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Showing posts with label addition and subtraction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label addition and subtraction. Show all posts

### 5 Minutes a Day to Math Fact Fluency

After many years in the primary classroom, I've finally developed a sure proof system for math fact fluency.

Math fact fluency is all about memorization.

Before this can happen, the children need to have a basic understanding of what it means. A child can't memorize 5+2=7 Unless they understand they are joining a set of 5 items to a set of 2 items and will end up with 7 items. Once they have that understanding, they can start the memorization process. Once the facts are fluent, the related math concepts will flow far more easily!

Yes, rote memorization is NOT the most fun part of learning.

Yes, it takes work, and some students really struggle, but we know they're all different and can help them be successful at their own levels.

## Here are some suggestions for math fact fluency!

There are 200 Addition and Subtraction facts to be memorized. There are also 200 Multiplication and Division facts to be memorized. Children can be easily overwhelmed if given that many facts all at once!

Give them a pattern of facts to learn at a time. Research tells us children learn best by fact families.

Each child should have a group of facts they are working on, but also a group of facts they know, and don't want to forget! Make sure they spend time reviewing the old facts as well as learning the new bunch!

Be right up front with the students. Talk about what memorization is, and how they need to do the work to memorize the facts. Share the differences between automaticity and "counting on fingers," or "figuring it out in your head." (I don't believe counting on fingers or mental math to be bad, as they are part of the process! However, we hope to get the kiddos to full automaticity eventually!)

Talk to them about what has helped you when you had to memorize something, and encourage them to share their own memorization experiences. We're all different, but sharing ideas will help everyone! (Isn't that our goal? Teaching children to help each other so we are all successful?)

Or as I call it in my classroom, "out soft." That means, loud enough to hear yourself, but not loud enough to disturb your classmates. Verbalizing the whole equation, not just the answer, makes an enormous difference in the learning process!

Practice with friends Children are social. Practicing with a classmate makes practice more fun. Some tend to be a little competitive: let that work for them, as long as everyone is happy about it. Plus, children learn little tricks from each other. (Yes, I've learned a lot of little tricks from listening to my students!)

Timed tests can be motivating for many, but there are others that "choke" with that stress. You know your students better than anyone. I give timed tests once a week, but if I see any signs of stress, I'll pull that child aside and work with them. I make it fun, but when one-on-one, I can clearly see if a child is counting on fingers, pausing to figure it out in their head, or truly has the facts memorized. No matter what, I make sure it is a positive experience with lots of praise for the things the child is doing correctly!

When I feel a child is ready to move to the next level, before school starts, I'll put the next level of practice cards on their desk, to be cut out and sorted. You'd better believe there are shreiks of delight when they are found! I'm sure you know plenty of other ways to celebrate their successes as well!

I spend time at the beginning of the school year setting routines. There are several ways the facts can be practiced: everyone practice on their own, practicing as part of math rotations, small group games, practicing on computers or devices, practicing with a teacher or adult helper, and so on! I usually teach the routines using "easy facts" before we get to the tougher ones. Once the routines are set, they're good to go!

Once a student has proved mastery of all the levels, of addition and subtraction, I might have that child review all the levels again. Another option is to move onto multiplication and division. Although mastery of these facts isn't necessary for first or second graders, those students who master addition and subtraction quickly are usually quite ready for the upper levels. (Just make sure they understand what it all means!)

Another option: have them work with others. Perhaps it's because my dad was a football coach, but I've always felt it's our job to look out for the whole "team," and that concept is well instilled in my students. We have not succeeded until we have all succeeded!

These are my foolproof systems for both levels. I swear by these materials! I've used them for years and found them to be successful (and loved) by both students and teachers.

Fact Fluency System for Addition and Subtraction: The Bundle

## Multiplication and Division Facts:

Fact Fluency System for Multiplication and Division: The Bundle

## or get them both in this bundle:

Math Fact Fluency Practice Activities and Assessments: Level One +1 Fact Families

Math Fact Fluency Practice Activities and Assessments: Level One X1 Fact Families

## I'm looking at the calendar, and I just can't believe we're approaching November already!

There's a lot going on in November, but no need to fear, I've got your teaching needs covered!

Here are a couple of resources to start off November:

Here is one of my favorite November resources: Science and Social Studies Activities for November!

## Don't forget Election Day!

I'm sure I'll be having the kiddos vote for something, but they won't be voting for president... far too controversial! This one's a fun one! Election Day Graphing Option for Little Kids

Veteran's Day is November 11th!

Here's a fun activity to help the children understand what a Veteran really is! This will spark some great conversations!  Veterans True or False

Here's another fun resource to help children learn about Veterans! (On the fun Boom Learning platform!) Armed Services Fun Facts

Once they figure out what Veterans are, they can write thank you notes to Veterans using this freebie!  Thank You Veterans!

Since Election Day and Veterans Day are both Patriotic holidays, enjoy these Patriotic Brain Breaks! See the image for the link to this freebie! Patriotic Brain Breaks

Of course, everyone's favorite November holiday is Thanksgiving! Check out these Printables!

Here's a math game to practice +9s! Turkey Nines  (Oh my goodness, they LOVE this game! It works like "Old Maid")

And guess what... there's a freebie version!  Turkey Nines Freebie!

Want more turkeys? This little bundle includes more turkey learning fun, (including the Thanksgiving Turkey game) at a huge discount!

I hope you find something your students will love for the month of November!

## I've been wracking my brain for years, trying to think of a way to get those basic facts to stick!

There is way too much math that depends on knowing the basic facts, so we want the little ones to go beyond the "counting on fingers" or "counting on in your head" stage!
We've been using this sequence for learning facts at my school, and I must say, the kids are getting it! We all know it's not a good idea to introduce all the facts at once. There are 200 facts to be learned, and learning them in some systematic way is necessary. My knowledge of brain based learning tells me we need to help the children make connections, use visuals like color and pictures, practice frequently, add a social component, and make it fun. This will all help those facts stick!

I've taken 8 basic patterns and made 8 color coded sets of cards to be practiced based on these concepts:  plus one families, plus 10 families, plus 9 families, sums of 10, doubles, doubles plus 1, plus 2 families, and the remaining facts.  The "families" include 2 addition and 2 subtraction facts for each fact.  (For example, 1+8=9, 8+1=9, 9-1=8, and 9-8=1 are all connected.) These connections help children remember! I've even included a game that's connected to the cute little pictures on each card.

Practicing the facts is only half the challenge.  The other challenge is showing mastery.

I've included assessments with each set. There are 2 basic assessments with each family. The 2 assessments are both similar. I just thought you'd like a second option so they aren't taking the exact same assessment each time. Each assessment has 5 columns of 10 facts. I give the children one minute to complete as many facts as they can. (The timing helps distinguish between the kids who know the facts, and the kids who still need to figure them out.) I have found that kids that get 20 - 25 facts in a minute are definitely ready to move on to the next level. (This, of course, is up to you.) Some kids really need a one on one assessment with the cards, as their writing skills just can't keep up with their thinking skills.

Want to check it out? See the image below for the freebie version of the first set along with the assessments. Addition and Subtraction Fact Fluency Freebie!

## How do you help the facts stick?

### I read a lot of articles on the internet, most of them have something to do with how the brain learns and holds information. We are lucky to be teaching in the 21st century where research is published daily about the brain.  I find this absolutely fascinating, and follow several brain-related publications.

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 area, 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.

For the sports fans:

For geography enthusiasts: (These are my favorite!)

I started using the term "punch out the facts" to remind the children to make a fist!

Even if this recent research doesn't pan out, 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 resource that lists all the addition and subtraction facts the children need to learn.

Most other math skills depend upon this basic knowledge!

## For the last 6 weeks I have posted once a week about my experiences with the Myers-Briggs Personality Types.

This is something that helped me not only as a teacher, but as a person, learning about the world around me.

## Tonight, we're summing it up!

First, I told about my master's program and my first introduction to the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator.

## Explore the image below for the link to that post:

The next week, I posted about the difference between Introverts (I) and Extr0verts (E). I even listed famous Introverts and famous Extroverts, and suggested possible careers for both. Of the four preferences, this is the one I personally struggled with the most. I've learned much more about it, and now I'm proud to be an Introvert. There are many successful Introverts in our world, including teachers!

## Explore the image below to get to the post about Introversion and Extroversion.

Next up was Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N). This one is quite important to us as teachers. People process information in different ways, and it's essential that we respect both preferences. Most teachers teach to their own preference, which leaves out many students.

## Explore the image below to read more about how people process information.

A week later, I posted about the third preference: How we make decisions. The two preferences are Feeling (F) and Thinking (T).

Finally, last week posted about how people live their outer life. That's Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). This was another area where I struggled, until I realized that Judging didn't mean Judgmental. It just means I prefer structure and order. Understanding who I am really helped me appreciate the Ps in my life!

Although I recommend taking the official Myers Briggs Instrument (See HERE for information.) However after some thought, you might have a guess on where you land on some of the preferences.

There are a total of 16 different "types".
Here they are! (See HERE or explore the image below.)

If you explore the image and go to the Myers Briggs website, there is a link for a description to each of these 16 personality types.

I'm an ISFJ. They call me The Nurturer. If you google ISFJ and read the  description, you'll see a perfect description of me. It's almost as if someone who knew me very well wrote a detailed description of my personality.

Here's a summary of my type: ISFJ

and a more detailed summary here: ISFJ