The Challenge: Create an array with materials around your house. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
Materials needed: Go wild. Anything can work here: origami butterflies, shoes, paperclips, cereal, pencils…
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: arithmetic (multiplication), counting, proportions/ratios, sequences, symmetry
Depending on how you use this activity, you may engage with different mathematical standards. I’ve listed possible connected math content above. Here are a few suggestions for how you might integrate the 8 mathematical practices. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!
3.) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Discuss with students whether arrays must be rectangular or if other options are available.
7.) Look for and make use of structure. Create arrays that highlight mathematical values. It is common to use arrays for numbers with many prime factors, but how might you best create arrays to illustrate prime numbers? Is that even useful? Why or why not?
8.) Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Discuss what is useful about arrays. Where are arrays commonly used already and why?