Lesson Video: The Multiplication Symbol | Nagwa Lesson Video: The Multiplication Symbol | Nagwa

Lesson Video: The Multiplication Symbol Mathematics • 3rd Grade

In this video, we will learn how to use the multiplication symbol to write multiplication expressions and link them to models and addition expressions.

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Video Transcript

The Multiplication Symbol

In this video, we’re going to learn how to use the multiplication symbol. Here’s a pair of socks. Two socks make a pair, don’t they? Here’s another pair and another and one more. We now have four pairs of socks. We could say that we have four groups of two socks.

Another way of writing down how many socks we can see is as an addition. There are two plus two plus two plus two socks. Now, two plus two plus two plus two is quite a long way of writing out what we’ve got. Wouldn’t it be good if there was a shorter way to write four groups of two? Well, there is. This is what we call the multiplication symbol. It looks a little bit like a small letter x, doesn’t it? We use it when we want to show a few lots of or groups of the same number.

Our picture shows four lots of two, four equal groups with two socks in each group, four groups of two. So, instead of writing two plus two plus two plus two, we can use the multiplication symbol to write four multiplied by two. Another way of saying this is four times two. It’s simply another way of writing four groups of two.

Now that we can use the multiplication symbol, we can save a lot of time. These coins are all in equal groups. How could we say how many there are? We could say there are three plus three plus three plus three plus three plus .... Let’s stop right there because this is turning into a really long addition. And we know a much clearer way to write down how much there are of something when there are equal groups.

There are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight lots of three coins. And we can use the multiplication symbol here. We can say that the number of coins is worth eight times three or eight multiplied by three. Eight is the number of groups, and three is the number in each group. So, instead of saying a big long list of three plus three plus three plus three and so on, we can just say eight times three, and the person listening knows exactly what we mean.

Let’s try putting into practice what we’ve learned. We’ll go through some questions where we need to use and understand the multiplication symbol. Let’s see, especially, whether you can use your knowledge of eight times three in this first question.

Pick the picture where the total number of dots is eight multiplied by three.

We’ve got four pictures here, and they each show groups of dots. The first one’s a little bit different because the two groups of dots we can see are different numbers. But it’s interesting that in all the other pictures, we can see lots of groups of three dots. And we’re told that we need to pick the picture where the total number of dots is the same value as the one that we’ve underlined here.

Now, we know what eight and three mean, but do you know what the symbol in between them means? It looks like a small letter x, doesn’t it? Well, if you were listening carefully as the question was read out, you might have heard. This symbol is the multiplication symbol. And that’s why when the question was read out, we said eight multiplied by three. Another way of saying the same thing would be eight times three. We can think of the multiplication symbol as showing a few lots of the same number or a few groups of the same number.

If we look at our first picture, we can’t see any groups of the same number. But interestingly, we can see the numbers eight and three. But this doesn’t show eight lots of three or eight groups of three. I think we need the addition symbol for this picture. It shows eight plus three. This isn’t what we’re looking for. In this question, where we write eight times three or eight multiplied by three, eight represents the number of groups that we want and three represents the number of dots in each group.

We’ve already noticed some of the pictures that have lots of groups of three, but which one has eight groups of three? In the second picture, there are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine groups of three. This doesn’t show eight times three; it shows nine times three. Our third picture shows one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight times three. It seems this is the picture we were looking for.

And if we just check the last picture, it’s always good to do this, we can see that it shows seven groups of three. We know when we write eight multiplied by three, this represents eight groups of three or eight lots of three. So the picture that shows the total number of dots that’s the same as eight times three is the one that shows eight groups with three dots in each group.

Which of these can we read as two groups of eight objects? Two plus eight, two divided by eight, eight take away two, or two multiplied by eight.

We’re given four different possible answers here. What’s the same about them and what’s different? What can you see? They all contain the numbers two and eight. This is interesting because our question mentions the numbers two and eight too. But we can see each of our answers has a different symbol. There’s an addition symbol, a division symbol, a subtraction symbol, and a multiplication symbol.

To answer the question, we need to think then about what these symbols mean because one of our possible answers is a way of representing two groups of eight objects. We might expect two groups of eight to look something like this. There are two groups, and each of them has got eight dots. Now, which of our symbols could we use to represent groups of something? We know if we add two numbers together, we combine them. So two plus eight would mean the total of two and another eight.

When we subtract one number from another, the first number gets smaller. This isn’t a way of showing groups of a number either. And we know we use the division symbol when we want to share a number or split it up or divide it. But we know we can use the multiplication symbol to represent several lots of a number or several groups of the same number. So when we see two multiplied by eight written out, we know this means two lots of eight or, as it says in the question, two groups of eight objects. We can represent two groups of eight objects by writing two multiplied by eight.

There are five bananas in one bunch. Eight multiplied by five is the total number of bananas in what bunches?

The first fact that we’re told in this question is that there are five bananas in one bunch. We’re given a picture to help us. And if you count them, you’ll see that there are five. In a way, we can think about this bunch of bananas as being a group of bananas. We’ve then got a sentence that we need to complete. It is “eight multiplied by five is the total number of bananas in what bunches.” Can you see an interesting symbol in this sentence? It’s in between the number eight and the number five, isn’t it? And it looks like a small letter x.

It is not a letter x at all though. This is the multiplication symbol. And when we write it in between the numbers eight and five like this, we could say eight multiplied by five, eight times five, eight lots of five. These are all ways of saying the same thing. As we’ve said already, our bunch of bananas is really a group of five. So what do you think eight times five means if we’re talking about bananas? It means eight lots of five bananas, doesn’t it? And because there are five bananas in a bunch, we know that it means eight bunches of bananas. Eight multiplied by five is the total number of bananas in eight bunches.

William is baking pies. He wants to make six multiplied by eight pies. Pick one way he could do this. A tray of six pies and another of eight pies or six trays with eight pies on each tray?

Can you picture what’s happening in this question? We’ve got William who must be in the kitchen and he’s baking some pies. He knows how many he wants to bake, but he doesn’t know how to do it. We’re told that he wants to make six multiplied by eight pies. This symbol in between the number six and eight is the multiplication symbol. We could also say six times eight.

Now, for William to make six times eight pies, he’s gonna have to understand what the multiplication symbol means. We’re given two possible ways he could make his pies. Let’s sketch them quickly so we understand what they’re talking about. The first answer says that he could make a tray of six pies and then another with eight pies on it. It might look something like this. The second answer says six trays with eight pies on each tray. So, that’s six trays and then eight pies on each of them.

Now, if we look at our first picture, what can we see? We can see six pies and another eight pies. And if we were going to use a symbol in between six and eight here, we’d use the addition symbol, wouldn’t we? We’d say we have six plus eight pies. This is not the same as multiplying. But if we look at our second picture, we could say we have six groups of eight or six lots of eight or even six times eight. This is the same as multiplying, isn’t it? If William wants to make six multiplied by eight pies, we know he can do this by taking six trays with eight pies on each tray.

What have we learned in this video? We’ve learned how to use the multiplication symbol.

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