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Strategies that Increase Math Fact Fluency

Math fact fluency is developed through lots of practice with effective tools and strategies.  I have found, and research confirms that Derived Fact Strategies (DFS) are highly effective in increasing math fact fluency.

Math fact fluency is the ability to quickly recall 
the answers to basic math facts automatically - 
without hesitation.



So WHY do 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 problem 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 insure that our students are fluent in their math facts.

Math fact automaticity affect performance in later elementary grades as students have longer and more complicated computations to complete.  At this stage, if a student does not have his/her math facts committed to memory, he/she will spend a lot of time and energy figuring out smaller calculations and risk not having time (or energy) to complete the assignment.

Their performance in math class is not the only academic area that may be negatively affected.  Other subjects such as science and geography may be hindered.


Math fact fluency is developed through lots of practice with effective tools and strategies.  I have found, and research confirms that Derived Fact Strategies (DFS) are highly effective in increasing math fact fluency.

Derived facts are math facts that are derived from known facts.  For example, if we know the doubles fact, 3+3=6, then we can derive the answer to 3+4 by using the 3+3 fact and adding 1 to it.  So a derived fact strategy is the mental process of deriving a new fact from a known fact. 
These posters have a motivating Super Hero theme! Each of the 11 posters defines and gives an example of the strategy. They are great on your math wall for the students to use a reference when needed. I have also included a smaller version to use in centers and small group or individual practice.
 These strategies are also called 'mental math strategies' and 'thinking strategies'.  They all refer to the cognitive process of deriving new understanding by using known information - higher level thinking!
Math fact fluency is developed through lots of practice with effective tools and strategies.  I have found, and research confirms that Derived Fact Strategies (DFS) are highly effective in increasing math fact fluency.
Math fact fluency is developed through lots of practice with effective tools and strategies.  I have found, and research confirms that Derived Fact Strategies (DFS) are highly effective in increasing math fact fluency.
I have seen the use of these strategies - with lots of practice using these strategies will transform students into confident learners!  Enjoying math!
I have also seen the flip side.  Teachers clinging to the use of timed tests, traditional flash cards, and pushing the responsibility of math fact fluency onto the parents (much to their frustration) - resulting in frustrated students - even tears - and negative experiences in math for years.

Knowing that lots of practice is crucial for students to become 'automatic' in their recall of basic facts, I have invested hundreds of hours creating engaging resources to provide students (and teachers) with effective activities that make practice fun!

Here is a game that provides repeated experience with the 
DFS (derived fact strategy):  "Plus 2".  
It is free in my TpT store.  
Just click on the picture to download your copy.
FREEBIE  Your students will enjoy playing this engaging Super Hero game with their friends and becoming more fluent in their addition math facts in the process!  Learning Games provide a fun, not-threatening opportunity for students to get needed practice to become fluent in their math facts.
Click on the pictures below to see more resources 
to help your students flourish 
in their math fact fluency.
 These Math Fact Fluency packs are designed using the mental math strategies. Research confirms that students learn the basic math facts if they learn them in the context of the mental math strategies. This not only helps them increase their math fact fluency, but they are understanding number sense and how the numbers are related to each other.
If you have not tried teaching the DFS with your students, 
I hope you will!
If you do - keep on, keeping on!

Here are a few free addition & subtraction games 

that reinforce these strategies for you- 

just print & play!






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