It’s a universal truth that as students dive deeper into their math journey, they often hit a speed bump when they encounter multiplication for the first time. Many of us have seen the look of confusion on their faces as they grapple with this new math concept. But, there is a way to gradually introduce multiplication in a way that most students will understand and eventually master this difficult concept. Multiplication is probably one of the most important math concepts that students will learn in 3rd grade. Let’s explore four pivotal multiplication strategies that can transform your teaching approach and make multiplication a breeze for your students. Today, let’s kick things off with a favorite: repeated addition.
What is Repeated Addition?
At its core, repeated addition is the process of adding the same number again and again. It’s one of the simplest ways to introduce students to the concept of multiplication.
Think of it this way: If a student can add, they’re already halfway there in understanding multiplication!
- 3 x 4 can be thought of as 3 groups of 4. So, using repeated addition, we’d add 4 + 4 + 4 = 12.
Tips for Teachers on Using Repeated Addition:
- Start with Real-Life Scenarios:
- Bring in a bag of apples and ask, “If we have 3 bags and each bag has 4 apples, how many apples do we have in total?” This visual representation can make the abstract concept more tangible. (Any concrete objects will work)
- Use Visual Aids:
- Use counters every single time you model repeated addition. If you’re working on 5 x 3, draw five groups of three dots each. Have students build this with their counters. Your students just used repeated addition to solve a multiplication problem.
- Connect it to What They Know:
- Since students are already familiar with addition, remind them that they’re just extending what they know. Connecting to their background knowledge will build confidence too!
- Practice, Practice, Practice:
- Incorporate repeated addition into daily math warm-ups or quick checks. The more they practice, the quicker they’ll make the connection to multiplication.
Why is Repeated Addition the Best Strategy for Introducing Multiplication?
- Simplicity: It builds directly on students’ prior knowledge. They already know how to add, so it’s just about grouping and adding the same number multiple times.
- Visual Appeal: It’s easy to visualize and model, making it accessible for all learners, especially those who benefit from visual and tactile learning experiences.
- Foundation for Other Strategies: Once students grasp repeated addition, they can more easily transition to other multiplication strategies. Think of it as the first building block in their multiplication toolkit.
In the world of multiplication strategies, repeated addition is a gem. Not only is it intuitive and easy for students to grasp, but it also lays a strong foundation for more complex multiplication concepts they’ll encounter later on. These task cards that give students practice with repeated addition are perfect for a math center during the early stages of your multiplication unit.
Another effective way for students to practice is with this digital math center. Students can practice making multiplication equations, repeated addition, making arrays, and finally using the commutative property. You can learn more about this resource here.
Remember, the key is to connect new learning to prior knowledge, and this multiplication strategy does just that. So next time you see those puzzled faces when introducing multiplication, take a step back, and start with what they know. Repeated addition might just be the lightbulb moment they need.
Next week, we’ll dive into using arrays as a multiplication strategy!
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
Interested in signing up for my email?
• Get valuable resources and teaching tips delivered straight to your inbox
• Exclusive deals and discounts only available to email list subscribers
• Be the first to know about new products and launches
• Share your ideas and feedback with me directly, I love hearing from my readers!