Equal sets (easy multiplication and division)
In this unit students explore multiplication by finding totals in "sets of equal sets" contexts. Students also encounter division through forming equal sets.
About this resource
Specific learning outcomes:
 Use multiplication by two, five, and ten to solve problems with equal sets.
 Use multiplication two, five, and ten to solve division problems with equal sets.
 Pose multiplication and division problems.
 Record working with multiplication and division using diagrams and equations.
Equal sets (easy multiplication and division)
Achievement objectives
NA21: Use simple additive strategies with whole numbers and fractions.
NA22: Know forward and backward counting sequences with whole numbers to at least 1000.
Description of mathematics
Multiplication is used in many different situations, and its basic concept is important in both its practicality (how much do 4 ice creams cost at $2 each) and efficiency (it is quicker to determine 4 x 2 than to calculate 2 + 2 + 2 + 2). In turn, students think about multiplication as a short way to find the result of repeated addition of equal sets.
One context for exploring multiplication is rates. A rate problem involves a statement of "so many of one quantity for so many of another quantity." All multiplication situations contain some form of rate. At Level 2, the problems usually pertain to equal sets or measurement. Take this example:
 Lena buys six bags of biscuits. Each bag contains four biscuits. How many biscuits does she buy altogether?
This is an equal sets problem that contains the rate "four biscuits for every bag".
A measurement rate problem is usually something like this:
 Hone’s kumara plant grows five centimetres each week after it sprouts. How long will his plant be after six weeks?
The rate for Hone’s problem is "five centimetres for every week".
Students should be encouraged to use a variety of materials and mathematical equations to represent rates and solve multiplication problems. These representations help students see the multiplicative structure that is common to a variety of problems and assist them in transferring their understanding to unfamiliar situations. This is made easier as students learn to record their working and answers using diagrams and equations. For example, by modelling two different situations as 4 x 3 = 12, students develop understanding of what is the same and different about the two situations.
Division is the inverse operation to multiplication which means division undoes multiplication (and vice versa). This means that as 3 x 4 = 12, 12 ÷ 3 = 4. The effect of multiplying by three then dividing by three leaves four unchanged.
Division has two forms partitive (sharing) and quotative (measuring). This unit develops measurement division, using multiplication facts. A typical measurement division problem is something like
 12 things are put into sets of three. How many equal sets are made?
Note that students tend to be more familiar with sharing situations (e.g.,12 things are shared equally into three sets. How many things are in each set?)
Opportunities for adaptation and differentiation
This unit can be differentiated by varying the scaffolding provided to make the learning opportunities accessible to a range of learners. For example:
 accepting students’ use of counting and equal addition strategies to solve multiplicative problems, while encouraging them to learn and apply multiplication facts
 encouraging and teaching students to use materials and diagrams to support their thinking
 using strategies like masking materials and "think what will happen", to encourage students to anticipate the results of actions
 providing opportunities for individual, grouped, and paired work
 strategically organising students into groupings in order to encourage peer learning, scaffolding, and extension
 working alongside individual students (or groups of students) who require further support with specific area of knowledge or activities.
This unit uses the authentic science context of kōura (freshwater crayfish). If the context is inappropriate for your students, choose familiar contexts that include multiplicative situations to appeal to students’ interests and experiences and encourage engagement. Examples may include:
 lines of students in kapa haka groups
 collecting bags of pipi or other shellfish
 crews of students racing in waka ama
 loaves of bread for a school or community event
 groups of people travelling in vans, cars, or buses
 preparing bundles of harakeke for weaving.
Te reo Māori kupu such as tatau (count), whakarea (multiply, multiplication), and whakawehe (divide, division) could be introduced in this unit and used throughout other mathematical learning.
Required materials
 counters (cubes, counters, toy animals, etc.)
 calculators
 a die with faces labelled “2, 2, 5, 5, 10, Choose”, or a set of cards with the same labels (four of each)
See Materials that come with this resource to download:
 Equal sets 1 (.pptx)
 Equal sets 2 (.pptx)
 Equal sets 3 (.pptx)
 Equal sets fill the ponds (.pdf) (create game boards and cards)
 Equal sets pond problems (.pdf)
 Equal sets ponds and kōura (.pdf) (printed onto cards or laminated)
 Equal sets ponds and kōura 2 (.pdf) (printed onto cards or laminated)
 Equal sets pinds and kōura 4 (.pdf)
 Equal sets save the kōura (.pdf)
Activity
In this session, students are introduced to the context of kōura (freshwater crayfish). They are challenged to solve equal sets of problems related to this context. Identify any misconceptions and either address them as they occur or use them to plan a review for the start of the next session.
1.
Use Equal sets 1 to introduce the context of kōura (freshwater crayfish). Videos of kōura can be found online to motivate and inform students. You may wish to look at the Department of Conservation page on kōura. Draw also on your students' experiences related to kōura and on the knowledge of local experts.
2.
The problems are based on an equal number of kōura in each pond. Use think (individual), pair (with a partner), and share (whole class) to work on each problem. Allow students access to materials such as cubes, counters, toy creatures, etc. You might work through one problem as a whole class and gradually release the level of responsibility your students have for each problem.
3.
Draw attention to these points as the class completes the problems and as opportunities for discussion occur and become necessary:
 Equal addition can be used to solve multiplication problems. However, multiplication is more efficient; for example, knowing 6 tens equal 60 is better than counting 10, 20, 30,… 60.
 Equal groups can be grouped to make calculations easier; for example, 8 fives can be regrouped as 4 tens.
 Addition and multiplication equations can be used to represent the same situation; for example, 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 18 can be written as 9 x 2 = 18. Note that the first factor is the multiplier, representing the number of equal sets.
4.
Encourage students to share their calculation strategies and record their calculations using addition and multiplication equations. Emphasise the brevity of multiplication equations compared to the equivalent repeated addition equation.
5.
Slide Eight has a nighttime scenario to encourage imaging. Watch to see how students individually create a problem.
 Do they create easier factors like two, five, or ten?
 Do they rely on the use of materials and diagrams?
 Are they clear on the meaning of each factor? (Multiplier is the number of ponds, and the multiplicand is the number of kōura in each pond.)
6.
Ask students to share their problem with a partner. Choose a couple of problems for the whole class to solve. Slide Nine can be used to create pictures of problem situations.
7.
Provide students with Equal sets ponds and kōura to work on in pairs. After a suitable time, gather the class to share their answers. Highlight the following:
 Use the meaning of factors to compare total numbers; for example, 4 x 9 is greater than 9 x 3.
 Use a systematic approach to find missing factors, for example, 1 x 20, 2 x 10, or 4 x 5. Will [ ] ×3=20 have any whole number answers?
In this session, students build up their knowledge of x2, x5, and x10 facts and the commutative property. Remembering those basic facts gives them knowledge from which they can create "new" facts.
1.
Review the problems introduced yesterday and any misconceptions.
2.
Introduce subitizing cards for two, five, and ten kōura (Equal sets ponds and kōura 2). Flash the cards at your students to see if they can instantly say the number of kōura, hold up that many fingers, write the number in the air, etc. Tell the students what you want them to do before showing them the cards.
3.
Put your students into groups of three and distribute ten of each card. Ask the students to put the cards in stacks of the same number: twos, fives, and tens.
 We’re going to play a game called Make That Many. I will write a number, and I want your group to make that many kōura with your cards.
4.
Write up these numbers, one at a time, and have students make the number with cards.
10 12 20 15 13 25
5.
After each number, record the ways students created the number using equations. Note that not all ways use multiplication. Possible examples are shown below:
10 – 1 x 10, 5 + 5 (2 x 5), 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 (5 x 2)
12 – 10 + 2, 5 + 5 + 2, 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 (6 x 2)
20 – 10 + 10 (2 x 10), 10 + 5 + 5, 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 (4 x 5),
2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 (10 x 2), etc.
15 – 10 + 5, 5 + 5 + 5 (3 x 5), 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 5
13 – 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 5, A prime number, not possible with x2, x5 or x 10.
25 – 10 + 10 + 5, 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 (5 x 5), etc.
6.
Write only the multiplication solutions on separate cards.
1 x 10 = 10, 2 x 5 = 10, 5 x 2 = 10, 6 x 2 = 12, 2 x 10 = 20,
4 x 5 = 20, 10 x 2 = 20, 3 x 5 = 15, 5 x 5 = 25.
7.
Put related cards together, such as:
3 x 5 = 15, and 4 x 5 = 20.
2 x 10 = 20, and 4 x 5 = 20.
2 x 5 = 10, and 4 x 5 = 20.
5 x 2 = 10, and 6 x 2 = 12.
8.
Discuss:
 What patterns do you notice?
 Can you explain why the patterns happen?
Look for students to notice similarities and differences.
For example, 5 x 2 = 10 and 6 x 2 = 12.
 Both equations have equal sets of two, but 6 x 2 has one more set of two than 5 x 2.
9.
Physically model the equations with kōura cards to support students in connecting the equations with their meanings.
10.
Show your students how to play the Kōura game in threes, using their cards.
 One player makes a multiplication fact using kōura and ponds. The ponds can be containers or pieces of paper. The equal set cards are hidden under the ponds. For example, Player 1 makes four ponds with a ten kōura card in each pond.
 The player reveals the contents of only one pond, then rehides the kōura card.
 The other two players work out the total number of kōura. Each player gets a point if they are correct.
 Players take turns making and guessing.
 The player with the most points wins.
11.
Record the tens facts in a list and ask students to recite the list in order. Gradually erase facts, but expect students to recite the full list. Encourage students to notice that the “ten times” tables are just the "ty" numbers. For example, ten times six equals sixty.
1x10=10 
1x10=10 
1x10=10 
2x10=20 
2x10=20 

3x10=30 


4x10=40 
4x10=40 
4x10=40 
5x10=50 
5x10=50 

6x10=60 
6x10=60 
6x10=60 
7x10=70 


8x10=80 
8x10=80 

9x10=90 


10x10=100 
10x10=100 
10x10=100 
12.
Repeat this process with the “five times” and “two times” tables. You might continue this over several days and have students use it as an athome learning task.
13.
Use Equal sets save the kōura to support learning of the x2, x5, and x10 facts. Let students play the game in threes. They will need:
 a die with faces labelled “2, 2, 5, 5, 10, Choose”, or a set of cards with the same labels (four of each)
 counters to cover the numbers.
 Some students will need access to calculators to check their answers.
Players take turns to:
 Roll the dice.
 Name a multiplication using the factor they roll that will match an uncovered number. For example, 8 x 2 = 16.
 Cover the number on their board that matches the product (answer).
 If "Choose" comes up, they can nominate 2, 5, or 10 as their chosen factor.
If the multiplication fact is incorrect, the counter is removed, and the player must wait for their next turn.
The first player to cover all their numbers is the winner.
14.
Another useful practice task involves the calculator. Make sure that the calculator is a simple, fourfunction model. These calculators have a constant function. With multiplication, the calculator remembers the first factor as long as nothing is cleared.
Key in 2 x 6 = to get 12.
Enter a new number, such as 10 (no clearing), and press =. You get 20, that is, 2 x 10 (the calculator remembers 2 x ).
Try entering other numbers and pressing =. The result is always 2 x the number you put in until you use a C or AC button.
15.
Have students play How Many Times? with a partner (use one calculator between two students).
 Player A enters a 2x , 5x, or 10x fact, e.g., 5 x 8 = 40. They hand the calculator to Player B.
 Player B sees only the product (answer) to start. They try different factors until they get the target number. For example, they try 6 = and get 30. Then they try 8 and get the target of 40.
 Players keep a tally of how many tries it takes to reach the target. If you want a competitive game, the player with the least number of tries, after many rounds, wins.
In this session, students explore how known x2, x5, and x10 facts can be used to work out other multiplication problems.
1.
Review the key learnings from yesterday's session. You might provide time for students to play some of the games introduced at the end of the last session before introducing today's focus.
2.
Use slides 16 of Equal sets 2 to illustrate how to derive new facts from x2 and x5 facts.
For example, Slide One shows five ponds with two kōura in each pond. Clicking on the animation will add one kōura to each pond.
 How many kōura are in the five ponds altogether?
 How do we write that as an equation? (5 x 2 = 10).
 If we add one more kōura to each pond, what will we have?
(Five ponds with three kōura in each, 15 kōura in total, 5 x 3 =15)
3.
Other examples are:
 Slide Two: 8 x 2 = 16, so 8 x 3 = 24.
 Slide Three: 7 x 2 = 14, so 7 x 3 = 21. (Masked until animated with a mouse click.)
 Slide Four: 4 x 5 = 20, so 4 x 6 = 24.
 Slide Five: 8 x 5 = 40, so 8 x 6 = 48. (Masked until animated with a mouse click.)
4.
Using an appropriate approach and method of grouping, have your students work on Equal sets pond and kōura 4. Look for:
 Do your students recall their basic x2, x5, and x10 facts, or do they still calculate them using skip counting or repeated addition?
 Do they use a known fact to work out a new fact?
In this session, students use multiplication to anticipate the result of repeated subtraction, known as quotative division. For example, one interpretation of 12 ÷ 3 is
 How many threes can be subtracted from 12?
Students continue to use the kōura and ponds scenario.
1.
Use Equal sets 3 to lead the discussion. You might call on a local expert to share their knowledge of farming kōura with your class or find a video online related to this. Encourage students to use the cards from Session 3 to support their thought process, as needed. Anticipating the answer is preferable.
Key points to bring out are:
 allocating equal numbers of kōura to ponds is repeated subtraction; for example, 20 – 5 – 5
 anticipating the number of equal sets that can be subtracted can be solved inefficiently by counting backwards or subtracting; for example, 20 – 5 = 15, 15 – 5 = 10, etc.
 using multiplication is more efficient; for example, 4 x 5 = 20 anticipates the number of fives that can be subtracted from 20
 repeated subtraction can be written as division; for example, 20 ÷ 5 = 4, read as “twenty divided by five equals four”.
2.
Slide Eight shows pairs of equations, first as multiplication and then as division. Note that the equations represent a repeated subtraction of equal sets view of division. With each equation pair, ask:
 What was the problem that went with these equations?
3.
Focus on the meaning of the numbers and operation symbols in each equation.
 What does the ÷ sign mean in these problems?
4.
In general, agree that ÷ means “measured in equal sets of” to get the idea that the number of times one set (the divisor) fits into another (the dividend or first number).
5.
Use Equal sets fill the ponds to make the game Fill the Ponds. The rules are as follows:
You need: one pond board each; a set of cards between two players; coloured counters to cover the numbers.
This is a game for two players, but it can be played in fours, in which two sets of cards are used.
To start, shuffle the cards and deal each player three cards. Take turns to:
 Choose one of your cards, e.g., 20.
 Choose the divisor (kōura per pond) from the numbers 2, 5, and 10, e.g. Choose 2.
 If you put [card number] kōura into ponds and [chose divisor] in each pond, how many ponds do you fill? e.g., 20 ÷ 2 = 10.
 Cover the answer on your board, e.g., Cover 10 on your board.
 Take another card from the deck so you can start the next turn with three cards. Put the card you used at the bottom of the deck.
6.
The first player to cover all their numbers wins.
7.
Discuss the game.
 Why are there more of some numbers than others on the board?
 Which numbers were hard to get? Why?
 Which calculations were easy? Which calculations were hard?
 What makes the calculations easy or hard?
8.
Let students practice division using Equal sets save the pond. They can work individually or in pairs. Look particularly at the way students solve the division problems:
 Do they use multiplication facts or rely on counting or repeated addition or subtraction?
Allow students to work on two activities throughout this session:
 Write "kōura in ponds" problems for others to solve.
 Replay games and practice basic facts (x2, x5, and x10).
Use this time to assess students' knowledge through observations, learning conversations, miniinterviews, and analysis of students' work.
The focus of observation for each question is also included below.
1.
There are eight ponds. Five kōura live in each pond.
 How many kōura is that altogether?
This problem is 8 x 5 = [ ] (product unknown).
 Do students use their multiplication facts or fall back to counting or repeated addition?
2.
John has 60 kōura to seed some ponds.
He wants ten kōura in each pond.
 How many ponds does he need to find?
This problem is [ ] x 10 = 60 (multiplier unknown). It can also be represented as a division, i.e., 60 ÷ 10 = [ ].
 Do students use their knowledge of x 10 facts to solve it?
3.
There are nine ponds and 18 kōura altogether.
The same number of kōura live in each pond.
 How many kōura are in each pond?
This problem can be represented as 9 x [ ] = 18 or 18 ÷ 9 = [ ]. Note that this is sharing (partitive) division.
4.
Imagine seven ponds; each pond has five kōura.
 How many kōura is that altogether?
 Imagine you put two more kōura in each pond.
 How many kōura would you have, then?
This problem assesses students’ ability to derive facts. It can be written mathematically as 7 x 5 = 35, so 7 x 7 = 49.
5.
 If 8 x 10 = 80, what does 8 x 11 equal?
This problem assesses whether students recognise the meaning of multiplication equations, that is, 8 x 10 as eight sets of ten, and their ability to derive new facts, that is, eight sets of eleven results in eight more.
Home link
Dear parents and whānau,
At school this week, we solved problems about multiplication with a little bit of division. We used the story of kōura (freshwater crayfish) in ponds to learn multiplication facts with twos, fives, and tens; for example, 4 x 5 = 20 and 6 x 2 = 12.
We are trying hard to use our multiplication facts to solve multiplication problems rather than relying on skip counting or adding up. We are also using our x 2, x 5, and x 10 facts to solve division problems like this:
 There are 100 kōura to put into ponds. I want ten kōura in each pond. How many ponds do I need?
Ask us how we solve problems like that.
The quality of the images on this page may vary depending on the device you are using.