Arrays in Real Life

Teaching ideas for teaching arrays with printable posters of real life arrays together with a simple single lesson array art activity.

After their first few years at school, most children are familiar with the idea of grouping items to make them easier to count or share. Once they are confident with sorting and grouping, the concept of arrays can be introduced.


We've been taking a quick look at the arrays in Maths.


It's a useful concept that helps students move on from groups to multiplication. As always, I try to use visuals with real life examples of arrays to support my students learning.



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Arrays in Real Life - ideas for teaching arrays with examples of real life arrays and printable array posters plus an art activity to make arrays | you clever monkey


Children can connect to real life examples so it's smart practice to use this to help introduce new concepts that can seem confusing otherwise.

There are so many examples of arrays in real life which makes the language and concept easier to explain.


Before talking about arrays, we reviewed the idea that grouping objects makes them much easier to count. 


I scattered a couple of handfuls of counters on the floor in front of us all.


Visuals help. 


'How many are there?' 


Immediately, there are hands in the air, fingers pointing at the counters, children trying to be the first one to count them all.


'But what if we move them? Will it make them easier to count?'


We then introduced the concept of an array by rearranging the objects into rows and columns which makes the objects even easier to count quickly and accurately. Point made.

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But as teachers we all know that it's not that simple. A new concept will need to be introduced, reviewed and repeated several times before the idea is concrete.


Creating a classroom display and adding to it is a perfect way to consolidate ideas and concepts intentionally taught in class.


I've made these mini posters using real life arrays to help introduce the concept of arrays and then used them for classroom display. They are designed to print to A4 size but could be increased in size if necessary.

Arrays in Real Life - ideas for teaching arrays with examples of real life arrays and printable array posters plus an art activity to make arrays | you clever monkey
I've used the posters to display in class but we also used them as a prompt before sending everyone off to find their own examples around the classroom and then the school with our iPads to take photos of their own real life examples.

We then printed out a small number of the photos and wrote each sum out three different ways - groups of, expanded form and as a multiplication sum.

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As a follow on lesson we created a city building at night - the lit windows forming an array. 


It was an idea originally shared by the website, E is for Explore. 


The children were thoroughly engaged in making their own buildings and practicing writing the number of windows as a maths sentence.


Using black card pre-cut into different sized and shaped rectangles and fluro bright paper, the children made their own city building at night. Some also attempted to write their array as a multiplication sum.

Arrays in Real Life - ideas for teaching arrays with examples of real life arrays and printable array posters plus an art activity to make arrays | you clever monkey

REAL LIFE ARRAY MINI POSTERS
US $2


Looking for other ideas to teach number? Check our other Maths Ideas.


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