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7 Easy & Stress Free Teaching Multiplication Strategies For Kids!

7 Easy & Stress Free Teaching Multiplication Strategies For Kids!

Are your kids struggling with learning multiplication and starting to become anxious or overwhelmed? Then you need to try  these teaching multiplication strategies with your kids 7 hands-on activities for arrays, groups of, repeated addition and more.


Teaching Multiplication Strategies

Teaching multiplication can be a difficult concept for teachers to teach and for students to understand.

Many math programs jump too quickly to focussing on the recall and memorization of times tables rather than teaching a range of multiplicative strategies.

This means that when the memory fails, and a fact cannot be recalled, kids have nothing to fall back on.

They cannot use multiplicative strategies to help them to arrive at a solution because they have not been taught them!


Related Post: The Guide To Teaching Multiplication

Times Tables Tests

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Multiplication Strategies for kids

Teaching Multiplication strategies empowers students to solve problems and carry out calculations with confidence and understanding.

Although memorization of number facts is desirable, it should not be the only teaching strategy, and students need to be taught strategies to use for when the memory fails!


Activities For teaching Multiplication

Teaching Multiplication Strategies … much more than “Shoot Out!”

I am not a fan of fast fact math games like ‘sheriff” or ‘shoot out’ and it doesn’t help teach students about multiplication! There I have said that out loud!

There seems to be a misguided notion from students and some teachers and parents that speed in the recall of facts defines your capabilities and ability as a math person.

I have come across many people who think  that if you are fast at fact recall then you’re good at math.

Well let’s set the record straight… this is NOT TRUE!

And I am on a mission to change this terrible point of view with parents, students and teachers alike and you can read more on the research here


Related Post: Essential Children’s Multiplication World Books


Teaching Multiplication Strategies



The first sign that someone thinks speed is an indicator of a math ability are  seemingly “FUN” games that focus on  the fast recall of facts.

These pressure situations actually do more harm than good, especially for levels of confidence, risk-taking and Growth Mindset and need to be used with caution, if at all, in the classroom!


Click the image For Free Math Talk Printables!
Free Math Talk Posters


These games only build speed in the recall of the facts that the students already know, they do not help them with the facts they don’t know neither does it build any understanding of the multiplication concept.

In fact kids who only know facts and who have been rushed into recall before developing understanding, probably wouldn’t know a real life multiplication task if it was right under their nose!


Click the image for hole punch math activity centers.Hands-on arrays


A Plus Teacher Printables

Multiplication Games Printable Product Image
Skip Counting Classroom Posters image of product
Rainbow Facts Write & Wipe Math Center

FREE Teacher Printables Australia

FREE Math Talk Posters For teachers
FREE Good Mathematicians Poster
Free Growth Mindset Posters

How to Teach Multiplication {Stress FREE!}

And what about the slower, less confident student? They may actually know the answer but can’t perform due to huge amounts of stress and anxiety.

For these students speed focussed activities don’t help their learning but facilitate  math anxiety and stress, and the feeling that they are not good at maths, it may even make them HATE maths!

So what is the answer? Teaching a range of Multiplication Strategies!

And yes students do need recall and speed, but this should come once your kids have explored the multiplication process.

So please don’t write a student off  as ‘not good at maths’ because they can’t recall with speed, I still cannot recall 7 x 8, to this day, without saying in my head 6 x 8 is 48 so 7 x 8 is 56 !


Children’s Books With A Multiplication Theme


7 Multiplication Strategies 

Here are 7 proven strategies that make learning multiplication easy for kids.

These strategies build on what kids have already learnt about addition and will help them transition from additive to multiplicative understandings. Click here to take a look at our Best Selling Teaching Multiplication Strategies kit  that includes posters and activities.

Teaching programs need to include explicit teaching of these strategies as well as opportunities to apply the strategies in problem solving situations.

We created a series of teacher videos to help explain each strategy. Watch the videos below to learn more about:

  1. Repeated Addition
  2. Equal Groups
  3. Skip Counting
  4. Arrays
  5. Commutative Property
  6. Italian Lattice Multiplication
  7. Multiplication Facts



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 3 x 4 would be 3 added together 4 times.

Start by using materials, pictures and then a number sentence to help students make the connection 3 x 4 is actually 4 + 4 + 4  explain why it’s not 3 + 4 or  4 + 4+ 4 or 3 – 4.


Teaching Repeated Addition Video


4 Free repeated Addition thinkboard templates

Click the pink text or the image above for more ideas on teaching repeated addition in our other posts.


Equal Groups

Teaching kids to understand Equal Groups is the first step when introducing multiplication.

So using 3 x 4 as our number problem students would be taught to interpret this as 3 groups of 4 and represent it with concrete materials then drawings.

Teaching Equal Groups Video


Skip Counting

Skip Counting is actually a strategy for counting collections more efficiently.  It is also a simple way to link repeated addition and multiplication.

Using the skip counting strategy also helps your kids to match a rote learnt chant to the physical action of counting.

Teaching Skip Counting Video

Click to grab this free Skip counting Activity

Skip Counting Printables

Multiplication Strategies KIT Product Image


Arrays are useful models to link repeated addition, groups of & skip counting together as a way of performing multiplication. Use objects, stickers or dots arranged in columns and rows.

Each column must have the same number of objects as the other columns.

It is an efficient way of ordering materials to count and by adding another column each time students can see the multiplication facts growing progressively.

This model helps build a visual image to aid memorisation and we have a ton of free ideas and printables to help you teach arrays.


Click the image for your Free Printables & Teaching Multiplication As Repeated Addition Lesson Plan For FREE!

How to teach Repeated Addition

Teaching Arrays Video


Commutative Property

The Commutative Property is a great way of cutting learning multiplication (and addition) facts in half.

This property applies to the order in which computation is carried out and highlights that changing the order in which digits are multiplied, will not change the answer so 3 x 4 = 12 and so does 4 x 3

Teaching The Commutative Property Video

Multiplication Fact Mini Book

Here’s a little multiplication booklet that your students can make to help them with multiplication fact fluency. Get printable instructions for our multiplication printable number games booklets

Times Tables Facts Video

 Italian Lattice Multiplication Video

Italian Lattice Multiplication dates from 1478! … This video shows an alternative written multiplication strategy that was introduced by Fibonacci .

This strategy utilises partitioning & the distributive law to solve multiplication problems.  Wish someone had shown me this!

Lattice Multiplication Video


Best Selling Math Printables

Multiplication Strategies KIT Product Image
image of multiplication fact printable
Multiplication Games Printable Product Image



Times Tables Printable Number Games

best ever activity for memorising times tables

Repeated addition

Multiplication as Repeated Addition Lesson Plan


Think Board

think board templates

Teaching Repeated Addition

Repeated Addition Think Boards

Teaching Problem Solving Strategies

Problem Solving Strategies


By A+ Team

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! Visit the Website for Some FREE Teacher Worksheets & ideas! & Join our FACEBOOK Community


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