How to Present Maths Facts Your Student Will Remember

There’s usually more than one way to do anything.  For example, let’s say that you and your friend decide to make Lamington. You both know the recipe and ingredients. However, your friend gets to use the electric mixer while you are forced to mix your ingredients by hand. Both cakes end up being delicious, but your process to get there involved frustration. Perhaps you are frustrated enough that you no longer want to make cakes. Not because you don’t like cakes, but because you didn’t like the tool available to you to make the cake.

This scenario often happens for students, without cake of course. They understand a concept but not necessarily the elements. The friend that used the “electric mixer” understood the elements, which was there tool. Teaching your child math facts gives them the tool they need to progress with maths. It is the foundation they need to build upon with more advanced concepts.

The most obvious place to start is by figuring out where the math gaps are. What do your kids know and where are they lacking? Click To Tweet

Why is it difficult to teach your student maths facts?

The most common difficulty with teaching your student maths facts is that they have not mastered “single digit” maths facts. Without them being committed to memory, it is difficult to progress beyond that point.

Some students may respond well to flashcards, worksheets, or incentives. The results, however, may not be permanent. Many students will forget the same facts once they have a break from school.

Relying on flash cards or worksheets won’t teach your child facts.  The student’s desire to learn isn’t enough for them to retain the information.

No matter what gaps you find in your kids’ learning, I would encourage you to start with a thorough review of place value. Click To Tweet

F.I.G with Maths Facts

In addition to flashcards and worksheets, parents and teachers can use “Fill in the Gap” learning to teach your student maths facts.

A few of the basic F.I.G. ideas are:

  • Before starting actual fact practice, make sure the student has mastered block to integer correlation. Making the instant connection between the block and the integer while building facts will assist in escalating the memorization process.
  • Master the facts in a sequential order that builds. For example, in Alpha the 9’s and 8’s are mastered directly after 1’s, 2’s, commutative property and solving for the unknown as all of those concepts are connected and build on each other.
  • Hang in there with the Build, Write and Say method keeping session’s brief, maximizing attention span.
  • Celebrate both knowing and not knowing the fact. “Yeah! We know we don’t know that one!” I have found when the student begins to acknowledge this rather than hide the fact they don’t know progress escalates.

Integrate “fill in the gap” learning with your existing resources and you will set your child up for success!

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