How to Write Math Arrays

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A math array is a way of writing multiplication expressions in terms of columns and rows of pictures or symbols that represent counting entities. It is a pictorial way to represent math facts. You can use symbols, such as circles, squares or triangles, to write math facts in arrays. The number of columns is the first number in the math equation; the number of rows is the second number in the math equation. The answer is the total number of all symbols. Arrays can make learning math easier for visual learners.

    Come up with a math fact you want to symbolize with an array. For example, 4 x 3, with "X" as the symbol.

    Use the first number to determine how many symbols to draw in the columns. In the example, the first number is 4, so draw four Xs to represent the number of columns: XXXX.

    Use the second number in the fact to determine the number of rows. The second number in the example is 3, so draw three rows of four Xs: XXXX XXXX XXXX

    Count by columns or by rows to get the answer, which in this case is 12.


    • This is a good way to teach visual learners about the multiplication process.

About the Author

Brenda Sanders is an educator who has taught in many capacities for over 15 years. She recently completed her doctorate in education from George Fox University. Brenda received her MAT from Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach. She has also worked as a proofreader, editor and writer.

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