What happens when children begin by focusing on ‘noticing and understanding’ rather than calculating… What can I see and explain? I can see 4 ‘displays’ of tomatoes. Each ‘display’ has 4 rows of 3 tomatoes and 3 rows of 4 tomatoes So that’s 4 multiplied 3 times and then this total multiplied 4 times! Or 3 multiplied 4 times and then this total multiplied 4 times! Or, 4 x 3 plus 4 x 3 plus 4 x 3 plus 4 x 3 or 3 x 4 plus 3 x 4 plus 3 x 4 plus 3 x 4! I can see each display has 2 groups of 6 tomatoes So that’s 6 multiplied 8 times!If there’s 2 groups of 6 in each display that must be 12So that’s 12 x 4!So if I wanted to work out how many tomatoes on 8 displays…I’d double it! What is this total a multiple of…? Well I can see equal groups of 3 so...Read More >

Teaching Times Tables? Here’s a simple but really effective ‘arrays’ task that helps children understand times tables facts and connect them to multiples, factors and fractions. This investigation offers rich opportunities to develop essential mathematical language connected to learning multiplication facts. 1. Using equal sized cubes or tiles (preferably of the) same colour) take a handful. This should be more than you can accurately estimate; probably between 15 – 25). DON”T COUNT THEM! You need this to be number ‘x’ (for the time being anyway). 2. Investigate how many rectangular arrays you can construct using ALL of your cubes or tiles. You must use them all as this will help reveal certain properties of ‘x’. For example, if you can create equal columns of 4 then you know ‘x’ is a multiple of 4 and has 4 as one of it’s factors. If you can create columns of 4, you must also be bale to see that ‘x’ can be...Read More >