Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mastering Those Math Facts!

Hi Friends!
    At this point in the year in first grade, we are working hard on mastery....mastering everything we can!

With all these standards, it's hard not to lose sight of the importance of mastery. We spend so much time trying to "get it all in" that sometimes it's difficult to make sure our kids actually do get it ALL in their little brains!

    For me? It's math facts.  Although the Common Core doesn't have math fact fluency as a standard listed until 2nd grade, I know that a strong foundation in fact fluency will benefit my kids for years to come. But, even though I know that, I used to find it really hard to fit in another assessment. 

I don't  know about you, but we have got assessments oozing out the wazoo, and the thought of another one just made my head (and my heart) ache!

 Then, I started using Fluency Tickets with my kids, and thought I'd share how well this works with my first graders.
 First, I assess my kids using a pre-test of all addition facts 0-9.  At my school, we time these tests...10 minutes for all 200 facts. YES, that is a lot, so I break it up into different tests. 

The expectation for fluency is 20 facts in 1 minute, so we just go with that.  I know there are differing opinions of timing tests for little ones, so the pre-test can also be given without a time limit.

Anyway, after assessing them, I score them to determine which number group(s) they have mastered, and which ones need more work for fluency.  Some kids start with the 0's...and some kids start further along.

Next, I give them Fact Fluency Rings....flashcards on rings to help them study their facts for mastery. 
Each child gets the ONE ring they need to practice.
I copy them on different colored cardstock to make it more manageable. You could also laminate them for durability, and you'll be able to use them time & time again!

On Fridays, I test all my kids. BUT, I only test them on their number group. Each child gets a Fluency Ticket which acts as the assessment for the particular number group they are practicing.

Differentiation?? Yes, please! 
When a child score a 100 on his or her test, they earn a sticker for that particular fact group & move on to the next one.
I use this little chart that I found buried in my closet. No idea where it came from, and honestly, it could be cuter, but it works!  The kids get to come put their sticker on the chart, which they love!

You certainly don't have to do this part, but I'm just sharing how I do it in my room.

The kids also have a pocket in their interactive math notebooks where they store their tickets AND where they can put another sticker to show off their progress.
When my firsties have finished their work in their notebooks, they can pull out their fluency tickets and practice, or they can get out their rings & use those, too!

The kids absolutely LOVE it!  When it's time for our tests, they get so excited.... and they are doing so well! 

Plus, I love that it's an easy way to differentiate the assessment, and an even easier way to document their mastery. 

It takes 5 minutes out of my day on Fridays.....what could be simpler than that?! :)

When I started this, I just had these little tickets for my class because it was the best way I had figured out how to test fluency while still getting it ALL in.  

I decided to make it into a pack & share with you!

Click on either picture above to check it out in my TpT store! It's 20% off until midnight tomorrow night :)

As always, thanks for stopping by! I hope you found this post useful ...and if you test fact fluency in your room, how do YOU do it? :)

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  1. I love the cards you use for the students to practice! What a good idea!

  2. HOLY MOLY sis! This post is fantastic! Your new creation is going to be a HUGE hit for teachers! I love how organized this system is. I love the stickers to show growth and progress! You thought of everything! Great Job Kelly!

  3. We are also able to put every possible fact in this regard, furthermore, there will be more of the prospects to be done herewith, and fact around how to master those of the math facts will be more easy. synthesis in academic writing


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