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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Math Facts

14 Replies 1330 Views
We are looking at options to address the students in grades 2-4 who stuggle to memorize their math facts. Does anyone have experience with a program, that addresses math facts to students school-wide or by grade level? I know there are many programs available. We are looking for any feedback or expereinces you may have. Thank you.

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Ken Cornett's picture
Ken Cornett
Retired: Grades 4 to 12, specializing in curriculum development

Memorization has always been a program for students to learn their basic math facts - if you go to www.123math.ca and download the Addition program for free, it could help you with your concerns which are very typical. This program has 10 songs which I have used from Kindergarten to Grade 4. I went into a K class, the principal said good luck, because these kids are antsie, I figured I might last 15 minutes, well an hour later the kids were singing, moving about and really enjoying the songs. Each of these songs are different and are a lot of fun - this is part of the success because they have catchie tunes to learn the basic addition facts - yet the kids don't know they are learning but just having fun. The program also has over 270 instructional pages for the teacher and the parents to follow their progress, and they learn step by step, they can't progress to the next step before they have successfully completed the previous step. There are 28 audio files, so the program progresses from the pen and paper stage to the mental stage with the audio files - There are also Flash Card designs that students can make to help them learn their basic facts. A mother of a Grade 3 girl, talk to me and said that her daughter was math challenged and expected her to have math problems during her school days. The Grade 3 girl was always the last 2 or 3 in her class. In March she started the math program with addition and in August she completed the program (all 4 operations), In Grade 4, in September she was in the top 3 of her class. She has since graduated from high school and almost completed her University, Her mother said that she always did well after learning the basic facts, if she had a problem it was understanding the concept, not making errors with computation. Most students in the Upper and in High School make computational errors because they do not know their basic facts. If you do download the program, you can get email support with questions about the program, by writing to ask@photographybyken.ca. Good Luck

Judi H.'s picture
Judi H.
Special Education Teacher

I use a math challenge called 'multiplying for ice cream' where I give weekly fact tests. Students begin at 2X and after passing it, go on to 3X... Students who pass up to 9X and a multifact test recieve an ice cream party. They love it. We have a visual ice cream sunday I got from a friend with the Dish is their name; banana=2X; 3X,4X,5X are ice cream scoops; 6X,7X,8X are toppings; and 9X is a cherry. They colr the paper in when we begin and cut out and put on paper as they pass each test.

Judi H.'s picture
Judi H.
Special Education Teacher

My school uses the fact of the week (we tried fact of the day-too much change). Every week, our school has one of the fab 15 (most common, troublsome facts), as fact of the week. Students write the fact on all papers as part of their heading. It is on boards, in the hallways, and various other areas in the school. This has worked well.

We also have 3 words of the week in math. I use a vocab organizer and have students write definitions, and other activities with each word such as draw a picture of it if appropriate.

Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

Hi Judi! Great lesson examples! Do you have any resources you can recommend for other teachers to refer to? These are such useful lessons and techniques.

Hubert

Judi H.'s picture
Judi H.
Special Education Teacher

I use math facts cafe to print worksheets for some of the timed tests. I think the http://www.mathfactcafe.com/
I also use aplusmath.com games for practice.
I will try to remember to bring home the fab 15 math facts we use.
Math vocab is chosen by our math coach.

Linda's picture
Linda
Third Grade Teacher from Las Vegas, NV

My students loved mathfactspro.com.

Betsye Sargent's picture
Betsye Sargent
Founder, head, and PK-3 teacher at he Phoenix School in Salem, MA

Math facts probably are a fact of life. They certainly help with fluency and accurately, but please consider whether or not the time you spend drilling kids on their math facts wouldn't be better spent applying the information. After almost 50 years in the classroom, I have discovered that the more things like math facts are linked to real world word problems that require kids to think as well as use the facts, the more solid are their math fact fluency. Then think of learning styles. Not all kids learn best through memorization.

Linda Olson's picture
Linda Olson
Third grade teacher in Chandler, Arizona

I have a couple of suggestions. One is a website called www.xtramath.org. They have a nice tutorial for basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts. You can have all of your students working at that site and it gives you a weekly update of their progress.

I also have skip counting songs which I teach to my kids. It's a pneumonic technique where we peg numbers to songs they already know. I have a page on my website devoted to the songs. You can find it at http://www.mychandlerschools.org/20022091918734440/blank/browse.asp?A=38....

My students may not be the fastest multipliers, but they are accurate.

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