Hey there, thanks for stopping by the Math Facts Matter blog. Today, we’re going to share some information about math fact fluency. In the past, we’ve focused on discussing our math fact solutions, so we’re going to shift the focus to the four steps of math fact fluency. We’re addressing this topic so you can have a better understanding of how our solutions work.
That being said, keep reading to learn about the four steps of math fact fluency.
The First Step — Understanding The Numerical System
The first aspect of developing math fact fluency is developing students’ cognitive understanding of the numerical system — recognizing what numbers are, how they are used, etc. Obviously, this is something that school already does, but nonetheless, it’s an intentional aspect of the math fact process. With each Math Facts Matter solution, we integrate materials that will serve to better solidify your students’ cognitive understanding of the numerical system.
By achieving this cognitive understanding, students will be able to more easily store math facts in their long term memory, and their overall comfortability with numbers will empower them to feel more confident in the face of new mathematical challenges.
The Second Step — Math Fact Storage
Now that your students have obtained a cognitive understanding of the numerical system, it’s time to learn and store math facts. This is done through instruction and practice that effectively combines tactile, visual, and auditory cues with the math facts at hand, all of which will help your pupils not only retain the math facts, but also retrieve them when they’re solving math problems in the future.
The way the Math Facts Matter framework operates is this: math facts are divided into small groups for students to progress through, based on their benchmarks. These small groups of related math facts ensure that students a) don’t become overwhelmed and b) have a system that is digestible and introduces new concepts and facts at a pace that is most conducive to learning.
The Third Step — Math Fact Practice And Retrieval
Once students have learned math facts, the next step is to practice those math facts and work on retrieving them too. You can mix and match the solutions we offer to first learn and then practice particular math facts, making the transition from Step Two to Step Three more comfortable.
As you practice in Step Three, you can issue assessments within a variety of our solutions to have a more intentional practice of math fact retrieval. Plus, these assessments will help you identify the math facts in the set you’re working that need more attention. By the end of this step, your students will fluidly be able to retrieve math facts, making them more effective problem solvers, as they won’t be spending time or energy struggling to figure out said facts.
The Fourth And Final Step — Computational Fluency
The main reason we want to develop a foundation of math fact fluency is so we can help students achieve computational fluency. That being said, math fact fluency is an absolute necessity for computational fluency. Computational fluency is essentially the ability to solve problems with accurate efficiency and mental flexibility, or in other words, students can approach math problems and their mathematical foundation allows them to utilize their skills and understanding as second nature.
Another sign of computational fluency is that your pupils will be able to confidently orient themselves on the number line and fluidly move bidirectionally throughout it.
In essence, throughout the process and in this final step of the process, you’ll facilitate your Math Facts Matter solutions in a way that continues to develop and hone your students’ mathematical intuition. A mixture of math fact fluency and practice that has stored facts with tactile, visual, and auditory cues will result in familiarity with and understanding of math, how it operates, and how to solve problems.
Math Facts Matter
At Math Facts Matter, we care about students and we care about teachers. We’ve created our solutions to be intuitive and effective, so your students can be equipped with the skills they need to thrive. If you’re interested in the solutions we offer, check out our free Space Challenge. And if you like what you see, then contact us to get set up with a subscription for your classroom or school.