Marty’s family owned 6 cars. His mom and dad both had a car. His two older brothers, Mike and Merlin, and his twin sisters drove cars, too. Marty was too young to drive yet.
Marty’s family LOVED cheese, so they had lots of it. They had so much cheese that they had to keep it in 3 refrigerators.
Marty decided he wanted to count to see how much cheese they had, so he started in the first refrigerator. There were 9 pieces of cheese.
Then he counted the cheese in the second and third refrigerators. They also had 9 pieces of cheese each. Marty wondered how much cheese that was altogether. He started to count all the cheese, but kept losing count. This was a problem and Marty became very frustrated.
Right about that time, along came Mike, Marty’s oldest brother, strolling through the kitchen. He could see how frustrated Marty looked and he asked what was the matter. What’s up, dude?
Marty explained his problem to his brother, who said, “Not to worry little mouse. Mike to the rescue! Don’t you love to add numbers?” This gave Marty an idea. “I can add 9 plus 9 plus 9 more to find the answer!” he exclaimed. So quickly he started adding. “9 plus 9 is 18 and 18 + 9 is… um…
“…27!”, said Marty. “That’s right”, said Mike. “Good for you. I guess we can now call you the “Multiplying Mouse.” “Huh?” Marty was puzzled. “What is multiplying? ? ? ? ? ?
Mike explained, “When you multiply numbers it is like adding the same number over and over again. Of course, this only works when you have equal sets of things to count. For example, like those 4 baskets of apples mom has on the counter. Each basket has 5 apples. You can add 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 which is the same as multiplying 4x5.”
“Wow!”, exclaimed Marty. “That is really neat.” “These are the facts, dude. And it is much, much easier once you practice and memorize these facts. There is another way to figure out the totals (called products). You can make an array.” Marty wanted to know what an array was so Mike explained…
“An array is a picture you can make. Let’s take the cheese, for example. Our kitchen floor is a good way to start. It is made of squares. Let’s put each piece of cheese in rows on the squares.” (By the way, don’t try this at home- it might make your mom very unhappy.) “How many pieces should we put in each row?”, Marty wondered. “Let’s make a row for the cheese in each refrigerator…”
Marty arranged the cheese and saw that it was much easier to count, but he made a promise to learn his multiplication facts very soon. He knew this would make it so much easier! 3X9=?
Marty was so excited about learning multiplication that he looked for other things in his mouse house to multiply. Now it’s your turn. Marty’s family had a lot of chairs. The chairs are sorted into groups. Make an array to show how many chairs there are.
His family had several beds. What kind of array can you make to show the number of beds he had? What is the multiplication sentence?
Help Marty figure out how many wheels there are on the cars they own. Make an array to show this product.
Thanks for helping Marty figure out these problems. Now you are a Multiplying Mouse, too!