Interactive Throwdown Thursday - Finding Arrays

Yesterday, should have been a snow day but it wasn't! Have you ever had one of those days, when you wait and wait for the announcement that never comes. It took 3 co-workers to help me get out of the parking lot!!! Ugh - I had a lovely day with my class, I just would have liked a snow day!

But that was yesterday and this is today and today I am linking up with Erin at I'm Lovin Lit for her monthly linky...

I am sharing something we did in January when first starting our unit on multiplication. One of the big strategies we learn in grade 3 is using arrays. This transfers over to grade 4 when they have to use an array to show 2 facts that they could use to find a harder question.

We started with a lesson on the carpet using color tiles to make arrays and record the multiplication sentence that matched it. I bumped it up for my grade 4's to show the multiplication fact using an array and two color of tiles and then tell me the two facts that made up the one array (Example: 6x7 - they made 6x3 and 6x4).

Then I posted this question:

We talked about the purpose of arrays, how they help us, what we know when we look at or create one. Then we extended it to how can they help us in the real world. We looked around the classroom for examples of arrays. Once the found a couple they could not stop. We talked about how arrays help you arrange things in equal groups, they make it easier to count things quickly, to set things up etc.

Then we went on a array hunt through the school. Each student took a clipboard and a cue card. They recorded arrays we found in the school. They also recorded arrays in our classroom when we got back. They highlighted their top 3 arrays that they loved (okay, maybe just liked).

I went and took pictures of the arrays and printed them off. Each student was given an array. They had to write a multiplication fact for their array and explain how they knew it was an array.

Next they had to create a picture model of an array, write a multiplication sentence and explain how they knew they made an array.

As a bonus I asked them to look for arrays in their homes and bring in pictures - here are some tiles, an ottoman, some blocks and fridge magnets - love when they take me up on the bonus.

Can't wait to read how people have been using interactive lessons with their students!! I'll be back tomorrow to share an interactive notebook activity I did this week.


  1. Crazy weather here! No buses canceled! It took me 105 minutes to get home - usually 20 minutes. Enjoy the rest of your week. :)
    Grade 4 Buzz

  2. Oh my gosh. This is my favorite math lesson I've seen in SO long! I would have NEVER thought to go on a hunt in the school for arrays. I'm thinking - like what?! Then I saw your examples. I love it. Practical, real world. Perfect!
    :) Erin

  3. I love how you helped your students make the real life connection! I'm so going to add this to my lessons next year!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  4. AMC-- I love the real world math application! It is so important for kids to see that math is everywhere. Sorry that you didn't get your snowday!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  5. This looks like so much fun! Arrays are everywhere!!! And have you read the book Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream all about arrays?? You HAVE to because the book is named after me, of course!!!! (Have we already talked about this?)
    I love the real life application of this!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  6. I love the idea of a treasure hunt for arrays! I never would have thought of that! Will definitely have to save this for next year.

  7. Glad you have such great co-workers to help you out! How scary!!! I love love love this idea, and have to file it away for next year when we do this with our third graders. It's such a fun way for them to look for real world applications of the math strategy. Arrays are all over the place! I can already picture sending my students around the school to take pictures of arrays and complete this project! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard


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