Chocolate models--let's be honest.
So the other day I asked my students to tell me what they knew about arrays--and they shared out their ideas. They DID have a bit of a hard time using precise mathematical language so I flipped on the projector and document camera, whipped this Dove monster out of my school bag, dramatically wafted the smell toward them, and threw it under the camera asking, "Will THIS help you describe what an array is?" After a few moments of whining about how it wasn't fair that I had one and they didn't, we got to work using clear math language to describe this array. We used the words factor and product and array. We talked about directionality (Is 6 rows of 3 the same as 3 rows of 6? Is 6 bags of 3 apples the same as 6 bags of 3 apples?)
As students moved forward from making "boxes" of one candy...then two candies...then three, you could feel their confidence growing--and their willingness to model with the tiles diminishing. I continued to encourage them to use them...but some were insistent that they could do it in their head. I was noticing everyone getting the "one by..." arrays (1 x 12... 1 x 13...and so on) but were starting to miss some of the "short, chubby" rectangles. Some students had even made a claim that "All odd products only have 2 factors." Hmmmmmm
All in all, we have been really building some solid conceptual understanding of factors, products, and arrays--and we are ready to dig into the second part of the activity--determining the difference between prime and composite numbers! We are on our way! If you are interested in seeing more, just click the image below to see more about this resource.
Thanks for stopping by!