We'll build arrays using Google table. Learning to use Google table at the start of the year gives students an awesome tool for problem solving and information organization.
We'll start by building all the arrays for 24 together--each child will have a computer, and I'll have my computer hooked up to the white board.
- Students will open Google docs and create a document.
- Students will name the document like this "John's Number Arrays."
- We'll talk a bit about what an array is and then I'll ask students to name arrays for 24.
- We'll build each array and color it in (use "table properties'). Later we'll discuss how arrays are named by their dimensions and their dimensions are the factor pairs for that number.
- After that I'll have students work with partners to build all the possible arrays for 36, then 48. As the numbers get larger, students may have to build the 1 X __ by inserting special characters from the menu bar, rather than the table tool as that has some size limitations (you can make a 1X20, then add several cells to it if you have the font reduced as much as possible).
There are many wonderful tools on Google and other programs that help students to organize and develop their mathematical thinking. Introducing these tools to students early on provides them with a great resource with which to communicate and deepen mathematical understanding.