Arrays, arrays, arrays

In maths, we have been learning how to can use arrays to help us to complete multiplication questions and then we had to answer some really tricky word problems.

We can using arrays to explore numbers

Arrays are useful models for multiplication which can be used in a variety of ways, ranging from highly structured lessons to games and open investigations. An array is formed by arranging a set of objects into rows and columns. Each column must contain the same number of objects as the other columns, and each row must have the same number as the other rows.

The following array, consisting of four columns and three rows, could be used to represent the number sentence 3 x 4 = 12.

Three rows, four columns

We can build number facts

Arrays can be used for building multiplication facts in a meaningful way. Before drilling and memorising tables, children must understand how these facts are derived. For example, by progressively adding another column of three objects, children can build the three-times tables for themselves. This representation not only assists in understanding the process, but provides a visual image for children to draw upon as they begin to use and memorise the basic number facts.

Three rows, one columnThree rows, two columnsThree rows, three columnsThree rows, four columnsThree rows, five columns

How to continue the learning at home:

  • Practise counting with your child in steps of 2, 3, 5 and 10 so that they can become fluent.
  • Help your child to know their 2x, 5x and 10x tables off by heart.
  • Once your child is confident with these tables, start with the 3x and 4x tables.
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