Tips from a Teacher-
Math facts are one of the scariest things for elementary students. Your child may be required to do timed tests. After teaching 1st and 3rd grade there is a huge difference in students that know their facts and those that don’t. Those that know their facts are more engaged in class, less overwhelmed, and tend to complete their work quicker. It is a huge confidence boost for students when they know their facts. Truly, math facts just need to be memorized.
Be sure your child understands what addition (subtraction, multiplication, or division) means. There is so much more “buy in” and engagement when they see how it is applicable in every day life. At home and while I am teaching, I model it by thinking out loud. For example, I have 2 packs of crayons out. I have five students that need a pack of crayons. How many more packs of crayons do I need to get out? Be dramatic, really pretend like you need their help. It works every time. Kids want to help.
I highly recommend getting math flash cards that have only one problem per card. These cards are perfect for kids to practice by themselves because they have the answers on the back. It gets hard to remember which facts they practiced when cards have two different facts per card. To begin, grab 5 flashcards. For example 1+1, 1+2, 1+3, 1+4, 1+5. Mix them up and do those over and over and over until they are automatic. Then add in the 1+6 and 1+7 card. Mix those into the prior cards that were memorized. Then keep on adding in a few at a time. Each night review the ones they “already memorized”. This will help commit it to memory.
After they are a bit more fluent with their facts, add in some fun!
These are math war games are very cost effective and so much fun!
After you answer your fact correctly, you get to keep your “gumball”. Be careful not to pick the POP! card or you will have to put your facts back. The person with the most gumballs at the end is the winner. My students are always highly engaged when we play POP! games. They have ones for sight words too!
This is great for relating addition to subtraction and multiplication to division. Cover up one number and they have to figure out the missing number.
Learning Locks- You answer the math problem and try the key to see if you were correct! We have these for letters and my oldest loves them!
The best investments!!
When I tutor students or work in small groups, I want it to be engaging. When a child is overwhelmed or bored they won’t learn. When I tutor children, I pull out one of my son’s games. My son is obsessed with Shark Bite, Jumping Jack, Egged On (water is involved), and Candy Land. When I was teaching 3rd grade I loved having 6 Candy Land games. They seemed juvenile for 3rd graders but let me tell you… they LOVED it! Bonus, most of them already knew how to play. My students knew the drill. In order to be able to move or have a turn, they have to answer the question correctly. My students grabbed a pack of math flash cards and played away. I was able to differentiate groups between those that struggled with +, -, and x. I was also able to challenge students with division facts! It was truly a “super teacher feeling” when the students were all playing, laughing, and most importantly learning! It encouraged students to practice at home so they could beat their friends the next week. My small reading groups loved when I pulled out board games to review sight words, blends, digraphs, etc. You could even use a spelling list and quiz your child. These games encourage bonding time and promote a love of learning in just 15 minutes!