• Fact Fluency Practice

    Parents are always on a quest for fun, easy ways to improve math fact fluency with their children.

    Here are 10 easy, fast and free ways to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts. Kids can practice anywhere and anytime that they have a few moments. They should spend no more than 5-10 minutes at a time on math facts. 4-5 times a week of practice is a good goal to shoot for. As a parent, you can help, but kids should practice independently as well.

    First, assemble some basic materials into a plastic box. In the box, you can keep any combination or all of these items, which are used to review math facts.

    *color coded list of numbers; choose a color for each digit 0-9. (for example: 0-yellow, 1-blue, 2-red, 3-orange, 4-purple, 5-green, 6-brown, 7-pink, 8-black, 9-gray) Color helps many students remember. Color coding is a useful way to learn place values, as well.
    *a set of dice (2) alone or with a partner, the student throws the dice and adds or multiplies the two numbers 
    *a set of dominoes (base 12 set is best) or a set of index cards drawn to look like dominoesStudent selects a domino and adds, subtracts or multiplies the two numbers. Write answers on the back of each. 
    *a pack of playing cards student chooses two cards and adds, subtracts, or multiplies them. Face cards are valued as such:(ace-1, jack-10, queen, 12 and king-0) 
    *a set of flashcards for their level. Flashcards can be purchased at any discount store. Also, you can make your own by writing the math fact on one side and the answer on the back.
    *a pencil, eraser and a pad of paperStudent writes out a fact family, or draws some math facts with real items. You can give them “pop” quizzes also. 
    *a 100's chart Student can use it to count by different numbers (multiply), look for patterns, or practice facts. 
    *a string with 100 little plastic beads strung on it. This is a hands-on way to count by different numbers. Give student a problem and ask them to count it out. (7x8-- they count out seven groups of eight). 
    *any snack with little pieces; fish crackers, cereal pieces, raisins, candies, pretzels; Student makes math facts with snack as they eat them.                                                      *sand timer or stopwatch, some students enjoy being timed with their facts. Others do not like the pressure. (Remember that speed and accuracy are equally important!)                                       

    Other ideas:

    *computer games (ex. XtraMath) Some children enjoy practicing their facts on the computer and there are many sites that offer fact practice.

    *Math Fact Café (www.mathfactcafe.com) This is a free site for printing out fact sheets. The sheets can be customized, based on the student’s needs and abilities.