In Maths, we started a unit of work where we were developing our understanding of the the 3, 4 and 8 times tables. We used a lot of resources including beadstrings, counters and multilink, to make groups of numbers and arrays. We recorded what we found in our books and wrote down the calculations and products shown. Hopefully, these methods will really help us with our understanding of multipliction (and division).
We needed to remember that the X means 'groups of' or 'lots of' to ensure our models and recordings made sense. Here is an example of arrays that can be made with 12 counters: