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Showing posts with label math practice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label math practice. Show all posts

## In fact it can be overwhelming for students!

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:

There they are, all 100 multiplication facts.

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!

Before the children start 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.

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.

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:

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.

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

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!

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.

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!

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.

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

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 you're interested in just the Boom Learning format,that's a freebie, too!

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

## Individual Whiteboards are incredibly handy for many purposes! I find them very handy to practice a number of skills.

I have a good supply of individual whiteboards in my classroom, and the children have their own whiteboard markers. I have enough erasers so that each pair can share an eraser.

I've also seen children bring an old sock to class to use as an eraser. They love to "wear" the sock on their non-writing hand, which makes it very quick and easy for erasing. These socks are also very handy for holding extra markers!

One of my favorite thing about the individual white boards is that they are VERY forgiving! The children can practice a skill, get it wrong a few times, and no one will ever know!

Another thing I like about them? The kids love using them!

## Here are a few ways I use whiteboards in my second grade classroom:

1. Practice spelling words - Often I'll have the kiddos warm up for their word work by practicing their words on the white boards. The kiddos love to use the boards, and end  up writing their words over and over again! Here's a tip: have the children say the letters aloud while they write - it helps the memory! Quite often, after a warm up, I'll have them put a star beside their best handwriting, or a heart beside their favorite word, or maybe an exclamation point next to the toughest word to remember.  All these strategies are great for getting the children to self-evaluate, which leads to more learning!

2. Practice sentences from dictation - Writing sentences from dictation is one step away from writing sentences the children create themselves. Dictation models good grammar, vocabulary, and spelling skills. The sentences themselves can be models for the children to use in their own writing. Dictation helps the children develop the ability to hold some words in their heads while writing words. It is practice with spelling, handwriting, punctuation, and memory. Plus, the whiteboards are very forgiving when they make a mistake!

3. Practicing important math skills - Some skills just need to be practiced over and over again, and white boards are the perfect place to do it! The picture above shows my students adding three digit numbers using a couple of different strategies. To make it a little more fun, we use dice to choose our numbers, and they earn tiles for accurate answers. (When we're done, I give them a couple of minutes to create a design with their tiles. All that hard work deserves a little fun, doesn't it?)