“Hip, Hip ARRAY”—the purpose of this lesson was to introduce/review multiplication via array models. An array is a rectangular arrangement of equal groups of objects in rows and columns. Array models are introduced to students as early as second grade.
Goal for Students On-Level: Given both an explanation and a visual representation of the array strategy, guided practice with manipulatives, and an array handout, STUDENTS will independently complete the array handout, with at least 80% accuracy, within a 50-minute math lesson.
Goal for Students Needing Small-Group Instruction: Given both an explanation and a visual representation of the array strategy, guided practice with manipulatives, and an array handout, STUDENTS will independently complete the array handout, with at least 80% accuracy, with assistance from the paraprofessional, within a 50-minute math lesson.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
What went well?
I think that this lesson’s combination of manipulatives (Cheez-Its) and anchor charts certainly helped my students better connect multiplication to that of repeated addition. The guided practice really allowed me to observe how students were thinking. During guided practice, I assigned a series of multiplication problems on the board (i.e. 3×5=). Students then responded to each problem using Cheez-Its—the “objects” in their array models. After illustrating with array models, we then solved for each product. I liked this initial activity because it required students to actually construct the arrays instead of simply identifying previously arranged arrays. I think that my students were challenged with a more rigorous, tactile task. Not to mention, yumminess overload!
What did not go as planned?
Today’s math lesson took much longer than I had planned. In fact, we didn’t have time to even begin the independent practice handout. Consequently, no one met my original goals. I’ve already noted a couple of factors that perhaps contributed to today’s pacing. At the start of the lesson, I immediately detected that my students didn’t “remember” very much about the term multiplication—I felt as if I had three heads or something. And because multiplication seemed so unfamiliar to them, I don’t think that a review lesson, using arrays, was the best approach. Arrays can be complex at first, considering that students must be able to distinguish “rows” from “columns.” Therefore, I should have expected for my guided practice to require more time.
How to change for subsequent lessons:
Knowing what I know now, I think it best to begin any sort of multiplication lesson, whether an introduction or a review, using illustrations involving “equal groups of.” I think students need to see the pictorial representations of multiplication using groups. Keeping my previous example, 3×5 would look like three circles with five objects inside each circle. Multiple examples of this strategy should be provided. Once students have mastered the basics, I think it’s then appropriate to introduce array models as another multiplication strategy. I was proud of my students’ success—they worked very hard. I simply think that this lesson would have been more beneficial had it come later in the unit.