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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Stage 1
  2. Mathematics
  3. Activities
  4. Arranging desks
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Arranging desks

There are no Work Samples available for this Activity.

Foundation Statement strands

The following strands are covered in this activity:

Working Mathematically, Number

Description of activity

Students are given a collection of counters and three worksheets depicting arrays of 9 triangles, 9 squares and 9 hexagons. The teacher presents the following scenario: ‘Ms Smith has 16 students in her class. She can set up the classroom with triangular tables, square tables or hexagonal tables. Three students can sit at each of the triangular tables, four students at each of the square tables or six students at each of the hexagonal tables. Ms Smith wants the same number of students at each table.'

Students investigate which table shape Ms Smith should use. They record their results and answer the following questions.


  1. Which table shapes did you try?
  2. How did you work out which table shape to use?
  3. How many of these tables would be needed?
  4. What table shape could the teacher use if there were 21 students?

Board of Studies NSW, Mathematics K-6 Sample Units of Work, p 49

Suggested materials

worksheets, paper, pencils, counters

Prior learning

Students have used a range of strategies for multiplication and division including arrays, repeated addition and repeated subtraction. They have modelled equal groups and shared collections of objects equally. Students have used concrete materials to explore mathematical problems and have described or demonstrated how answers were obtained.


Multiplication and Division (NS1.3)
Uses a range of mental strategies and concrete materials for multiplication and division.
Applying Strategies (WMS1.2)
Uses objects, diagrams, imagery and technology to explore mathematical problems.
Reasoning (WMS1.4)
Supports conclusions by explaining or demonstrating how answers were obtained.

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • use arrays and concrete materials to explore division problems
  • determine solutions to division problems
  • explain how answers were obtained.
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