Hip, Hip, Array!
Posted On:
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Dr. Gazda participating in the lesson.
Dr. Gazda participating in the lesson.

Students in room 1 at Chapin Street School have become very good- some might say even experts- at solving math problems using arrays.  Ask any of Ms. Yarkey’s 2nd grade students  and they will tell you that an array is a pattern of columns and rows using a set of objects to solve math problems.  

Arrays are used as a visual representation of the computation process, helping students to “see” and better understand possible solutions. Yarkey explained why the concept of arrays is taught in the 2nd grade Eureka Math Curriculum, “Students compose and decompose arrays to create repeated number sentences.  This lays the conceptual foundation for multiplication and division in 3rd grade.”

Students have also incorporated their technology skills into creating lessons to both demonstrate their knowledge of word problems using arrays and to teach their peers about arrays, using Google Slides.  “As an alternative to completing a worksheet students worked in pairs to create a Google Slides involving rows and columns whereby their peers had to draw the array and write the repeated addition sentence to match,” proudly said Yarkey.  “In all honesty, the problems that my students created were much more challenging than those found on a worksheet designed to practice the same concept.”

Joining students in room 1 with a whiteboard and marker in hand, Ludlow Superintendent, Dr. Todd Gazda, recently learned about arrays first hand, observing students present their math lessons. “I was excited to have the opportunity to participate in this exciting math lesson. I was impressed with the Google Slides that these second grade students created.”

With the help of his student peer, Richard Roberts, Gazda quickly learned the finer points of using arrays to solve math problems. According to Roberts, “He (Gazda) had never done arrays before so he was kind of confused and needed a little help, but then he got the hang of it.  I told him every time you are doing an array so you have to check to make sure you have the right amount of columns and rows. I was happy to help!”

When asked how he became such an expert at arrays Roberts gave credit to his grandfather, “Arrays are easy for me because I do Sudoku with my grandfather. We have to fill in the numbers on the puzzle- that helps me with my math.”

“This lesson really gave me perspective and helped me relate to the challenge that parents sometimes face when helping their children with math these days. We teach math very differently today as opposed to when I learned it in second grade. Luckily I had my friend Richard to help me out!”

We welocme you to view the photos below from Dr. Gazda's visit and a video explaining arrays.

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