Monday, January 21, 2013

Everyday Arrays Multiplication Hunt

My son has been bringing home loads of math worksheets quizzing him on arrays. <<YAWN>> After about the third one with a matrix of dots, I thought, "There has got to be a more fun way to practice these."

The epiphany struck when I was folding laundry; The holes on the basket were an array!! Suddenly an idea was born.

I grabbed the camera and walked the house in search of everyday arrays. Turns out, they're everywhere! I snapped 26 pictures, which I printed out wallet-sized.

Need help finding some arrays? Look at your windows, in the kitchen, anything with buttons and knobs,
and check your child's toys (many board games have an array-like grid).

Once I cut them out, I calculated the multiplication problem associated with each, stuck a sticky note with the answer to the picture and when they were all "solved," ran around and affixed the sticky notes to the objects throughout the house.

When my son came home from school, he saw the notes everywhere and immediately thought we were doing our math post-it note scavenger hunt. When I told him it was a new kind of hunt, he was bubbling over with excitement.

I handed him a pencil and the stack of pictures. I was stunned when he immediately said, "Arrays!"

I asked him to write the answer to these multiplication problems on the back of each picture. He whipped through all the cards with relative ease, only needing help on 7 x 6 and 8 x 8. For those, I gave him a multiplication chart for help.

With the cards in hand, he darted through the house finding the objects in the pictures and comparing the number on the sticky note with his answer. His excitement with each right answer grew, and it wasn't long before his hoots and howls of pride turned into various touchdown dances and even the "Tim Tebow!"

This activity proved that arrays really CAN be fun!


  1. We're sharing a brain. :) At least the array part. I sent my son on a photo shoot to capture arrays. I was going to post them, but they didn't turn out very clear. But I love the matching part. How fun! Thanks for posting on Math Monday! Off to post your entry on Facebook...

  2. Fun idea! My oldest just finished a math unit on arrays. He would've liked this much better than the squares and circles he had to do. Thanks for sharing at the After School Link Up, you always have such great ideas.

  3. I love this idea and plan to do more of it at home with my daughter. Can't believe you were able to find 26 easily in the home. Will be a fun adventure finding them in our house too. We've featured your post on our Sunday After School Party this week with several other homemade math games. Here's the link

  4. Using your images I will create QR codes. Students will have to write the equation that matches. I will also hand a group a camera and let them go hunting in the school. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love it!! I can't wait to share this idea with other teachers!!!