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Activities for teaching doubles in maths

Updated April 17, 2017

Doubles are taught in maths classes in elementary schools, typically during first and second years. Learning double maths facts is an important step for elementary students because maths is a cumulative subject. Maths is easier to learn when students understand and know basic maths facts. There are several common activities teachers use to teach doubles to pupils.

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Flash cards

Flash cards are a common way to learn all types of maths facts, including doubles. Doubles are simply adding two like numbers, such as 1 plus 1. Flash cards are a fun way for children to learn maths facts. Flash cards can also be sent home for students to practice on their own or with their parents.


Many teachers use the game Around the World for learning doubles. This is a flash card game that is played by one pupil standing and working his way around the room from desk to desk. He stands by one desk and the teacher shows the flash card. If he guesses the answer first, he moves to the next desk. If the pupil at the desk answers it first, the student who is standing sits down, and the seated pupil stands up and moves on to the next desk.


Many teachers use songs as activities to learn doubles. A common doubles song is this: 0 + 0 = 0 oh, 1 + 1 = 2 ooo, 2 + 2 = 4 more, 3 + 3 = 6 kicks, 4 + 4 = 8 that's great, 5 + 5 = 10 again, 6 + 6 = 12 that's great, 7 + 7 = 14 let's lean, 8 + 8 = 16 really keen, 9 + 9 = 18 jelly bean and 10 + 10 = 20 that's plenty. Another common song used to learn doubles is "The Ants Go Marching." This is done by dividing the room in half. When the first verse is sung, have one child from each side of the room walk to the front of the room together. This will show the double of one. Continue with each verse adding more children each time. Have the children count how many kids are in the front of the room after each verse.


A common activity to learn doubles is to assign a picture to each number from 1 to 10. One could be a ball, 2 could be legs on a person, 3 is sides of a triangle and so on. To learn doubles for each number, two pictures of the item are drawn. The child then adds up the items to find the double. For example, the number 3 is illustrated by drawing two triangles. The sides of both triangles are added up to find the double of 3.

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About the Author

Keren (Carrie) Perles is a freelance writer with professional experience in publishing since 2004. Perles has written, edited and developed curriculum for educational publishers. She writes online articles about various topics, mostly about education or parenting, and has been a mother, teacher and tutor for various ages. Perles holds a Bachelor of Arts in English communications from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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