Through the distance learning process, the first graders have been working diligently in their math groups. Their creativity truly sparked during our multiplication unit of study. The first graders are familiar with the idea of grouping items to make them easier to count or share. Throughout the year, they have developed their ability to sort and group items. We decided it was time to introduce the concept of arrays.
Arrays are a beneficial strategy that helps students cross over from grouping to multiplication. Introducing arrays was a natural transition. The students learned that an array is an arrangement of objects in rows and columns. We then used engaging visuals with real-life examples of arrays to reinforce student learning.
Distance learning provided students with a unique opportunity to discover and create arrays in their home environment in real-time. The real-life connection and experiential learning opportunity elevated student engagement and excitement. Using real-life arrays made the concept of multiplication accessible for our young learners. The representations the children then came up with independently were innovative and extremely precise.
The first-grade mathematicians created arrays of candy, they discovered arrays on their window frames, and even in their refrigerator. This activity reinforced that math is all around us even in the most unexpected places.
The first-grade teachers are truly touched by the productivity, resilience, imagination, and many “AHA” moments their students have shared with them within these past few weeks. The images capture some of the many amazing real-life multiplication examples they have produced.