model 4 x 3, they can use twelve Post-it notes to make four rows of three notes each.

4. Virtual Arrays

In this activity, students can use online tools like Google Draw or SketchPad to make virtual arrays that model multiplication. These online tools allow students to create arrays of various sizes and colors, making it easier for them to visualize multiplication. Teachers can also share their screen with the class and create arrays in real-time to model different multiplication problems.

5. Card Arrays

Card arrays involve using playing cards to create arrays that model multiplication. For example, if a student wants to model 5 x 2, they can use ten playing cards to make five rows of two cards each. Students can also play games like multiplication war, where they use cards to practice their multiplication skills.

Using these activities, teachers can help their students understand multiplication in a more concrete and conceptual way. Allowing students to use different materials and tools to create arrays can make learning multiplication more engaging and enjoyable. By using arrays to visualize multiplication, students can develop stronger problem-solving skills and a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.