We first practiced how to make equal groups together. I had them all stand up, and then I said something like "make equal groups of 2"...they had to quickly get into pairs scattered around the room. Then "make equal groups of 4"..."5"..."6"..etc.

Then I broke out the hula hoops :) I projected a multiplication problem. We first made the groups {hula hoops} then we put how many in each group {students}.

For example: 4x2

I had a "Teacher assistant" make four hula hoops for the four groups on the floor.

I put 2 students in each group.

We counted how many students "in all"...4x2=8

Next we did 5x2= 10

3x3=9

Three hoops with 3 students in each group.