What an array means in maths


An array is objects or shapes arranged in a rectangle. Arrays are very important in helping children to understand how multiplication works.

They learn that in the array the answer is always the same (eg 2 × 7 is the same as 7 × 2) even when you rotate.

In the home, egg boxes and muffin trays are arrays.

array example

A child can count the objects, but this can be tiresome and inaccurate. If they can count in twos or know their 2 times table, they can calculate easily.

The next stage in the development of arrays is to set them within boxes (eg with 2 × 14, begin by breaking the number into 10 + 4, then carry out the multiplication).


Arrays in boxes


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Last updated: about 3 years ago