4 Ways to Develop Math Fluency with Place Value and Math Facts

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Throughout the early elementary years and beyond, developing math fluency with both place value and math facts is so important to help create a solid math foundation for students for years to come. There is more to math fact fluency than just memorization and drill practice. Just like learning any other skill or concept, for some students, this might be an easy task, while for others it might be more challenging. The following games, websites, or strategies are resources that I have found to be helpful when teaching, reviewing, or just overall practicing math fact fluency.

Throughout the early elementary years and beyond, practicing math facts is so important to help create a solid math foundation for students for years to come. There is more to math fact fluency than just memorization and drill practice.

1. Daily Math Routine

Starting off the day with an opener like a “Number of the Day” is a great way to create consistency with number practice for K-2 students. This daily practice has students take the number of the day and practice using it in different ways to develop place value math fluency. They are asked to write the number out in word form, draw a picture, show the number using dice, show the number using tally marks, show more or less practice, determine even or odd, and practice using the number in both an addition and subtraction sentence. There are many possibilities of ways to show a number that varies by grade level and the number chosen.

I have a great Daily Math and Number of the Day resource for second grade. It includes several versions of pages for two-digit numbers, three-digit numbers, time, and money. We put the page in a page protector sleeve and students use a whiteboard marker each day. Find out how I use it in the classroom in this blog post.

Daily Math reviews important math concepts. Each sheet reviews a variety of number sense and operations helping students build their mathematical thinking. Included are four versions, which we use throughout the year: - Number Sense 0-99 - Number Sense 100 - 1000 - Addition & Subtraction Strategies - Time & Money | Teaching Math | Math Review | Common Core Aligned

Once students become familiar with the practice of the “Number of the Day”, this could also be used for a center work activity or an activity for fast or early finishers. After a time they will become used to the format and have more confidence in taking on more challenging numbers to help practice their fluency.

2. Card Games to Practice Math Fluency with Facts

Games in general are a great way to gain student interest immediately! Games like Subtraction Battle or Multiplication Number Battle were really fun for my students. Both of these games are played like the classic card game War where either the greatest difference or greatest sum wins, depending on which game you are playing. Here are a few variations of the traditional war game that can be used for math fluency.

1. Addition War: Players draw two cards and add them together, the player with the highest sum wins all of the cards played that round.

2. Subtraction War: Players draw two cards and subtract one from the other, the player with the highest difference wins all of the cards played that round.

3. Multiplication Number Battle: Players draw two numbers and multiply them together, then compare their answers to see who has won that round. Students can draw two cards and see who comes up with the answer the quickest or draw four cards, two each, and compare who has the greatest product.

4. Divide & Conquer Game: Players divide a card by another card or number they hold in their hand until they no longer can make an exact division sentence. The last person to go out is declared the winner for that round of play!

If you want to take students’ gameplay up a level, consider using these Addition Go Fish, Subtraction Go Fish or Fraction Go Fish resources. Students can use the included sentence stems to help them articulate the mathematical language embedded within the game.

3. Online Practice

My students really love using the computer any chance they get. During our allotted math computer time, there are certain websites they can choose from that are both fun for them and practice important skills.

Here are a few websites that students can use to practice their math facts and develop math fluency. Some websites include free components and some require a subscription to keep track of student progress.

Sumdog – Sumdog is a website that provides a range of interactive games aimed at improving math fluency for students in Grades K-8. Sumdog’s games are adaptive, which means they adjust to each student’s level and pace of learning, ensuring that they are always learning at the appropriate level.

ABCya! – ABCya! is a website that offers a range of educational games for students in Grades K-5 that incorporate math concepts, spelling, and more. Their math games are designed to make learning math fun and engaging and include games like Math Man, Math Lines, and Math Fact Shoot-Out.

Prodigy Math Game – Prodigy Math Game is a website that provides a free, curriculum-aligned math resource for students in Grades 1-8. Students battle in math duels against other students from around the world, solving math problems to earn rewards and level up their character.

Math Playground – Math Playground is an educational website that offers a range of math games for students in Grades 1-6, designed to boost math fact fluency and problem-solving skills. Their games cover a range of math topics, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and more.

Cool Math Games – Cool Math Games is a website that provides a range of math games for students in Grades K-8. Their games range from simple number recognition activities for young children to more complex problems for older students looking to improve their math skills.

Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a non-profit educational website that offers a range of courses and tutorials on a variety of subjects, including math. Their math content is divided into grade levels and covers everything from basic arithmetic to advanced calculus.

Hooda Math – Hooda Math is a website that provides a range of math games and activities for students in Grades K-8. Their games are designed to make learning math fun and engaging, and cover a range of math topics, from basic arithmetic to geometry and algebra.

IXL Math – IXL Math is a website that offers a range of math practice activities for students in Grades K-12. Their activities are designed to help students learn and practice math facts, as well as develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

4. Math Fluency Practice with Movement

Computer practice has its time and place within a school day, but I also believe that incorporating movement into a lesson is so valuable for students. One way to practice fluency and give your students some time to move around and be in motion is through a game called Scoot. I discovered this game through a colleague and really loved how well it went over with my class. Scoot can be played for a variety of skills. Recently, we played this game practicing area and using our multiplication facts to do so.

With this game, students have a graphic organizer that they take with them to record their work. Most of the time it’s a basic grid that corresponds to the number of the problem on each desk. Task cards are placed at different seats or areas around the room. Students start at one seat and begin the problem practice there. Students complete the task card, record their answers, and flip over their paper so we knew when everyone was ready. I did not use a timer so that students never felt rushed. Once everyone is finished, I would say “Scoot!” and students would move to the next seat to practice the next area problem.

My students really enjoyed the pace of this game and the movement around the room. By the end of the game, they had completed a lot of area practice. We went through the answers to each practice to ensure the students could see where they did well or where they might have made a mistake. This game is definitely a class favorite and can be played with different types of skills to practice fluency.

I have played Scoot with our Decompose a Ten math activity as well as our Addition Task Cards with 100s charts. In fact, any of our two-digit and three-digit task cards can be used for a Scoot activity.

These are just a few suggestions, resources, and games to help increase practice for students for math fluency. Math fluency can even be thrown into daily routine practices, such as lining up for lunch or the end of the day. Young learners enjoy having fun with their practice. The more small practices we can fit into an already jam-packed school day can only help students retain their learning and over time develop their fluency.

More Math Ideas for You

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