Partitioning or splitting arrays into known parts assists students to develop fluency and flexibility with basic number facts. It also introduces students to the distributive property.

Students work in pairs.

- One student generates two single-digit numbers by rolling 2 ten-sided dice (or two six-sided dice with faces of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
- The student records a fact (e.g. 6 \(\times\) 7) and constructs a partial or complete array.
- The partner looks for other related facts by splitting the array (e.g. 6 \(\times\) 5 + 6 \(\times\) 2).

You can watch the *Splitting Arrays* video.

You can download the *Splitting Arrays* video transcript.

Students work together to find another way to split the array using known facts.

Opportunities arise for noticing square numbers, and doubling and halving connections. This is a useful way to develop flexibility and strategic choice. You can watch the slide show on splitting arrays into known parts.

You can download and view the *Splitting Arrays* slide presentation.

A blank 10 by 10 grid can be downloaded and used to record the splits. Using different colours makes the connections clear.

Encourage students to generate a list of multiplication facts that they find difficult, and consider how they might partition them to make the mental calculation easier.

Make a class chart of the different strategies.

This activity can be extended so students mentally calculate the product of a two-digit and a one-digit number using partitioning strategies to make the calculation easier.