Sunday, January 27, 2013


Hip! Hip! ARRAY!

I love arrays.  They are so neat and orderly, symmetric and geometric.  Every thing in it's odd man out.  Marching bands, boxes of chocolates, crates of oranges, cartons of eggs, calendars.....the all make order of chaos.  

Teaching the learner about arrays takes them beyond the concrete examples of groups to the pictorial (visual) representation of multiplication.  The strategy of arrays beautifully demonstrates the efficiency of multiplication.  Here are some ways we work with arrays in my classroom.

Searching for Authentic Examples

We went on an "in school" field trip to look for examples of arrays lurking within the walls of our school.  Each student had to find one example and take a picture of it with an iPad.  We then took all the pictures and put them in a booklet.  Each student was given a booklet and had to write a multiplication sentence for each picture.  Here are some of the pictures we found:

For more authentic examples, follow my Pinterest board called Arrays - Real World Examples.  

Tech Project

With the help of our amazingly, wonderful Tech teacher, the students created a grid full of arrays.  Using Excel, the students chose their own variety of multiplication facts, arranged them on the page, colored and labeled them.  

"I Spy Arrays" Game

I discovered this fun game at Step into Second Grade.  It comes with 18 different arrays that you can hide around your classroom.  The students have to find all of them and record "___ rows of ___" and the multiplication sentence on their "I Spy Arrays" worksheet (see below).

The kiddos love to move around and I always hide one or two of the rays really well.  Click on the picture above to find this freebie in Amy's TPT Store. 

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S.  Visit Looking From Third to Fourth to an array lesson inspired by this post!  Very cool!


  1. I love all of these ideas! I wish we had iPads, I love that you made it authentic for them! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Love the array ideas. I also love taking "in-school" field trips. Our record is four in one week. We will be taking another one this week, thanks for sharing!

  3. What a great idea!!! I love the idea of using the iPads and Excel. :-) Thanks for sharing!

    Craft of Teaching

  4. Oh my stars!!! What a great idea. I'm putting it in my plans immediately. Have ipads will travel. Thanks for the great idea!!

  5. I also did the field trip around my school to find arrays! The kids loved it and found ones that I had overlooked. There is now an app for VoiceThread on the iPads and I plan on having the kids use that this year. Then they can comment on each array picture, write the dimensions, whatever, right on each picture. Look into the app, sounds like you would do a great job with it!


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