Elementary math facts

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Created: 2007 05 14 | Percent completed:

Perspective: Direct Instruction.
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Math Fact Sheets


Students can start learning addition math facts in kindergarten or first grade depending on individual student aptitude. If classroom instruction or math curriculum starts to introduce multiplication, stop addition and subtraction mastery and immediately begin multiplication. Same with the introduction of division instruction. Assuming multiplication has been completed, ensure mastery of division. Once multiplication and division are mastered, go back and finish addition and/or subtraction.

Practice (top part) Directions

  Note: Give clearer directions, maybe use video example

Present one to three lines as follows:

If the practice sheet has arithmetic problems that the student does not know, then practice the problem and answer with the whole class, small group, or individual student:

"When I give a problem, you give me the answer. [One times two]. What's the answer?" (give 2-3 seconds and give the answer if none is forthcoming)

If you hear any student give the wrong answer, immediately correct the answer and repeat the question. Then go back 2 and start again.

If the student has worked on arithmetic problems but is only uncertain of the answers or the answers are not fluent, you can simply present the worksheet and move forward.

Present the worksheet.

One student has the worksheet and another has the answers.

Ensure students can write 40 answers per minute. If a student is suspected of having motor issues, test the student's handwriting. Ensure the student can write 40 numbers (one and two digit) in one minute. If not, it might be better to have students practice by saying the entire problem and answer.

Have students work for 2 minutes or until they have finished the practice session.

Orally: One partner "spots" the other student with the answer sheet. The other student reads the practice problems and answers. If the answer is incorrect, the spotter says the correct answer and prompts the student to "do it again and then go back 2". The student will say the problem and correct answer and goes back 2 problems to read through until the end. The student does not go back 2 problems until the current problem is read and answered correctly. If the first or second problem is incorrect, go back to the end of the practice problems and then continue on to the beginning.

Testing (bottom part) Directions


Then do the timing for one minute (40 correct problems). If students are able to do the practice without many mistakes but are unable to do 40 problems in one minute, then break up the timings into 15 second sessions. Do 15 second sessions until student is able to do 30 second sessions, then build to 45 second sessions, then one minute. Build slowly. Do not repeat the same timings in one session more than twice. If the student is able to pass all four subsections with 15 second timings, test for the 30 second timing. If the student cannot pass the 30 second timing, move on and consider it passed. Don't bore the student. Students should be able to pass within 1 or 2 test tries. If the student continues to fail the test, go back to the practice and ensure the correction procedures are being done. The student might be learning one or math facts wrong by practicing those wrong.

During practice, ensure the correction procedure is done fully. Correction procedure involves:

  1. The teacher or partner giving the correct answer
  2. The student repeating the full problem and answer correctly
  3. The student going back 1-3 problems
  4. If another incorrect answer is given during the correction procedure, start at number 1 and go back another 1-3 problems

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