Another way to use their Easter chocolates. An array is formed by arranging a set of objects into rows and columns.


  • Easter chocolates
  • Whiteboard and pen


I left the title “Making Arrays”, alongside some chocolates that were scattered across the tray, to see what Ioan would do. He set out the chocolates in a variety of arrays.

I asked him to pick one of his arrays to work with, so he went for the wrapped chocolates to keep his hands clean.

Number of rows

Number of columns


The basic idea of multiplication is repeated addition. Ioan explained why using multiplication, is quicker than repeatedly adding numbers.

Example: 6 × 3 = 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 15


Multiplication and division are inverse operations. Start with 6, then multiply it by 3 and we get 18. Now divide 18 by 3 and we get back to 6.

Ioan found it easiest to read his multiplications backwards, just swapping the signs to a divide and equals.

Other examples

Ioan set the same 18 chocolates out in a different array. This time there were two rows of 9 sweets, or 9 columns of 2 sweets.

He worked out the two multiplication facts and their inverse division facts.

Finally, Ioan sat out this final array. It made him giggle as he explained that it was only one row of 18 sweets, or 18 columns of one sweet. He worked out the corresponding multiplication and division facts.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 1 programme of study

Number – multiplication and division

  • solve one-step problems involving multiplication and division, by calculating the answer using concrete objects, pictorial representations and arrays with the support of the teacher.