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TheAttachedMama

Math Fact Practice Ideas First Grade

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Hi Everyone,

Does anyone have any good ideas for drilling and practicing addition and subtraction math facts?   With my two older kids, we used Xtra math, but my youngest child is resistant to it.   He gets stressed out with the time limit.   We've been doing old fashioned flashcards and card games, but I am sort of out of ideas after that.  🙂

 

Thanks!

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How is he responding to the flashcards and cardgames?

For us, math facts were learned through lots of systematic games and exercises.

But my kid is very Handsy so we used manipulatives or made my own cards.

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I use flashcards, a handheld FlashMaster, and Kate Snow's books (Addition Facts that Stick, Subtraction Facts that Stick...). My son did not like Xtra Math.  He doesn't really like the FlashMaster as it is timed as well but he's gotten used to it more over time.  With any of these, I would give hints of a strategy to use if he got stuck.  Like 13 - 4, I would say, "Get it down to 10 first and then subtract what's left."  Or 9 + 6, I'd say "Get it up to 10 first and add what's left."   This would help with some of the panic when he would get stuck and the time was still ticking away.  It took some time but 4 days a week of practicing these facts will show improvement pretty quickly.

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We would roll two dice and add them as quickly as we could. Whoever got the correct answer first rolled next. 

Also, Math War card game was great at the younger age.

Something I didn't use with my oldest, but absolutely plan on doing with the next 2 now that I've found it is the bees and blossoms by R&S. I'm going to DIY ours, though, and use bee hives instead of flower blossoms for my all-things-pink-are-yuck boys.

Making triplet cards (another R&S thing) was super easy and just a different way of doing the same thing.

I like drilling multiple ways to cement the facts without it being total drudgery.

Edited by Servant4Christ
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- Triangle flash cards
reduces math facts by 75%, as 3 numbers make a fact family that can be visually connected on the 3 points of a triangular flashcard for both addition AND subtraction) -- I esp. love how this connects addition and subtraction very naturally, and makes basic algebra very easy as the child is used to "filling in for x" with the missing member of the fact family

- Picture + short goofy "story"
like Addition the Fun Way; Times Tales, etc. -- together you and DS could make your own, so it esp. sticks in his mind

- Games that use adding/subtracting
dice games = Shut the Box; Yahtzee; Sequence Dice
board games = Sum Swamp; triFACTa; Muggins (reversible 2 games in one: Jelly Beans and Knock Out)
board games with money and making change (have to add and subtract) = Go For Broke; Pay Day; Life; Careers...

- Number Munchers computer game, or online games (without a time factor)

- Also, discuss mental math "tricks and tips" to make facts memorable and easier, like:

Addition Fact tips:
- Think Fact Family = visualize the missing 3rd number from the fact family
- When adding 0, think = "no change" -- example 7+0 = 7 --> no change from the original number
- Doubles are visually memorable looking = 3=3=6   5+5=10   7+7=14
- When adding 9, think = add 10, subtract 1 -- example 6+9 --> think 6+10=16, subtract 1 = 15 --> so 6+9=15

Subtraction Fact tips:
- Think Fact Family = visualize the missing 3rd number from the fact family
- Think Addition = use addition facts to solve subtraction -- rather than 13-5 = ?, think what + 5 = 13?
- When subtracting 9, think = subtract 10, add 1 -- example: 14-9 --> think 14-10 = 4, add 1 = 5 --> so 14-9 = 5
- When subtracting 0, think = "no change" -- example 7-0 = 7 --> no change from the original number

Edited by Lori D.
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Addition war is fun. Also, the Tiny Polka Dot cards are really good for certain facts... 

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the card game Mille Bornes

Monopoly Jr is suprisingly not deathly boring for adults

Bowling - have him score.  bowling can be finger bowling (dollar store) or you can use a ball with ten 20 oz water bottles. 

Darts -- have him score   good game to get spouse involved especially if dc gets three darts and dad gets one. 

marbles -- the game is arches.  cut arches of different widths into a shoebox side. each arch gets a number which is the points that will be scored, bigger arch gets less points.  Use the numbers you want him to practice.  shoot the marble into the arch with the flicking motion or just roll them.  roll them thru tubes of various sizes, whatever to keep the interest. 

whatever you play, guide him into using his strategies, not guess and check. He'll get faster as he comes to know.

Edited by HeighHo
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On 5/12/2020 at 12:47 PM, TheAttachedMama said:

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone have any good ideas for drilling and practicing addition and subtraction math facts?   With my two older kids, we used Xtra math, but my youngest child is resistant to it.   He gets stressed out with the time limit.   We've been doing old fashioned flashcards and card games, but I am sort of out of ideas after that.  🙂

Thanks!

What are you using for your primary arithmetic instruction?

Some publishers build in learning basic math facts as part of the lesson, so that you don't have to use additional resources. Rod and Staff Publishers does an excellent job of that.

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Xtra math was a bust here too.

I didn't really want to pay $35 a year for Reflex Math, but it was worth it. She does it on her own happily without complaining, I don't have to do anything except check her progress every now and then, and she's got her facts down pat. 

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My kids all hated xtra math until they were good enough at math facts that they didn’t need it.  It has the bad combo of an annoying teacher guy image, a countdown clock, and trying to remember and accurately type the answer.  It might be the single largest source of tears for elementary school in my house.  At least by kid 4 I have been wise enough not to use it.  I really like the right start math games book...addition war, Corners, go to the dump (like go fish but making 10).  The last two have apps for them.  My first grade son also like double shutter.  Personally, I like sumoku, but it is harder and geared toward older kids/adults.

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