Math facts success is a focus at my school in the primary grades. I recently had lunch with an old friend who now teaches 2nd grade. She said she shares a blog post of mine about the importance of math facts proficiency at her back to school parent night. I wrote the blog post back when my children were in elementary school. When I came home, I reviewed the post. It reminded me about all the reasons I support math fact fluency!
I know math fact success can be a painful process for parents. Teachers struggle to support students if there isn’t some practice happening outside the classroom. Read my top tips below. To see the full list of 10 suggestions and links to free practice tests, CLICK HERE.
Math Facts at Home
- Make flashcards using 3 x 5 notecards. Write the math fact on the front of the card vertically. Math fact tests are typically set up with vertical math problems. Use a Sharpie pen to write on the front. Write the answer on the back in pencil, so the answer won’t show through the card.
- Spend no more than ten minutes at a time running the flashcards. Small amounts of daily review rather than one big chunk of study time is better.
- Plan to review 5 nights a week.
- Don’t practice all cards at the same time. Practice in small batches.
- Create sample tests in the style of the school’s test and practice them at home. Include a variety of facts on the test.
Math Facts at School
- Students gets nervous when the timer starts. Have a system for filling in answers. Move left to right across the test and top to bottom– just like reading a book. Do not jump around.
- Be prepared to skip, skip, skip. Do not pause at one problem too long. If the answer isn’t produced quickly, skip the problem and come back after reaching the end of the test if time allows.
- Make flashcards of any of the missed problems and practice those flashcards only.
My original blog post HERE has practice tests for addition and subtraction math fact tests up through 12. For more activity ideas that use flashcards, CLICK HERE!
It is good to know that many people see that math facts still need to be set and known. I am aware it is very recall based but by having fun games with them and doing math facts just for “fun” the purpose is still served. The ideas and test you shared on your original post were very useful and I appreciate you letting all of use use them.