Fact Fluency
Math fact fluency is the ability to recall the answers to basic math facts automatically and without hesitation. Mastery of basic math facts is a major goal in elementary school. Research published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics states that "students who cannot retrieve basic math facts easily get lost and often cannot follow the logic of an explanation given by the teacher or a peer when the problems are embedded within more complex mathematic operations, such as simple algebra or long division." Your child's math facts are the essential building blocks of their mathematics education.
Building Fact Fluency
We know the brain is "like a muscle;" the more we work it, the stronger it gets! Research shows that fact fluency is gained through significant practice. Through repeated exposures with a fact, the brain establishes a memory relationship with the fact, leading to automatic retrieval. Building fact fluency doesn't have to be just about flashcards... Students can practice in a variety of ways, such as through math games, songs, and other fun routines. There isn't one "right way" to practice every brain is different, so it's important to find what works best for YOU.
Here are some suggestions, strategies, and websites you might find helpful:
Other resources to check out:
Here are some suggestions, strategies, and websites you might find helpful:
 Use XtraMath at least 4x per week (the more the better!)
 Make flashcards
 Use a deck of cards (multiply, add, subtract, or divide the card by the fact your practicing)
 Make practice tests (time yourself!)
 Use Math Magician
 Play multiplication games online (see: 7 Great Ways to Conquer Your Math Facts or our Links)
 Make up/ look for fun songs/ rhymes to help you remember
 Use the "Cover, Copy, Compare" (CCC Math) method
See more about this effective, researchbased study strategy here: Cover, Copy, Compare
 Find a math fact song to memorize on YouTube
 Make your facts "Pretty"  write them over and over in different fun colors, fonts, and designs
Other resources to check out:
 Our annual "Math Fact Challenge!" starts in November
 Read "Conquer Those Math Facts" on our blog or visit our Multiplication & Division page for lots of ways to practice these facts!
 UAB's article "Number Fun: Counting Activities for Kids" also has a bunch of great links and tips!
One way we're building fact fluency in the classroom is through the use of XtraMath. XtraMath is a Seattle nonprofit organization dedicated to math achievement for ALL. Their goal is to develop "effective, efficient, adaptive, and intrinsically rewarding supplemental math activities for home and classroom use. XtraMath helps students transition from counting and calculating basic math facts to recalling them fluently... and we think that's pretty great because quickly recalling math facts, instead of calculating them, frees up valuable brain power for higherlevel operations and mathematical reasoning.
We think it's so important for students to be able to fluently recall their facts, that we want to make XtraMath a part of your child's daily routine. Think of XtraMath as a math vitamin! For best results, your child should use XtraMath for at least five minutes a day, as regularly as possible.
XtraMath can be accessed on anything with internet access smart phones, tablets/ iPads, laptops, or desktops, which makes fitting in daily practice easy and convenient. Parents also have the option to enroll in a parent account, which will email you a weekly report on your child's progress. Also, we've set all of our student pins to their 4digit student number/ lunch code to make it easier for your child to remember.
GETTING STARTED AT HOME
At the beginning of the school year, we'll send home a letter explaining XtraMath and how to enable your parent account (if you haven't already from a previous school year.) To make it easy for you, we'll also send home a direct link to our class XtraMath login page. You can also access this page through the "links" tab above.
We think it's so important for students to be able to fluently recall their facts, that we want to make XtraMath a part of your child's daily routine. Think of XtraMath as a math vitamin! For best results, your child should use XtraMath for at least five minutes a day, as regularly as possible.
XtraMath can be accessed on anything with internet access smart phones, tablets/ iPads, laptops, or desktops, which makes fitting in daily practice easy and convenient. Parents also have the option to enroll in a parent account, which will email you a weekly report on your child's progress. Also, we've set all of our student pins to their 4digit student number/ lunch code to make it easier for your child to remember.
GETTING STARTED AT HOME
At the beginning of the school year, we'll send home a letter explaining XtraMath and how to enable your parent account (if you haven't already from a previous school year.) To make it easy for you, we'll also send home a direct link to our class XtraMath login page. You can also access this page through the "links" tab above.
Tip: If you're using XrtaMath on a tablet, you don't need to download the $5 app. All of the features of XtraMath can be accessed for free through your tablet's web browser (which is how we use XtraMath on our classroom iPads.)
Also, if you don't already know how, follow these 5 easy steps to set up an XtraMath shortcut on your iPad:
