# Category Archives: Fact Fluency

## Geometric Subitizing: A Different Kind of Number Talk

These Geometric Subitizing Cards have been in beta the past two years. I asked our buddy Joe Schwartz to take them for a test drive last spring and he reported back. Joe’s all in. How do they work? Let’s play… Last week I took them for … Continue reading

## Not Your Mom’s Flashcards: Conceptual Understanding of Multiplication

What’s the purpose of flashcards? There’s 2 answers I frequently hear and only one I agree with. Answer 1: help kids know/memorize their facts Answer 2: help students build fluency through the automatization of strategy I know how Tracy and many … Continue reading

## Subitizing to Foster Multiplicative Thinking

Learning basic facts through tricks or a mnemonic song lead students down a path of memorization, not understanding. I previously discussed the idea of conceptual development here. When students practice their multiplication facts, they’re expected to move from concrete to abstract … Continue reading

## Take a Math Trick and Make it Bleed

I hate math tricks and avoid them at all costs. Tina Cardone and many members of #MTBOS are huge advocates of conceptual learning which is how we became blessed with this gem. There’s no denying that students love tricks, especially the … Continue reading

## From Memory and Memorization: There IS a Difference

Question: If you memorize your basic math facts have you learned them? The term from memory is used twice in the K-5 math standards (here & here) and they continue to be the most misunderstood words I encounter each day. The term “from memory” does not suggest that … Continue reading

## On Your Marks. Get Set. Number Talks

I’ll start off by saying that I’m definitely not a Number Talks guru and over the past 4 years I’ve learned just enough to be dangerous! The first day of school is less than 12 days away and my summer is … Continue reading

## Flashcards: Weapons of Math Distraction

What did SMP #1 say to the flash card? ……“You suck!” We’ve been using a math reasoning inventory as our benchmark assessment for the past 5 years. In that time there’s been tremendous growth (in small pockets), but unfortunately our struggles continue. This post was inspired by Robert Kaplinsky‘s How Old is … Continue reading

## Visual Patterns and Functions: How Input/Output Tables Belong in 1st Grade

As part of the #MTBoS 3rd mission we needed to choose a collaborative website and I want to give a huge shout out to @fawnpnguyen and http://www.visualpatterns.org/. I have used her website in the past for developing k-2 lessons and if … Continue reading

## Underestimating Estimation

Have you ever tried to teach a 3-yr-old how to ride a tricycle? Now take that same thought, with the same 3-yr-old but the tricycle has only one wheel! Crazy right?!?! This is how I expected my students to … Continue reading

## What The Fluency?!?!? Time to stop the debate

After reading Dr. Boaler’s post on timed tests and math anxiety http://joboaler.com/timed-tests-and-the-development-of-math-anxiety/, I can’t help but think about the amount of harm we are causing. To automatize? Or to memorize? That is the question! But should there even be a … Continue reading