Math and Special Education Blog
How to boost fact knowledge and retention with these tested strategies
You’ve been teaching your students their multiplication facts. It’s been a couple weeks but they seem to be getting it by the end of math class on Monday, so you’re feeling pretty good. Your students come back to class on Tuesday and you throw out some easy warm-up problems: 4 x 2, 3 x 5.
And...crickets.
It’s as if you never taught the concept! In my classroom, I sometimes felt like I was teaching and reteaching the same math facts over and over again.
What’s your next move?
- Devote 5 minutes at the beginning of math class to practice verbally skip counting.
- Find some storybooks in your library that are related to multiplication. Use these storybooks for your read aloud the next few days.
- Whip out those counters and start making groups: 4 groups of 2 counters and 3 groups of 5 counters, etc.
- Spend 15 minutes twice a week playing multiplication board games with your students in stations.
My answer might surprise you! Keep reading to find out what it is...
Avoid the confusion: attack tricky math vocabulary head-on
What an odd number those odd numbers are! And the even numbers are even stranger!
Learning the language of math is hard!
Today, we'll take a closer look at some examples of the kinds of math vocabulary that trip up our students, especially those with learning disabilities and English Language Learners.
We'll talk about WHAT kinds of math words are tricky and HOW to help students overcome the confusion so they can communicate mathematically. Keep reading to learn more and download a free math vocabulary toolkit.
The truth about fact fluency: what your 3rd-grade teacher didn’t know
Too often, we overemphasize speed and underemphasize understanding and fluency in the math classroom. Learning math facts can be especially tricky for students with disabilities, who might have difficulty memorizing facts and trouble seeing relationships between related facts.
Remember those timed fluency drills your 3rd-grade teacher assigned? Turns out those drills aren't great at building true fact fluency!
Today, I want to share what it really means to acquire “fact fluency.” Keep reading to find out why speed isn’t important and why flexible thinking is at the core of fluency.