How To Teach Array Models in Multiplication a Micro Lesson

Updated: Apr 24

Special Education micro math lesson teaching students to identify expressions for an array.

Based on IEP goal - By (date), when given problems with multiplication, the student will interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each, improving operations and algebraic thinking skills from 0/10 work samples out of ten consecutive trials to 8/10 work samples in ten consecutive trials. 3.OA.A.1

Lesson Objective

Students will be able to understand and solve multiplication equations using array models as they relate to the basic concepts of multiplication.

Guiding Question

How might an array be a faster method to solving multiplication problems?

Tools and Materials

36 math counter per student (this will accommodate an array up to 6x6 in size)

Additional counter for exploration during independent work time

Academic Vocabulary

Array, Product

Prerequisite Skills

Skip counting, Counting equal groups, Repeated addition


Read your students the follow word problem sample

Jacob wants to buy 6 movie tickets that cost $5 each. How much money will Jacob need to purchase the movie tickets?

Show what you know:

Let the students brainstorm ideas based on previous knowledge of multiplication especially as it relates to the concept of repeated addition. 5+5+5+5+5+5 (table partners or groups 2-3 three minutes)

Do not be afraid to wait the full time even if there is silence and it feels like an eternity. Give them time for productive struggle of thought, stamina is not a bad thing to build. Extend if conversation is adding to group knowledge base.

Teacher Modeling

Build an array model matching the word problems sample.

Count out six rows of five counters per row.

Explain that in an array, objects are in rows and columns.

  1. There are six rows.

  2. Rows go side to side.

  3. There are five counters in each row.

  1. There are five columns.

  2. Columns go up and down.

  3. There are six counters in each column.

Ask: How do you think you might read this array?

The expression that describes the array is:

6 × 5 = 30

Number of rows x Number of dots in each row = The product

If the six represent to number of movie tickets Jacob wants to buy and the 5 represent the cost of each ticket. How much money will Jacob need? $30

Guided Practice and Independent Work Time

Challenge student to create their own models based on multiplication flash cards or teacher provided sample problems. Then reverse the challenge by giving array samples where the student have the opportunity to write an expression to describe the array.


It may be useful to provide 3 multiple choice options to choose the correct expression that described the array as an intermediate step.

Math IEP Goal Objective Workbook Including

  • 40 daily fluency assignments

  • 8 student self-monitoring progress sheets with weekly goal setting

  • 2 baseline assessments

  • 8 formative assessments

  • 1 present level of performance data tracking sheet (Perfect for progress reporting and IEP meetings)

  • Teacher answer keys


Other IEP goal based products you might like


If teachers are looking for additional IEP goals to support their students with 3rd grade math, our goal bank has plenty of options. Just some of the goals our goal bank offers include: developing an understanding of place value, addition and subtraction with regrouping, understanding multiplication and division facts, and mastering basic fractions. No matter what ar