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Showing posts with label mastering math facts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mastering math facts. 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 essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

Math fact fluency is all about memorization. 
Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

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!

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

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!

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

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! 

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

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

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!
 

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! 

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!
 

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?)

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

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!

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!
 

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!)

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!
 

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!

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!
 

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!

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

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!

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

 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!

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

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. 


Addition and Subtraction Facts: 

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 System: the Bundle

Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!
Try the first level of each system for free!


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

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


Math fact fluency is essential for success in math. This post gives several suggestions on making it part of the daily routine to make it stick!

 

Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts

I've been fascinated by the brain for years now. I've read about how the brain works, and the best ways to help children learn. I've applied this knowledge into my teaching and have had fabulous results!

 Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
 These are some of the things I've learned about the brain!
 Let's see how they relate to learning Math Facts!

Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
   We know that “Practice Makes Perfect” is a fallacy since we know if a child practices something incorrectly, he learns it incorrectly.  Whatever they practice needs to be accurate so the child learns it correctly.  (I’m sure you know how hard it is to break a bad habit!)  When practicing facts, it's important that the child practices the correct answer. Either have the correct answer on the back of flashcards, or have the child practice with someone who knows the answers!

Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
    This goes with the first idea: the kiddos need to know if they're getting the answer correct. If they are not, they need to know right away so they will practice it correctly.


Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
   Brains are much more likely to remember something if the learner uses more than one process. If the children are looking at the fact, saying the fact out loud, and moving manipulatives on the tens frame, they are more likely to remember the information than if they just looked at it. Another idea, stating the fact while jumping on one foot, or while doing jumping jacks.

Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
    When children work together, they are keeping the brain happy. Social interaction is HUGE when it comes to learning! This is one reason why games are great for learning math facts!


Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
    A little healthy competition gets the blood moving, bringing oxygen to the brain and helping the memory do its thing. This is another reason why games are great for practicing facts!


Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
   When the kids practice facts, it's a good idea to put fact families together: 4+7=11   7+4=11   11-4=7   11-7=4   or  3x6=18  6x3=18  18÷6=3  18÷3=6 This really helps the kiddos make the connections in the brain!


Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
    If it's possible color code copies of facts by fact families.
The brain really focuses on color, and helps make those connections!



Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
   This is why it's not a good idea to give the kiddos too many facts to study at a time. Start with just a couple of families, and build from there!


Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
    It is suggested that children spend 5 minutes a day, every day, rather than a half hour once a week. It's actually less time, but it's more productive!

Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!
     It is recommended that background music is played during practice times. This is a good time for a piece of classic music, not rock music or anything with lyrics. 

Hope this list helps your kiddos learn their facts!

THIS FREEBIE makes it clear just how many facts the children need to master!
Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!

It just so happens I have a set of addition and subtraction facts to practice that follow almost all these brain rules, (you have to supply your own music) and even has a few brain breaks worked in! See here if you're interested:  

Update: Due to popular demand and success with the above set of addition and subtraction facts, I'm made a new version to practice and assess multiplication and division, which you can find here:  

Ten Brain Tricks for Learning Math Facts: These strategies are backed by science, and will help the kiddos with basic math facts!

Don't Be a Turkey!

Second graders are expected to add and subtract within 20 fluently. This is no easy task, but this game helps them master the 9s trick!

Don't be a turkey! My students LOVE this turkey themed game for practicing the +9 trick! There's a freebie so you can try it out!


I find, once the kids catch onto the tens trick, the nines trick is easy! I first use a number grid like THIS ONE to show them how easy it is to do "ten more". From there, it's pretty easy to figure out "nine more". 


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-Coded-Number-Grid-to-120-5154764?utm_source=66b&utm_campaign=color%20coded%20Number%20grid


Once they have a good understanding of the 9 more trick, they're ready to play Turkey Nines!  It works like "Old Maid", so they pair off all the addends and sums with nines, and one of your little turkeys will end up being the "Thanksgiving Turkey".
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Turkey-Adding-Nines-Freebie-409094?utm_source=Don't%20be%20a%20turkey%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Turkey%20NInes%20Freebie


This is one of those games that "even the losers are winners" because there's something about cooking a turkey that makes the little ones giggle.  Plus, they're getting better at that mental math!

When they've mastered the plus nines up through 20, there's a more challenging version of the game to work on this standard: Turkey Nines:


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dont-be-a-Turkey-Game-for-Adding-9s-409160?utm_source=Don't%20be%20a%20turkey%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Turkey%20NInes

Have fun practicing mental math, and don't be a turkey!  (At least, don't be a cooked turkey!) 

Here's a little movie about how the game works:



Don't be a turkey! My students LOVE this turkey themed game for practicing the +9 trick! There's a freebie so you can try it out!



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