Maths in context

As I mentioned in the last post, Freya is learning her 2x table. By this, I don’t mean counting in 2s, which is a popular misconception, I mean learning that 2×3 is 6, 3×2 is 6, 6 divided by 3 is 2 and 6 divided by 2 is 3.

One great way to help with this at home is using ‘arrays’.

When I was at school, I don’t remember using this visual tool for multiplication, however it is a great way for children to visualise the times table, to explain it and to work out answers as they build up their recall skills.

This week we built an array of the 2x table on the beach using stones – adapt to any location that you are in with any items that are to hand.

For the 2x table ever column has 2 stones in it.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

The calculation is done by placing a stick after the given number of columns. So, for example, 2×3 would be shown by 3 columns of 2 stones. The total number of stones being 6, the answer.

0 0 0

0 0 0

A good way to get some fresh air, consolidate some number skills and visualise how 8×2 is larger than 4×2 etc.

Repeat with any times table as needed.

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