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Teaching Repeated Addition

Teaching repeated addition strategies

Teaching repeated addition is a way to improve  multiplication fluency for students who can’t learn their multiplication facts. Teaching repeated addition will help students to build their understandings about multiplication using what they already know about addition. It is a simple strategy that you can implement into your maths routines, but one that will produce results quickly! Take a look at these classroom ideas and download your free worksheets and printables, that you can use today for teaching numeracy


Repeated Addition Free Printables

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Multiplication Difficulties

Students who find it difficult to learn how to multiply do so as a result of being taught ‘times tables’ chants before being taught what multiplication is. Think about it this way.  When you hear a student proudly sing the ABC song  you know that all they can  actually do is sing a song. You know that just because they can sing a song it doesn’t mean that they have any understanding about reading, writing, phonics or spelling. So when we see students who know their ‘times tables’ we should not assume that they understand what multiplication is.


Multiplication posters

Understanding Multiplication

Students who struggle with multiplication do not understand that multiplication is the repeated addition of the same number. When they see a multiplication problem e.g. 4 X 2 they  will tell you that they need to ‘times it’ but they don’t know what to ‘times it’ really means.

To help fix this teachers need to teach students how to extend what they already know about addition into repeated addition  and then link this to the process of multiplication.

Repeated Addition

Adding the same number again and again in order to find the answer to a multiplication problem.

 Teaching Repeated Addition

Repeated addition is the easiest way to solve multiplication problems but it requires students to be able to interpret a multiplication problem  correctly. For example the problem 2 x 4 would be 2 added together 4 times. Take a look at this short video.



To help students make the transition from additive into multiplicative understanding it is important to explicitly teach how the two processes are connected. To solve any type of maths problem we suggest using Dr. Anne Newman’s prompts to facilitate student learning when teaching numeracy

Here is an example of the steps to solve: 4 x 2 = ?

  1. The first step is to discuss what the problem is asking us to do. Use the prompt:”What is the problem asking you to find out?”
  2. Next model to the students how to put the problem into their own words.
  3. Provide explicit instruction on how to replace ‘times’ or ‘multiply’ with  the words ‘groups of’ or ‘lots of’ to ensure understanding.
  4. Demonstrate how to create the repeated addition number sentence to match the multiplication problem.Students will need know:
    • Which number they should add over and over
    • When to stop adding
  5. Use materials, drawings and number lines to find the solution
  6. Finally, test the solution works

Planning Classroom Activities

Improve understanding of the repeated addition strategy  by providing opportunities for your students to try out the repeated addition process. See below a range of repeated addition activities that you can use in your classroom to help students consolidate the repeated addition strategy. Download your free printables now!

Dab & Dot Add & Add & Add


Repeated Addition Free Printable

  • Dab & Dot Add & Add & Add free printable – This is an editable PDF document so you can type the problems straight into the printable (You will need Adobe Reader DC to make this work, it is FREE – If you can’t make it work PLEASE check you are using Adobe Reader DC and not your Browser)
  • You will need Dab & Dot Bingo Dabbers for this one.


Goggly Eyes Arrays

Repeated Addition Activities


Legobric Arrays

Lego Arrays

  • Brick Maths  Do your students like Lego bricks? they the’ll love building their repeated addition number sentences with bricks! Again the reusable pockets may be useful for this one.

Muffin Tin Arrays

Multiplication with a muffin tin

  • Muffin tin Addition – Simple & great way for students to visualise the repeated addition in the array format. We used beautiful gems instead of counters and flashcards



Play Dough Arrays


Pinterest Ideas

Take a Look at our favourite Pins. We have collected more ideas for your maths lessons on our Teaching Multiplication Pinterest board

Multiplication ideas on Pinterest

Free Repeated Addition Lesson Plan

Click Image to DOWNLOAD Your FREE Lesson Plan – You will need to open this lesson plan in Adobe Reader DC  to edit, print & save. If you are having difficulties it will be because you are using your browser!

Free lesson Plan Download

  • Here is a  Lesson Plan with all these ideas together for your next maths lesson. We used our Lesson Planner Product Range to add our lesson Ideas – See them Here




Teaching problem Solving

Teaching Problem Solving

Picture of Number of the Day activities

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Professional Learning Videos

Teaching Numeracy Videos

The A Plus Teacher has been a Primary School Numeracy Curriculum Leader and Coach for 16 years and now advisors A Plus Teaching Resources about Teaching Numeracy

The A+ Team is Passionate About helping educators to save time so that they can concentrate on the most important job in the world… Teaching! The Team Creates Time Saving, Tried & Tested, Hands-on, Teaching Resources, Ideas, Organisers, Checklists, Printables, Posters, & Games!

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