Pupils must first be able to recognise equal groups. To better understand and identify equal groups, pupils should initially explore both equal and unequal groups. Pupils should then learn to describe equal groups with words.
“There are 3 equal groups of eggs.”
“There are 5 eggs in each group.”
“There are 3 groups of 5.”
Based on their existing additive knowledge, pupils should be able to represent equal-group contexts with repeated addition expressions, for example 5 + 5 + 5. They should then learn to write multiplication expressions to represent the same contexts, for example 3 × 5. Pupils must be able to explain how each term in a multiplication expression links to the context it represents. Pupils must also be able to understand equivalence between a repeated addition expression and a multiplication expression: 5 + 5 + 5 = 3 × 5 . Pupils should then learn to calculate the total number of items (the product), for contexts based on the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables, initially by skip counting. They should be able to write complete multiplication equations, for example 3 × 5 = 15, and explain how each term links to the context.
“The 3 represents the number of groups.”
“The 5 represents the number of eggs in each group.”
“The 15 represents the total number of eggs.”
Pupils should be able to relate multiplication to situations where the total number of items cannot be seen, for example by representing 3 × 5 with three 5-value counters.
You can find out more about fluency and recording for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables here in the calculation and fluency section: 2MD–1.