Thursday, 18 October 2012

Math facts

Who can believe this used to be a can of Pringles!
Basic number sense is so important at any grade level.  The more I talk to other teachers, the more I hear about kids not having any number sense.  It seems that many have troubles memorizing basic facts, or have very inefficient strategies for solving those they don't know.  

I use the "All the .... facts you ever need to know" sheets from Trevor Calkins in my class.  There is some for subtraction, addition, multiplication and division.  Once a week, we will complete a sheet.  I give the class 6 minutes to complete, regardless of which facts they are working on.  I believe that if they are unable to finish in 6 minutes, the strategies they are using simply aren't efficient.  Everyone starts with addition and after completing the sheet with no errors twice they can move on to subtraction and so forth.  I make them get the entire sheet correct twice in a row to ensure consistency.  I also stress to the class that it's okay if you don't get it all.  Next time, your goal is to do the same or one better.

I saw these Math Power Towers on Pinterest.  I thought they were a great idea for practicing math facts in a different way.  Essentially, you pull out a dixie cup from inside, read the fact, and if you get it correct you can use it to make a tower.  For now, I've made 4 of these - one each for addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.  I'm thinking that they can be used for free time, during my math games centers, and I may possibly include them in my inside day activities bin. 
If you are interested in downloading the free file I used for the labels click here.  

There are so many ways to enforce number sense in the classroom.  Do you have any great strategies?  I'd love to hear about them!

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