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3D Multiplication Table

Class Time: 15 minutes
3D Multiplication Chart (1 piece)
Rods (2 pieces)
Bag of M & M's

The manipulative is a three dimensional version of a multiplication chart, shaped similar to a Connect 4 board. The base of the manipulative is a box and the holes along the edges create tunnels for the rods to be inserted, while the holes on the flat face make the rods’ intersection and multiplication product visible. To use it, one inserts two rods in either direction such that where the two rods intersect is the product of the two numbers.

Big Idea

Multiplication, Division, Area of squares and rectangles


The manipulative was designed to (i) support exploration of multiplication and division problems, (ii) to relate the multiples of numbers for multiplication and the factors for division, and (iii) to discover a concept of repeated addition and subtraction and learn patterns that naturally occur.

Sample Tasks and Explorations:

  1. Use the manipulative to find 7x 8
  2. Show me what you would do for 5 x 5.
  3. How would you use this tool to find how many seeds are in a flower bed, given that in the garden there is space for 20 rows of 14 seeds in a flower bed?
  4. Use the tool to show many different ways we can get two numbers whose product is 200