|Helping Your Child with Math Facts|
It is important for children to know their math facts. Part of a successful math curriculum model is to build fluency with facts. This is not the same as rote memorization of isolated facts. Rather, developing fluency and mastery of facts has more to do with understanding number relationships.
Sometimes, a child who has to memorize facts in isolation can be overwhelmed by the daunting task ahead. A child who can see relationships in the numbers can develop fluency and efficiency by making connections between known and unknown facts. For example, by understanding the commutative property of addition, children know that 3 + 5 is the same as 5 + 3: understanding this relationship cuts the number of basic facts in half.This also helps to build number sense.
There are several points to keep in mind as you work with your child to help them gain mastery of facts:
1. Help children develop a strong understanding of number relationships and of the operations.Allow your child to make connections between numbers and use strategies that make sense to them.
2. Develop efficient strategies for fact retrieval through practice.
3. Provide drill in the use of selection of those strategies once they have been developed.
4. Ask your child if the answer is reasonable – whether it is correct or incorrect without judgment. This often gives your child the opportunity to either reassure themselves or rethink their solution..
5. Encourage your child to estimate the answer.
6. For problems keep the numbers grounded in the situation and ask what the numbers mean.
7. Play number games and strategy games.
Taken from Teaching Student Centered Mathematics (Lovin and Van de Walle, 2006, pp 95-96),