First, let's talk about

**WHY**we need to help our students become fluent in basic math facts."Math facts fluency leads to higher order mathematics.Through automaticity students free up their working memory and can devoted it to problems solving and learning new concepts and skills (Geary, 1994).

Quite simply, a lack of fluency in basic math facts will significantly hinder a child's subsequent progress in problem-solving, algebra, and higher order math concepts. Math fact fluency not only affects our students' future success in math, but also in science and geography.

For these, and probably a zillion more, the Common Core Standards

require us to teach Math Fact Fluency:

So we know the

**WHY**- let's talk about the**HOW**!**Here are 3 Tips to make math fact fluency teaching and practice more effective.**

I had a huge 'aha' moment years ago, when I had moved from teaching Kinders for years to 2nd grade. The students were taking a timed math facts test so I could assess their level of mastery, and I thought I should know how long it would take

**me**to complete the page of math facts. So I took it. I was amazed at how I was*thinking*as I was*answering*- I did not have many of the facts memorized, but I was using the mental math strategies to derive the answers! WOW! I was super fast, did not have them memorized, but I understood the relationships so I knew the answer almost 'automatically'!
And of course, research bears this out - students who are taught mental math strategies are quicker in computing than students who are taught to 'memorize it'.

"To build math fact fluency, the most effective strategy is to give students 10-15 minutes per day to practice using what are called derived facts strategies (DFS). Essentially, DSF's are using facts you know to solve facts you don't know."Sam Strother, Associate Director Developing Mathematical Thinking Institute.

I love that term-

**Derived Facts Strategies**because it describes the process - we derive from what we know to a new fact. We, as teachers MUST make time in our already packed day to provide this 10-15 minutes practice per day. Gone are the days when we can tell the parents to teach it at home. Most parents don't have the time, or the mathematical understanding to teach using Mental Math Strategies - or DSF.
We know from experience and research that students learn best when they feel safe and are engaged in a fun activity - enter math games, student goal setting, and cooperative learning activities!

I have developed activities that are:

1) based on the Mental Math Strategies

2) can be done in 10-15 minutes per day

3) are super engaging!

**And....... NO PAPERS TO GRADE ..... ANY DAY!**

**Can I hear a 'Hip, Hip, Hooray!' ?**

I used these super cute and engaging Super Hero graphics in all these Addition and Subtraction Fluency Resources. I tell the kids that mental math strategies are their super powers in math!

I included a small strategy poster for each game,

and put the directions on the other side.

I have been using these engaging activities in my classroom for years and I know from experience that my students got 'Fast as a Flash' with addition and subtraction math facts.

I hope I have inspired you with my 3 tips!

- Teach the Mental Math Strategies
- Practice 10-15 15 minutes each day
- Use Engaging Activities

I have a few free games for you that will help you implement all 3 tips: these games use the mental math strategies, are a great way to practice, and are super engaging!

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