How to Use Multiplication Worksheets to Assess Fluency

Timez Attack, Imagine LearningMultiplication worksheets. Schools commonly use these to measure math fact fluency, yet aggregating response times is tricky, especially given the typical number of math facts measured.

What’s more, the resulting data rarely tells you which math facts a student knows fluently compared with facts they are still calculating.

How to Maximize Effectiveness

When it comes to multiplication worksheets, use these tips to maximize your effectiveness in the classroom:

1. Assess each individual fact. You can use a stopwatch or let a program like Timez Attack do the job for you automatically; but at some point, it’s critical to measure which facts students can recall automatically and which ones they have to stop and calculate.

If you don’t measure each fact accurately, you won’t fix it. Read more »

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Common Core and Multiplication Tables

multiplication, Common Core, math fluency, Big BrainzMuch has been said and written about the use of Common Core standards in today’s classrooms, particularly when it comes to CCSS math standards.

Case in point: some educators claim that mastering multiplication tables is less important in the Common Core. But is this claim really true? Let’s take a deeper look.

Multiplication and the Common Core

When it comes to multiplication standards, here’s what Common Core has to say:

CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.C.7 Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.

In a nutshell, the more you care about developing higher-order mathematics, the more important fluency becomes.

Now, let’s deconstruct a few Common Core assumptions as they relate to math. Read more »

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Teach Children Math the Fun Way

teaching children math

Mention the words “math” and “fun” in one breath and you might prompt a few raised eyebrows from those around you. But the truth remains that math actually can be fun. All the same, a negative view of math tends to prevail in America; even in the latest flurry over STEAM-based learning initiatives.

For one thing, too many parents’ own experiences with math were less than stellar. Similarly, teachers may feel anxious about motivating youngsters in their classrooms if they aren’t already huge math fans themselves.

What to do?

Don’t worry. Here are a few ways you can help children (and yourself) see math as a fun experience right from the start. Read more »

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How to Choose a Fun and Effective Math Video Game

video games, math fluency, Big Brainz, Timez Attack, choose best learning, effective math video, success, math fact automaticityLet’s face it—not many kids are interested in reciting their multiplication tables or practicing addition when they’ve got video games to play, TV to watch, and technology to explore.

Unfortunately, too many parents and educators automatically assume that video games are mere time wasters, as mentioned in our earlier discussion about game-based learning.

Of course, sorting out the effective math games from the mediocre ones can be a challenge. Not every game is equal when it comes to producing lasting learning. So, what to do? Read more »

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Math Teachers Who Undermine Math Fact Memorization

A guest post by Ben Harrison

Developer of Big Brainz math-fact fluency software

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author(s) and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

The following article was originally posted in February, 2015 on the Big Brainz Blog.

 

Teacher and student, Imagine Learning, guest author, Ben Harrison, math fluency, math facts, math memorization, single-digit, common core, math advisory panel, Big BrainzEvery once in a while I encounter a savvy educator who is opposed to memorizing math facts–or at least he or she appears to be.

Just today I saw a fearful article that exclaimed “memorization can inhibit fluency” and “memorization . . . can be damaging.”

Of course, educators are doing a wonderful job of championing number sense, comprehension, and problem-solving, but by attacking the vital skill of automaticity, they unwittingly undermine the very processes they intend to champion.

From Where I Sit

Before I go any further, let me jump to the punchline, because I know that if you’re one of these educators, you’re already getting ready to give me your very passionate point of view.

So . . . if, as an educator, you have a negativity towards memorization, I would suggest that it’s because you haven’t seen it done well. Read more »

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