Basic Facts Fluency
Featured Topic:   Basic Facts Fluency
Every math teacher struggles to find ways to encourage students to master their basic facts. Whether for addition and subtraction facts or for multiplication and division facts, teachers collect many ideas from which they can draw activities to meet the varied needs of learners in their classes. Games and Who Has? activities are especially motivational and continual play can help students develop fact fluency in an effort to master the games and capture the most points.
Many teachers include a weekly "Game Day" in math classes. On this day, student groups cycle through activity centers that include games to develop fact fluency and/or practice important math skills. This day also typically includes small group instruction centers where students meet with the teacher(s) for remediation or enrichment. Including this regularly scheduled "Game Day" is a win-win strategy for teachers and students as it provides opportunities to differentiate instruction to meet the varied needs of learners in any math classroom.
Students need regular opportunities to play the games with appropriate levels of challenge and with different partners. Include a weekly game day and/or make the games easily available in a math center. Allow students to freely select games when they have completed work, during indoor recess time, etc.
Check out these links for Mathwire games that practice basic facts:
- Addition and Subtraction Games
- Multiplication and Division Games
- Number Sense Games that require students to use all mathematical operations.
Who Has? Decks:
Once students have developed conceptual understanding of the basic operations they need to develop fluency with the facts. One quick way to include daily practice and motivate students to master these basic facts is through the use of the Who Has? card decks. These decks can be created for virtually any topic. Frequent use as both a whole class practice or as a center activity for partners or small groups provides facts practice in a highly-motivating format.
- Check out Who Has? Activities for sample card decks to download and for classroom management ideas for implementing this practice in your math classroom.
Math Forum's Teacher to Teacher FAQ section contains a collection of suggested techniques for helping students master multiplication facts. Teachers struggle to provide differentiated strategies and practice to meet the varied needs of learners in their classrooms. These suggestions come from classroom teachers who have identified methods that work for their students. Strategies include: answer card, arrays, chanting, math masters game, memorizing through repetition, multiplication bowl, number families, row your boat, slap-clap-snap-snap, times table strips.
- Check out Suggested Techniques to increase your differentiated repertoire of effective strategies.
Internet Basic Facts Fluency Practice
Addition and Subtraction
- Addition Math Magician allows teachers to specify the addend (+1, +2, etc.) or select two mixed levels to provide differentiated practice. Students are challenged to answer 20 questions in 1 minute. The site reports accuracy and provides a certificate that may be printed.
- Subtraction Math Magician allows teachers to select specific practice (-1, -2, etc.) or select two mixed levels to provide differentiated practice. Students are challenged to answer 20 questions in 1 minute. The site reports accuracy and provides a certificate that may be printed.
- See more Basic Facts Links.