Recently I read this article, Want to hold onto a Memory? Make a Fist. It tells about a study about clenching fists to help the memory. First, a learner should clench the right fist for 45 seconds to activate the encoding part on the left side of the brain. (Left handed people do the opposite.)
Then, clenching the left fist will help recall the information.
Although there is a lot of research to be done on this idea, I've been suggesting to my students to clench their "writing hand" fist while saying a series of facts, for example: the "plus 3s". It would sound like this:
"3+0=3 3+1=4 3+2=5 3+3=6 3+4=7
3+5=8 3+6=9 3+7=10 3+8=11 3+9=12"
Then, they can sit down and write them while clenching their non-writing hand.
Of course, they might need some fun help with the clenching.
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I started using the term "punch out the facts" to remind the children to make a fist!
Even if the recent research doesn't help, there are plenty of brain strategies that will help the children learn their facts:
1. Talking! Saying the fact out loud helps!
2. Visuals! As they read the facts, they are using visuals to help the memory!
3. Movement! As they clench each fist, they are physically engaged!
4. Repetition! As they repeat each fact, they are making more connections in the brain!
Here's a freebie that lists all the addition and subtraction facts the children need to learn.
Most other math skills depend upon this basic knowledge!
Plus, it is related to this Common Core Standard:
2OA 2b Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.
By end of Grade 2 know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
For more on brain based research see my Pinterest Brain Research Board.
See my collection of articles on The Brain and Learning.Good luck to you and your students punching out those facts!