The Multiplication Strategy Mat requires the child to draw/make and write to represent a multiplication problem as four different strategies – equal groups, arrays, repeated addition and skip counting – as well as recording the problem with the correct answer as a complete number sentence. This helps the child to actually manipulate, see and better understand that multiplication is actually all about combining equal groups together to find a total amount.
The strategies included are;
- Equal groups: The child can draw dots or shapes to represent the equal groupings or use small manipulative such as beads, buttons or unit blocks. I suggest laminating the printed mat and using a whiteboard marker for the drawing and writing tasks.
- Array: An array is a group of objects arranged into rows and columns. Again, this can be drawn or made with manipulative.
- Repeated addition: The child is learning that by adding the second factor (or number) repeatedly, you can solve the problem. The first factor tells you how many time to add it.
- Skip counting: Counting by the second factor, the first factor tells you how many skips ahead to make as you count.
- Write the full multiplication sentence.