Building math fact fluency is so important for students in the primary grades. One of the hottest topics in my Saddle Up For 2nd Grade Teachers Facebook Group is how to fit math fact practice in daily while still having fun math fact practice games.
In this post, we’re going to dive into what math fact fluency is and why it’s so important. You’ll learn a few tips to work math fact fluency practice into your daily routine. I’ll also be sharing 5 free AND easy games with you so your students can have fun with math facts.
What is Math Fact Fluency?
So often when we think of math fact fluency, we think of timed tests. These tests are all about how fast students can write or recite math facts. That may have been the way we were taught as students. Over the years, there has been a shift in how math fact fluency is taught.
Math fact fluency occurs when a student can accurately and efficiently recall the answer to a basic math fact. We want our students to be able to reach an accurate answer in an efficient amount of time. However, putting the pressure of timed tests on students is not an effective way to build math fact fluency.
We now know so much more about how the brain works and how students learn and remember information. One student may be able to accurately recite 10 math facts in twice the time that it takes another student to accurately recite 5 math facts. When helping students build math fact fluency, it’s important to use a variety of games and activities.
The Importance of Math Fact Fluency
Math facts are critical and essential in setting the foundation for several other mathematical concepts. As students go through their elementary years and beyond, math facts become a part of nearly every mathematical concept. Not to mention the importance of math fact fluency in everyday life. From adding up dollars at the store to making change, and determining how many miles to the next location, math facts are used daily.
Having solid math fact fluency also builds students’ number sense. This helps them understand numbers, their relationship to each other, and their relationship to tens. The more accurately and efficiently students can recall math facts, the faster these math facts will move into a student’s long-term memory. Then they are available for them to retrieve without a conscious effort.
Tips for Getting Math Fact Fluency in Daily
We know that math fact fluency is extremely important. Nonetheless, it can be a struggle to fit into the daily routine. Teachers don’t have all year long to strictly focus on math fact practice. When one unit is finished, it’s time to move on to the next to ensure all units are covered. Math standards and curriculums are more rigorous than ever, leaving little extra time to focus on math fact fluency.
I want to share a few tips for getting math fact fluency in daily while also making sure your students have fun with math facts.
Tip #1: Ongoing Math Fact Support
It’s important to offer ongoing support with math facts to your students. Your students all learn differently and will build math fact fluency in their own way. By using a variety of math fact fluency activities, you can feel confident knowing you are giving your students the ongoing support with math facts that they need.
Tip #2: Short Math Fact Practices
You don’t need an entire 60 minute math block to teach math facts. By incorporating short, 5-10 minute math fact fluency practices into your day, your students will stay engaged, get re-energized, and build critical math fact fluency skills.
Tip #3: Use a Variety of Activities
Math fact fluency isn’t all about timed tests. By using a variety of hands-on activities, games, and math fact fluency apps, you’ll be able to reach all of your students regardless of their learning style or skill level. Incorporating manipulatives, mathematical discussions, number talks, and math warmups are all great ways to give your students variety in their practice while having fun with math facts.
5 Easy and Fun Math Fact Practice Games
By now, it’s evident how important math fact fluency is in the primary grades, even though it’s often difficult to work into the daily routine. To help make incorporating math fact practice into your day easier, I’ve created 5 free math fact games for you! They are easy to implement and will allow your students to have fun with math facts while building accuracy and efficiency. These games offer a variety of hands-on learning opportunities using various manipulatives. Use these math fact games during your short math fact practices throughout the day.
To get these 5 free math fact practice games along with a quick video about each sharing the benefits and instructions, fill out the form below and you’ll get one game delivered straight to your inbox each day for the next 5 days.
I hope these tips and math face practice games allow your students to have fun with math facts while helping them master them!