Looking for a fun way to introduce multiplication arrays to your learners? Check out this FREE set of multiplication array puzzle game printable. These free multiplication puzzles can be used to introduce your children to the concept of multiplication arrays.
What are Math Arrays?
Math arrays are an arrangement of objects, pictures, or numbers in rows and columns so that they follow a specific pattern. It is most commonly used as a visual tool for teaching multiplication and division to kids.
What are Multiplication Arrays?
A multiplication array is simply an arrangement of shapes. objects or pictures in rows and columns that match a multiplication equation. For example, here is a multiplication array that shows 3 × 4.
What are the Benefits of Teaching with Multiplication Arrays?
- Multiplication arrays make it easy for students to visualize multiplication problems.
- Multiplication arrays allow your kids to use strategies instead of rote memorization, to find answers.
- Multiplication array makes it easy for kids to see the commutative property in action.
Multiplication Arrays Puzzles Printable
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I love teaching maths in general because it is a subject that can be taught using many visual and hands-on aids. These aids can be using manipulatives such as base 10 blocks or hands-on math stations and centers. In this post, I will be sharing an interactive hands-on printable which can be used to teach multiplication and is an ideal addition to math centers. Hopefully, this printable will help to make teaching multiplication at your home or classroom more enjoyable.
To start off, there are a few models that can be used to teach multiplication.
- Equal groups
- Repeated Addition
- Number Line
Introducing Multiplication – Easy Way to Teach Multiplication
When teaching multiplication it is important that children get the concept before just memorizing the multiplication facts. This is so that they are able to apply these concepts to their daily lives (e.g. in counting money). Multiplication can be first introduced using the model of repeated addition of equal groups. Then multiplication can be introduced using arrays.
Hands-On Multiplication Matching Puzzles – Multiplication Arrays
To make things a little bit more fun, I created some multiplication array puzzles where they have to match the visual representation of arrays to the multiplication and repeated addition representation as well as the total number. This is an ideal hands-on practice to accompany the concept of concept of multiplication through arrays. The printable contains puzzles only until facts of 5, since this activity is only meant to work as an introduction to multiplication.
In this printable, each puzzle has 4 pieces. Students need to match up the 4 pieces for each multiplication concept. Students can paste the completed puzzles on a paper or it can be laminated and re-used if its for a math center. The puzzle templates are easy cut, so these are relatively easy to prep. The puzzles come in colour and black and white, so just print which version suits you.
Visual Multiplication Arrays Puzzle Game
- Download the file from the box below.
- Print the file either in color or black and white and laminate (this is recommended if you are planning to re-use the puzzles)
- Cut apart the puzzle along the borders to separate it into 4 equal pieces.
- Present the puzzle pieces to the students. If the student is extremely new to the concept, introduce only one puzzle at a time.
- Ask them to fit in the different methods of representing the arrays (multiplication equation, repeated addition equation and the total).
Start by explaining that an array consists of columns and rows and we can solve a multiplication equation by finding the column x row. Try doing a few puzzles together with them, to let them understand the concept and what they are required to do.
Now, we are ready to start solving the puzzle and matching the pieces.
- First, ask your child to count the columns and rows.
- Next, ask them to find the multiplication equations.
- Then ask them to form an addition sentence, and to find the piece of the puzzle that matches it.
- Then find the total.
- Finally, help them put the pieces together and solve the puzzle.
This activity, when done a few times will help to set a basic foundation for multiplication. This will make exploring multiplication facts easier. It will also make it easier to teach the other models of multiplication such as arrays and number lines.
Recording Sheet – Keeping track of the puzzles
If you wish your learner to record the puzzles that they have matched, there is a recording sheet included in the free printable. There is a page containing small icons like pictures of the different arrays for matching. Ask your learner to cut out the small pictures and paste them into the recording sheet for the puzzle they solve. They can then write down the equations and fill in the boxes. A preview of the completed recording sheet is shown below.