Easy Multiplication,
Easy Measurement and Easy Partition Word Problems
Here is a representation of 3 fish tanks, with 2 fish in each tank.
The number 3 is called the multiplier and the number 2 is
called the multiplicand. The multiplier tells you how many sets
there are (in this case 3) and the multiplicand tells you how many
elements there are in each set (in this case 2). The number 6 is called
the product.
And here is a representation of 2 fish tanks, with 3 fish in each tank.
In this case, 2 is the multiplier and 3 is the multiplicand. Notice
that
3 tanks with 2 fish in each tank is not the same as 2 tanks with 3 fish
in each tank  even though in both cases there are 6 fish altogether.
All Easy Multiplication, all Easy Measurement, and all Easy Partition
word problems involve 3 numbers  a multiplier, a multiplicand and a
product. We can make up word problems involving these numbers in 3
different ways.
1. Easy Multiplication: Eva has 3 fish tanks with 2 fish in each
tank. How many fish does Eva have altogether? (We are given the number
3, the multiplier, and the number 2 the multiplicand. We need to find
the product.
2 x 3 = □)
2. Easy Measurement: Eva has 6 fish. She has 2 of those fish in
each of her fish tanks. How many fish tanks does Eva have? (We are
given the number 6, the product, and the number 2, the multiplicand. We
need to find the multiplier. 6 ÷ 2 = □)
3. Easy Partition: Eva has 6 fish and 3 fish tanks. She has the
same number of fish in each fish tank. How many fish are there in each
fish tank? (We are given the number 6, the product, and the number 3,
the multiplier. We need to find the multiplicand. 6 ÷ 3 = □)
This chart summarizes the relationship between Easy Multiplication,
Easy Measurement and Easy Partition.

multiplier (tanks)

multiplicand (fish)

product

Easy Multiplication^{1} 
given

given

find

Easy Measurement^{2} 
find

given

given

Easy Partition^{2} 
given

find

given

______________________________________________
^{1}You have already seen that a representation
of 3 fish tanks
with
2 fish in each tank is different from a representation of 2 fish tanks
with
3 fish in each tank. Multiplication is very different from addition in
this way.
A representation of 3 boys and 2 girls in the playground is identical
to a
representation of 3 girls and 2 boys.
^{2}Not only is the example of Easy Measurement (6 ÷ 2 = □)
different
from the example of Easy Partition
(6 ÷ 3 = □), they are not even the examples
of the same type of problem.
(back to Division)