Have you ever worked with arrays?
It’s a great way to visualize multiplication. And it’s another one of those things I didn’t learn in school, but my children are. I’m glad they are!
Arrays are a great way to describe a multiplication problem and help you “see” how to get the answer.
So, today we’re grabbing our Easter candy and having some fun with jelly bean arrays.
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How do you use arrays in multiplication?
First of all, let’s define an array. Quite simply, it’s a visual representative of a multiplication problem (at least in our case) using objects arranged in rows and columns.
Take the multiplication problem, 2 x 4. The first number, two, represents the number of rows. The second number, four, represents the number of columns.
So, for 2 x 4, we would create two rows with four objects each.
What else can you see?
In the above photo, you’ve got three rows and four columns. It represents 3 x 4. Or, 4 + 4 + 4. Can you see that?
And the answer to both of those math problems is twelve.
Arrays can tell you a lot!
Jelly Bean Arrays
Now that we have an understanding of arrays, let’s grab our jelly beans and have some fun.
Our set-up was simple, I just used an index card to display my arrays and grabbed a pile of jelly beans.
Note: You can do this any time of the year. Just use M&Ms or Skittles instead of jelly beans.
The only other thing you need are some multiplication problems.
Let’s start solving!
How do you solve 3 x 2?
You’d make 3 rows with 2 jelly beans in each row. Now let’s solve. Count up the jelly beans and you’ll find 6. 3 x 2 = 6
Let’s flip the problem around? Would 2 x 3 look the same as 3 x 2?
The answer is the same, but the array would look different. To make an array for 2 x 3, you’d have 2 rows with 3 jelly beans in each row.
Keep using jelly bean arrays to work on all your multiplication problems. I love how this helps you see exactly how to solve a multiplication problem.
This is such a great math tool!
If you enjoyed working with Jelly Bean Arrays, the above photo is perfect for sharing on Facebook or you can save the photo below on Pinterest.
You may also like one of these fun math activities: