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Quick Saxon 5/4 Question - Math Facts

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I’m switching one of my kids to Saxon 5/4. We did the first lesson today and I’d read the intro and set a timer for 5 minutes to do the Math Fact page listed in the warm up. She did that, we continued with the warm up and did the mental math and the word problem, then we did the lesson and all the practice problems.

But now that I think about it, I’m second guessing myself. She did nowhere near all the facts on the sheet. She just worked for 5 minutes. I figure over time and daily practice she’ll increase. In other places the instructions say to do all the problems, which we did in the warm up, lesson practice, and mixed practice.

Did I do it correctly or is she supposed to do all the fact practice problems? If so, it’ll take her a lot longer than 5 minutes to do.


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You did it according to the instructions. 

But my opinion is that when you do that, they get practice with the same facts over and over, and no practice with the facts at the end of the sheet.  So instead of having my son work for five minutes, I had him do the entire thing and the goal was to reduce his time.

I suspect that the instructions are the way they are because individually timing 25 kids in a classroom is not possible, but counting up the number of correct answers is.

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When my kids were doing timed fact drill sheets. I taught them to work in two phases. The "quick-pass" and the "finishing-pass". For the "quick-pass" they

  1. Work downward in columns.
  2. quickly read each equation.
    1. If they know the answer--write it
    2. If not, continue reading down the column.
  3. When you get to end of that column, make a mark--squiggle, box, circle, check whatever I don't care. Just make a mark, so that THEY know, that they've completed that column.
  4. Then move to the next column and work their way up, doing the same thing--reading all equations, completing the equations that they knew immediately, and making a mark at the top of the column.
  5. Once they have read all the problems and answered all the ones that they can immediately they being the "finishing-pass"
  6. Go back to the first column and fill in as many blank equations as they can before time is up.

This way, kids complete as many equations as they genuinely can and don't deflate their score because they get caught up calculating the ones that they don't know immediately. Additionally you can measure their genuine progress with the facts.

If you intentionally work on memorizing one multiplication table each week, then the kids and teacher should see marked improvement on how many they get done on a "quick-pass" vs a "polishing pass". If you're working on the 8s, then you should be getting them done in the "quick-pass" vs the "polishing-pass", things like that.

Some kids like to do the two phases in different colors so that they can see easily how many they knew and how many they have to work on and can tell "At the beginning of the month, I had 32 greens, but now I only have 6 greens."

Things like that can be motivating.

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I think it’s assumed a teacher is looking for a certain amount of progress or pattern of missed facts, and doing things to supplement if needed. This could be a computer game, a math facts themed game, flash cards, supplemental worksheets that only covered certain facts, a note home to parents, etc.  


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You did it correctly.

There are different ways to get it done, and if using a simple timer works for you, doesn't create any issues with the student such as timer anxiety, then it's perfectly fine. You are looking for progress as well as accuracy/speed. Over time, the speed should increase. By the end of 8/7, I think, my daughter did her speed drills in about 2 minutes or so.


Edited by RosemaryAndThyme
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  • 3 weeks later...

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