# Arrays Background Information for Teachers, Parents and Caregivers

This page provides information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about arrays. It is designed to complement the Arrays topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

Arrays can help your children develop concepts of multiplication and division. An array is a set of objects organized into equal groups. For example, 6 objects can be arranged into several different arrays: 1 group of 6 objects, 6 groups with 1 object in each group, 3 groups with 2 objects in each group, or 2 groups with 3 objects in each group. Arrays are all around us: A pack of socks might have 3 pairs, a carton of eggs might have 2 rows of 6 eggs, a tray of muffins might have 3 rows of 2 muffins, etc. Together with your children, think of objects that are grouped in sets. We recommend watching the Making Equal Groups movie together as a review. Familiarize them with arrays by organizing objects in different ways.

Arrays can help people count more easily. Explain to your children that instead of counting objects one by one, they can organize the objects into equal groups and count the groups. Remind your children that when they multiply, they put equal groups together to find the total. Like addition and subtraction, multiplication is an operation, a way to manipulate numbers. We use the symbol *x* to show multiplication. In the number sentence 3 x 2, you must add the number 3 two times in order to find the product, or answer. You can also add the number 2 three times in order to find the answer. Remind children that the order in which numbers are multiplied does not affect the outcome: 3 x 2 will yield the same answer as 2 x 3. Draw or model different arrays and have children write multiplication number sentences that describe them.

Introducing your children to arrays at an early age will help build a solid foundation for multiplication and division. Arrays can help your children visualize and understand more complicated math operations.