We have been learning about what arrays are and how to use them to represent multiplication equations. Last week, my class went into the woods to take on the challenge of creating arrays themselves with the help of the natural resources around them. Students worked in teams of two to use natural objects to create arrays that represented the equations 4×5 and 5×5. Part of the challenge was for them to try to create it with their partner, and then show their array to either myself or another teacher. It brought me so much joy when my students ran up to me and proudly showed me the arrays they created. My students enjoyed the activity, and were excited to explain their thinking behind their arrays. This challenge was fun and it brought out the creativity in my students. Some students used pinecones, some used leaves, and some used sticks. When I asked a team of students about their 5×5 array, one of them replied “We made it with teamwork and sticks!” and went on to say how creating their own array helped them better understand what an array is.
Meroby Elementary School, Grade 3