Help With Basic Math Facts
My "speech" about math facts ...
1. Math fact fluency is only one component of a student's math education.
2. Students should have an understanding of an operation and have multiple ways for finding an answer before memorization.
3. It may be "old fashioned", but any upper level teacher can provide numerous examples of why math fact fluency is critically important. In the early elementary years, it feels like math facts for math fact sake ... and maybe it is. From fourth grade on though, those facts are used constantly when finding equivalent fractions, determining common multiples, solving for X and Y, and the examples go on and on.
4. Math facts are the alphabet of math. Being fairly fluent with them allows one to concentrate on the bigger task at hand.
5. We spend about 8 minutes of our alloted math time on systematic practice. Math fact practice is one piece of our district's elementary math curriculum. It would be great to spend about 10 minutes each evening systematically practicing at home too. How about in the car on your way to Giant Eagle or while waiting at the dentist's office? Be creative.
6. What is systematic? Don't take an entire pack of Dollar Store flash cards and start zipping through them. Start with the simple facts. Build in related facts and doubles. Add just a few new facts at a time. Share the mental strategies you use to solve 15 - 8 or 7 x 8. We all have them. I sure do.Below are links to a website created by a terrific dad somewhere in the Internet world. He's provided printable practice sheets that match many of the systematic math fact programs available to schools. If you need practice sheets for higher level math practice (i.e. fractions, long division), take time to browse the site's menu. There are tons of resources available.
Last Modified on January 28, 2016