Math Facts Mastery: An often-visited topic at PLC meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and in the teacher’s lounge.
Just how can a teacher get those math facts to stick?
Over time teachers have gotten creative to provide math fact mastery strategies that are more creative and engaging than stand-alone timed tests.
Check out these teacher tested strategies to improve math facts retention in the classroom today!
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Math Facts Fluency Sticks
This product is a favorite of ours here at Lucky Little Learners. It is a tangible way for students, parents and teachers to track math facts practice. It is also a perfect tool for differentiation as students all work at their own pace.
Using rulers, ring fasteners (like THESE ones), and the flashcards, students practice math facts until they have achieved mastery. (They keep track of this on the included Math Facts Fluency Tracker.)
When facts are mastered, they are moved to the “Achieved” ring. New facts are then moved from “Not Yet” to “Progressing”. This process continues until mastery is achieved on all facts teachers are targeting.
Click HERE to learn more about this great math facts tool!
Flashcards Around the Room
This is a quick, easy tip that can be implemented within minutes!
Choose a group of math facts to target. (No more than 10 at a time.) Hang these selected flashcards all around the classroom. (Students could also do this at home.)
A few times a day, make it a routine to point at the flashcards and have students yell out the answer. This can become a highly anticipated and exciting routine for the kids.
Hang the flashcards in random areas: light switch, way up high, on the back of a chair, on a book cover, etc. (For an added element of fun, change the location of the cards during the week so students have to find them.) When the class has mastered the ten facts, switch them out for new ones.
Practice Through Art
A great way to practice math facts that can tap into a student’s creative side AND maybe reach a different kind of learner is our Color By Number resource. Many students love to color and when a teacher can combine art + math facts=WIN!
Sticky Math is an alternative to traditional timed math tests. (Remember being a student and sweating those?)
With this resource, students track their own progress and are only racing against themselves. They mark their last completed problem with a sticky note. Teachers review answers and students self correct their problems. That’s it..no keeping track of levels or students comparing their “levels”.
Online Music & Games
There are SO many amazing math facts songs and games online! (This is especially useful for schools that are distance learning!) A quick search will reveal great results. Here are some favorites:
- Jack Hartmann Math songs playlist: all sorts of math skills covered!
- ABCYA Math Games: Teachers can choose grade-level appropriate math (or literacy) games that will most certainly engage their students!
- Math Games by Standard: Choose the desired grade level and standard to work on!
- Prodigy Math Game: This online game is proven to be super engaging for kids! Its graphics are similar to many popular kids video games and it is structured as a quest with battles and treasure. Best part? Teachers can decide an individualized grade level and standards plan for each student….for FREE!
THESE giant playing cards are sure to be a hit with students! Imagine the giggles when these are pulled out for the first time!
These ginormous cards can be used to practice targeted or random math facts every so often.
Around the World
Around the world is a flashcard game still enjoyed in many classrooms.
The teacher (or student assigned as the cardholder) holds up a math fact and two students compete to be the first one to yell out the answer. Whichever student yells out the correct answer first moves onto the next student. A student who makes it all the way “around the world” (back to their starting spot) wins the round.
- Send home the selected math flashcards that will be used in the next round of the game. This will super motivate students to practice those facts in preparation for the game!
- If some students are shy to participate fully, they can practice the math facts on a whiteboard, trying to write the answer before someone yells it out.
Hopefully these tips prove helpful in getting students closer to math facts mastery!! Want even more ideas? Check out THIS recent post featuring ideas straight from teachers in our Lucky 2nd Grade Facebook group
Remember, together we are better!
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