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Developing Multiplilcation and Division Fact Fluency

Developing Fact Fluency can be quite a challenge. 
In fact it can be overwhelming for students!

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

Why? Well, to start with, there are 100 multiplication facts, and 100 division facts!
That's a whole lot of facts to learn! Take a look at this:

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

There they are, all 100 multiplication facts.

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

And the 100 division facts.

It just doesn't work to just hand these lists to the kiddos and tell them to learn them all! 

Here are some ideas to help ease this heavy load!

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

Before the children get to work on memorizing facts, it's essential they understand what multiplication and division are! I like to spend plenty of time with manipulatives, as well as making and drawing arrays. I make sure they understand that 6 x 5 means 6 sets of 5. They use manipulatives to show six groups of 5 (as in the picture: 6 rows of cups, with 5 cups in each row), and draw an array with 6 sets of 5. When they have done a whole lot of this, and have a deep understanding of what it all means, then they can move on to fact fluency.

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

As you can see from the list of all the facts, it's just too much to assign them all at once! It's best to break them down into smaller groups, and best to create those groups by patterns.  I recommend starting with the "x1 facts," which would be anything with 1 as a factor, and the related division fact. 

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

Research on learning has taught us that this is how the brain learn best. 

Each family has a total of 4 facts that can be created with the same combination of manipulatives. (Doubles only have 2 per family.)
This can be seen in the visual below:

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

The upper left shows 5 sets of 6. (5 x 6 = 30) The upper right shows 6 sets of 5 (6 x 5 = 30) The lower left shows 30 sorted into 5 equal sets (30 ÷ 5 = 6) and the lower right shows 30 items sorted into 6 equal sets (30 ÷ 6 = 5).

Studying the fact families really makes the whole thing easier! If they learn one combination, they've got 4 facts!

Just for fun, here's how the doubles work. 

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

No matter how you turn the sets, it's still 5 sets of 5, so there's really only 2 possible combinations!

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

Research tells us that repeating the complete information orally helps the memory. They don't necessarily like to do this, but they'll admit it really helps them remember the facts!

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

If you've ever had to learn a new skill, I'm sure you've seen the value of practicing a little bit every day. Five minutes a day for 5 days will have more value than 30 minutes of practice once a week! Less time, more value! I work my fact practice into my math rotations in a variety ways: games, practice alone, practice with a partner, or practice with an adult.

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

Children develop their own tricks to help remember basic facts, and when they talk, they share those tricks! That makes everyone smarter!

Here's a trick I learned from my students! They've got plenty of ideas like this, that are worthy of conversation!

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!


Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

Most of the children will have a good deal of success with the above 6 strategies, but if they don't, don't let them fall through the cracks. I suggest doing some sort of assessment once a week, and keeping a record of how they do. Even when they don't show mastery, they should be showing growth each week. If they don't, something needs to be done. 

Here are some suggestions:
1. Limit the amount of fact families. One or two fact families is enough for some children.
2. Work one on one with that student: 5 minutes a day.
3. Assign an adult to work one on one with that student.
4. Send home a set of facts to be practiced with a parent.

The above would be in addition to your regular routine. 

Here's a freebie set of practice and assessments for the x1 Fact Families:

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

It contains practice cards (with the answers to be printed on the back) 2 assessments, and access to Boom Learning Digital Task cards, which the children absolutely LOVE! And it's free!

If your students have success with this freebie, here's a link to the whole bundle: Fact Fluency System for Multiplication and Division: The Bundle


Here's a link to a similar bundle for addition and subtraction facts: Fact Fluency System for Addition and Subtraction: The Bundle

Plus, a chance to try out this system with this freebie: Fact Fluency System for Addition and Subtraction: Freebie

Want to read more about fact fluency and the brain? 
Here are a couple more blog posts with more information!

Developing Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency: Fact fluency is essential for success in mathematics. Here are 6 strategies to help the children develop fluency with multiplication and division facts. There's a freebie, too!

What Do You Love About Yourself?

What do you love about yourself?

What do you love about yourself? This blog post suggests asking children what they love about themselves, and gives some suggestions.

We often ask children what they love about people in their lives. What about themselves?

This is a fun idea for a morning meeting discussion topic, a writing prompt, a homework assignment, or just a casual question. It's a great idea to get the kids to search their own personalities and build some self esteem.

It's a good idea to start of by giving a good example. Get them to think about specific personality traits, and encourage the children to celebrate themselves!

What do I love about myself? Here are a few things:

1. I am a team player.
2. I always do my very best.
3. I am loyal and caring.
4. I am sensitive to the needs of others.
5. I am a survivor.

Want some more things I love about myself? See THIS POST!

What do you love about yourself?


What do you love about yourself? This blog post suggests asking children what they love about themselves, and gives some suggestions.

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting

Many people wonder if teachers should still teach handwriting. It's not in the Common Core Standards. Handwriting isn't on the tests. Plus, writing by hand is being phased out by computers and other electronic devices. 

Not only is cursive writing becoming obsolete, but even manuscript (printing) is being phased out. Why should it be taught?


Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Here are seven benefits of teaching handwriting!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Research shows that younger students with strong handwriting skills grow into stronger readers and writers as they progress in school. This means we should start handwriting instruction in Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Research shows that when a student takes notes by hand, it helps the student remember what he's writing. Since writing involves more thought processes than typing, the brain is more likely to remember. This works with adults, too!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Handwriting is a skill that isn't on tests, but it helps engage other skills. It helps engage executive function, which will help students in many other areas, and life in general!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

Typing fast at the computer can come in handy in many instances, but when composing an important piece of writing, it's best to slow down a bit and fully develop thoughts. Taking time to think through wording on important written passages is worth it!

Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

When preschoolers first learn to write letters, they are opening paths in the brain that lead to reading! As they learn to master the multi-step strokes in each letter, their brains are preparing for the multi-step processes involved in reading. 
Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.
Teachers and parents absolutely LOVE handwritten notes from their children! Do you know who else values a handwritten note? Grandparents, employers, party guests, and even customers! Seriously, think about how much grandma values a handwritten personal thank you note! Think about the value of a handwritten note of appreciation to a potential employer. It really makes a difference!

Here's a resource for writing thank you notes, including directions, etiquette, and examples: Writing thank you notes.

Here's a freebie for letter writing: Classy Mail.


Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.

As long as it's addressed in stress free manner, learning to write is fun for students! Learning both manuscript (printing) and cursive are status symbols to the children, and great source of pride!


Seven Benefits of Teaching Handwriting: Despite handwriting not being a "tested skill," here are seven reasons why students benefit from writing instruction.




Please, Stop Saying AND!!

Please, stop saying AND!

This may sound like a post about run on sentences. Now I'm not crazy about those either, but this is a math post. 

Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?

I'm talking about using the word AND when naming numbers. This is a little pet peeve of mine. I like to do the right thing, but the world hasn't been following me on this one!

The word AND is only used when there is a decimal point. 

It's easiest to see when we're talking about money.


Don't say AND until you get to that decimal point. Here's another one:

Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?

It works the same way with all numbers. Like this one:
Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?
Or this one:

Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?
And another:

Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?

So many people have no idea they're not saying numbers properly. Even Rodger, my gps guy says it wrong! (Yes, you can change the voice on the WAZE gps app, and I chose a very sexy British guy named Rodger!)

Rodger might say, "Turn right on US Route four hundred and ninety-five." 

I guess I'll have to forgive him, after all, he's got that sexy British accent!


Please stop saying AND! This post tells about one of my pet peeves when it comes to numbers. Are you doing this?

Answering in Complete Sentences

Getting students to answer questions in complete sentences is no easy task, is it?

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.

Here are some hints on making it easier on the kids! 
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Let's say the question is "What is your favorite food?" 
Teach them how to use the words from the question to start off their answer. 
"My favorite food is..."

Another question could be, "How can you show kindness?" 
"I can show kindness by..."

Or perhaps you could ask, "How could you help someone who forgot his lunch?"
"I could help someone who forgot his lunch by..."

Here's one more example: "What animal would NOT make a good pet?"
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is..."

It's important they get plenty of opportunities to hear this process before they go to the next step.
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Now they need to get more involved! Instead of just hearing it, they need to practice orally.

I find this works well as a whole group, as in Morning Meeting. Ask one question to the group, and have each student tell their answer in complete sentences, using words from the question to start their answers. 

It's a good idea to review how they'll be starting their answers:
"My favorite food is..."
"I can show kindness by..."
"I could help someone who forgot his lunch by..."
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is..."

As they are practicing, make sure the questions are interesting and fun, so they will be more interested in sharing their answers! (Plus, it's fun for the rest of us to hear their answers!)

Be sure to compliment those who elaborate on their answers, rather than simply one or two words. This is our end goal!

"My favorite food is spaghetti."
or
"My favorite food is spaghetti, with meatballs and lots of cheese on top."

"I can show kindness by helping."
or
"I can show kindness by helping someone who doesn't understand their math, or gets hurt on the playground."

"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is an elephant."
or
"An animal that would NOT make a good pet is an elephant because it would cost too much to feed it, and it wouldn't fit in my room!"

See what I mean?
Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Here's where you add the paper! 

Here's my little trick: have them meet with a friend and tell what they're going to write, word for word! Seriously, if they are going to write the language, they need to be able to speak it first! In fact, when they're first starting this skill, I might have them meet with a few partners before they sit down with the paper. (This is a trick I use with many aspects of writing... tell it first!)

I usually make a point to meet with a few children that I anticipate might struggle with this. 

Once I get those "strugglers" going, I'll check in with others to keep them on track.

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
Once they're ready, it's time for them to practice this skill without the guidance. It's a great way to start the day: post a question for the day, and have them answer it in complete sentences while you take attendance and lunch count.

It's still a good idea to have them practice orally with a friend before writing. 

Then, after they've written, sharing is encouraged!

Going back to revise after sharing is also encouraged!

Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.
I find the best way to encourage children to answer questions fully is to share the best ones. I'll go through the papers, find some that are well done, and share those to the whole class. I make sure I choose several different examples that show a variety of ways to answer.

Are you ready to start asking questions? 
I happen to have plenty of questions, based on fun daily holidays:
Here's the growing bundle: Daily Calendar Questions


Each month is also available separately:





May Calendar Questions

June Calendar Questions
July Calendar Questions

August Calendar Questions




Answering in Complete Sentences: This post shares 5 steps to get the children to use words from the question to answer in complete sentences. Plus, several examples, and ideas for resources.


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