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Year 2 Maths

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What is Multiplication?

turtles

Multiplication is a quick way of adding the same number over and over again. Here's an example. There are five groups of two turtles. How many are there in all?

You could add 2 five times:
2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 10.

You could also say that 5 twos = 10. You can write that as a multiplication problem: 5 × 2 = 10.

We read that as 'five times two equals ten'. The sign × means 'times', and it shows that you are multiplying.

The numbers in a multiplication problem have special names. The numbers that are being multiplied are called factors. The answer is called the product.

In 2 × 4 = 8, 2 and 4 are factors, and 8 is the product:
2 × 4 = 8
factor × factor = product

You can also practise by turning a multiplication problem into an addition problem. For example, what is 2 × 3? You can change that to 2 + 2 + 2, which equals 6. So, 2 × 3 = 6.

What is 2 × 5? You can change that to 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2, which equals 10. So, 2 × 5 = 10.

Adding 2 over and over again is the same thing as counting in twos: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. When you count in twos, you get the products of multiplying by 2, like this:

1 × 2 = 2

2 × 2 = 4

3 × 2 = 6

4 × 2 = 8

5 × 2 = 10


This activity is adapted from pages 274 - 275 of What Your Year 2 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.

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