Celebrating Inquiry: Spring 2016 v.2 no.2

Return to Table of Contents

Math Fact Fluency…..Kelsey Graham

What are the best strategies to improve math fact fluency?

The idea for this project came to me when realizing that I had 20 students struggling with their math facts and two 30 minute flex periods a week. My goal was to effectively use this flex time to build math fact fluency skills in as many ways as possible. While my project was focused on grade 2 addition and subtraction you can easily adapt for multiplication and division. Math fact fluency is key when progressing in math.

I used a ton of strategies throughout this project but found some to be more successful than others. I created a "Mad Math Minute" program in which students completed timed math sheets. They were rewarded for their progress through a 'monster world' in which they could move up levels as they completed sheets. They could see their progress and were motivated to move up!

I also did a lot of whole class oral activities, center work, and individual tasks. A lot of my activities were movement based which was great for my kinesthetic learners. I also used a lot of games. For a detailed list of my strategies please refer to my website.

My students’ fact fluency has definitely increased since implementing these strategies. They are able to complete their "Mad Math Minute" sheets in quicker times as well as with fewer corrections, if any at all! When learning other math concepts such as two digit addition they are more confident with their math skills which makes a big difference in their participation levels. They also thoroughly enjoy our quick math periods and show excitement and engagement.

In the future I would love to implement these strategies daily. Most are really quick and easy to place in filler spots. I think the improvement would have been even greater had I had the opportunity to do Mad Math or other strategies daily.

This project really made me aware of the importance of basic facts and the need to solidify them at a young age. Knowledge of basic facts is necessary for success in future math lessons.

Kelsey was born and raised in BC. She loves the outdoors and staying active! She is passionate about learning in every subject which is why she loves teaching elementary school. She is a P.E major but her heart lies in Language Arts and Social Studies.