Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mastering Basic Facts Made EASY!

As teachers and parents, we understand the importance of mastering basic math facts.  Basic math facts provide a foundation for math success.  It is the precursor for more complex and challenging math procedures. Although we want kids to become fluent with their math facts, this is not a goal that is simple to achieve.

How do we help students master Basic Math Facts?

#1 Students need a variety of opportunities to learn and master math facts. Since students learn in different ways, we need to provide ample opportunity for mastery... in a variety of ways.

When it comes to working with math facts, I am all about making it fun and as hands-on as possible.  I have created 6 packets in our Addition and Subtraction Bundle to make practice FUN! I have also created our Addition and Subtraction Math Fact Booklets to give students endless opportunities to practice with 216 wipe on and wipe off booklets!

For students who need the extra support, it is my hope and goal that teachers and/or parents will use these resources with manipulatives. Below I will show you a few manipulatives that we like to use for adding and subtracting. For students who don't need the extra support, manipulatives may not be as necessary.  The most important thing is that you, as the teacher,  integrate manipulatives, visuals, tables, hundred charts and discussion as needed.
I like to use base ten blocks, jumbo dice, linking cubes and fun counters. 
In the picture above, I have counting bears and insects. You could use ANYTHING...the important thing is to make it FUN and that you provide tangible items for students to manipulate. 

Over time and through multiple avenues of practice, students will begin to master basic addition and subtraction facts automatically.  This is ultimate goal and this is what we hope to achieve for our students.

Providing HANDS-ON, FUN and ENGAGING opportunities for practice will help to maintain student interest.  These 6 packets hit the target and provide opportunities for differentiation to help scaffold the learning process.



In this post, I also want to show you how you can use many of these pages to make a reusable (wipe on and wipe off) binder that 
helps save on paper and ink
and is EASY to set up!
This is especially useful for teachers who have a limited paper and ink supply and/or want to differentiate instruction for their students.

In addition to the printable pages above, we also have the Addition and Subtraction Math Booklets. These Wipe on and Wipe off booklets allow for endless opportunities of practice.  The BEST PART about these booklets, is that they are SELF CHECKING!

In this post I will show you a variety of FUN, ENGAGING and EFFECTIVE ways to help kids MASTER basic math facts!


I really like this packet because it gives kids an opportunity to practice 16 problems on one page. Each page focuses on one number as the sum or difference. The number is located at the top of the bubble gum machine. Once students find the correct answers to match that number, they bingo dab it or color it. 
The rest of the answers are written in "Not Equal to..." section. 

Option #1 - Have students use bingo markers or crayons to color the correct answers.
We used a bingo dauber to dab (color) the correct answers. You can easily incorporate hands-on manipulative to any page. I like to use any type of fun counter to help add or subtract.

For the example below, we solved the equation 10-4.
We used 10 counting bears and subtracted 4. This is a simple way to incorporate hands-on manipulatives with these sheets. Anythings goes....and we have even used Shopkins :)

Once the page is complete, students will have solved 16 problems. 
There will be 5 problems that do not equal the given number.  These problems are written on the right hand side.

Option #2- If you were to incorporate it into the reusable binder, you could use a dry erase marker or a vis-a-vis maker.  The dry erase makers allow students to practice again and again! Instead of a dry erase marker, you could use simple counters to mark the correct answers. 

This packet allows students to identify 5 true and 5 false problems, cutting and pasting to the correct spots.


Option #1- The traditional cut and paste method is a fun way to practice.


Option #2-To make your cut and paste pages reusable, just place them in sheet protectors/sleeves and add two dry eraser makers. It's easy and it saves on ink and paper! This is a great option for teachers who have a limited supply of ink and paper. It is perfect for math centers and small group practice!



These searches are so much fun and a HUGE hit with kids!  Students solve the problems on the left and then work to find the equations in the search. A fun seek and find activity to help master those basic math facts!


Option #1- The traditional pencil and paper method. Students seek and find the math problems. Once they find them, they add the + or - and = to make the number sentence true.

Option #2- Place them in sleeve protectors for a wipe on wipe off type of practice...


The Addition and Subtraction Word Searches can also be placed in a sheet protector for reusable practice! Just add dry eraser markers and you are ready to go! 
Kids LOVE to color and this is such a great way for them to practice their basic math facts!

The Color by Number pages would be a bit more challenging to add to a reuseable binder, but you could save on paper by printing them back to back. At any rate, kids LOVE to color and this makes mastering math facts FUN!

Option #1- Just solve and color! One thing I like to do is replace crayons with colored pencils or watercolor pencils so it makes this simple page almost like an art project!  

Kids LOVE to color and this is a "meaningful" coloring page :)

Grab those die, roll and solve! When learning becomes a game, kids enjoy the process.
This simple activity makes learning math facts easy, fun, fast paced, engaging and effective!






In order for students to be considered fluent in their math facts, they must have both speed and accuracy. Many students are not ready to start of with 100 problems to solve, which is why I provided 3 separate packets in the set (170 pages total!):
*25 problems
*50 problems
*100 problems
This method allows students to feel successful while working up to mastering more math problems at as faster speed as they become more proficient.

When I was in the classroom teaching, my students took these tests daily. They were required to write the problems they missed on the back of the page 3 times each.  You can be sure that their proficiency increased quickly!!


I created three different versions of this packet to give students opportunities to succeed at their own level. For students who are just beginning to master their math facts, or for students who are younger, the 25 problems per page are a good choice. This will help build their confidence and not be too overwhelming for them. As students become more proficient, they can move on to 50 problems per test. Finally, the 100 problems per page will be for mastery. Fluency happens as students increase in speed and accuracy!
Option #1- The traditional pencil and paper method...

Option #2- SAVE PAPER.. Place them in sleeve protectors for a write and wipe kind of practice...


Another product that I created to help master addition and subtraction is our

Once you set up these mini books, students will have endless opportunities to practice mastering addition and subtraction up to 20! The packet contains 216 pages of practice! Now that is a LOT of practice and this is EXACTLY what kids need...LOTS of practice!

These booklets were printed on colored paper and laminated for durability. 
Laminating the pages allows me to use a dry erase marker of vis-a-vis maker.

Each booklet has an answer key! This means that students can become more responsible for their own learning. Another option would be to have a peer check their work. After calculating the number correct, students would record this information on their Fluency Tracker. 
I used a spiral binding machine, but you could also hole punch the corner and put them on a ring. 

The set below is only for the subtraction booklets. The answer keys and the booklets can be identified by the little kid on the front of the cover and the color of paper for the booklet. This information is provided for you in the directions that are included in the packet.




Once students fill out the booklet, they grab the answer key and check their answers! 

The Wipe on and Wipe off method makes this EASY to use for centers and small groups!
The leveled booklets make is easy to differentiate practice!


I hope this post is helpful in providing seek-to-find fun and engaging ways to master basic math facts!
If you are looking for ways to make multiplication fun, then check out our blog post on 
11 Ways to Master Multiplication here...

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Annie







3 comments:

Caty Hernandez said...

Love all your resources. I have in the past used them to supplement what the girls are learning in school. This year, we are homeschooling. Could you share your curriculum choices for the 2016-2017 school year? This has been a last minute choice for us and I am starting to dive into the world of curriculum and its overwhelming.

Caty Hernandez said...

Love all your resources. I have in the past used them to supplement what the girls are learning in school. This year, we are homeschooling. Could you share your curriculum choices for the 2016-2017 school year? This has been a last minute choice for us and I am starting to dive into the world of curriculum and its overwhelming.

Carmen Van Deursen said...


love, love this bundle, will you be making something more geared to third grade but same concept, my kiddos would love the search game, roll the three or even four dice game, etc. fractions, love a bundle! Thank you

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