Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Math Facts: Do you Drill or Thrill?

Since I am on spring break, I have had a chance to create a few new activities for my classroom. My firsties love games, anything with dice, anything you can throw,or any game that gets them moving. After spring break we will focus on the addition facts for automaticity.  My class has great number sense overall, and many of them are ready to move ahead. By learning their addition facts automatically, they will become more "efficient" in solving other math problems and have a greater chance of long term success in math.  I use the term "efficient" often in my class and they know it as "faster."  What kid doesn't like "faster?"  They look at it and know if they finish their work "faster" or more efficiently, then they can move onto bigger and greater things. I try to keep the focus on fun and not "drill and kill" their love for math. I am not a paper packet person, and don't believe that more is always better; as in doing 1000  math problems will make you know your facts faster. I have a plan in mind, but would like to hear what many of you do.
 I go back Monday, so I better get ready. 

Please share your method of helping students learn their addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts.

One of the things I do in math is talk about strategies that will help us become a better math student.
  Just like the strategies that help us to decode or comprehend in reading,
 there are math strategies that help us become better math students.

We have been working on the strategy of doubling a number, and doubling a number plus one. Since my student are pretty good at doubles, I thought I would work on triples.
 I created  2 little math center games for practicing doubles and triples. 

Here is a peek. Grab them HERE for FREE,
 or just click on the picture to download. 
I have them in Google Docs and at my TPT Store for free.

Please consider following my blog or TPT store! 
Thanks to those that do!


  1. Fun games Sandra. Thanks for sharing, I can't to introduce/have my students play this during Math centers.

    For some MATH practice our district has some computer programs that our students use. For basic addition/subtraction facts my students use "Fast Math". We also use "Compass Odyssey" that has Math games to go with our curriculum.

    Another Math -practice facts program that is free-that I enjoyed setting my students up on was "XtraMath". Google search it-it's easy to sign your kids up on.

    1. Thanks for the computer game info. I am familiar with Fast Math. I will check out "Xtra Math."

  2. Good Morning, I jut found your blog. I have to admit teaching math is not my strongest skill, even though as a child math came much easier to me than reading and writing. I am so glad I found you ~ love what you posted on shapes and I'll look back to see if anyone has any good suggestions for teaching math facts. Thanks for sharing.
    First Grade Carousel

  3. These are dorable game cards but I have a question... maybe I am misunderstanding the instructions; however, if they have 2 dice and roll both and then double the number isn't it impossible to cover the 2?

    1. Thanks Jenny I made the changes. I uploaded the corrected version in google docs. It is always great to have another set of eyes.

  4. Love your games and can't wait to try them. Thank you for sharing. I am your newest follower!

  5. Heidi, If you downloaded the games please be sure you have the corrected version. I made a mistake and put a 2 on the Double It board. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  6. Really good ideas, Sandra. Another dice game would be Contig Jr.

    If you want to know which facts your students are already fluent in, try If you sign up for a free trial account, with in a few days you will have a really good picture of which facts they need to work on next. Or just use it without an account, but have the students do 100 facts. One thing that is unique about Math Facts Pro is that it adjusts to each individual student's speed, and it can tell if they are counting on their fingers.