Monday, January 7, 2013

Multiplication Fact Fluency - Making it Fun

If there's one thing most of my Fab Fours need, it's fluency in their multiplication facts. Our grade level uses a program called Rocket Math. It basically 10 minutes of math fact practice and testing. I like it because it's a daily part of our routine and it happens every day. I dislike it because it is based on timed assessments, and it is an obvious point of stress for some kids. And really, where is the research on "how fast is fluent?" Come on, people, I need some case studies before I totally buy into the "fluency = a fact < 3 seconds".

SO..... I created two other ways for them to practice multiplication facts, hoping that they would take some tension away from my students who blank, stall, freak out or panic when they have to come up with facts under the pressure of time.

I like the flip cards because students can use them on their own or with a partner. They also need movement and manipulation to make them work, so they engage those kiddos who need that action to really get learning to stick in their memory. So far it's been a success. 

The other project I created came from the same need of multiplication fact practice, but I wanted an activity that incorporates more movement and game-play. I decided to redesign the Cootie Catcher to fit the need. The Fab Fours grab these and play with a partner a few times a week. 

I I wanted to make it easier on teachers, so I created a "how to play" video to go with it. By the way, zebra is one of my favorite Scrappin' Doodles!

So far the kids have loved the activities, and I love how engaged they are. You know what they say about all work and no play.... and there is no way I want any dull boys and girls in my classroom. 

You can pick these up at my TPT store. Go here for the flip cards and here for the Cootie Catchers.


  1. Love these ideas Heather! Do you have directions to make the flip cards? Always looking for new ways to increase fact fluency!

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh my gosh, I can't believe I didn't check the links! They are working can grab both of the multiplication projects at my TPT store. Thanks for the tip, Nancy!

  2. Heather,

    I am struggling with the exact same thing. I am trying everything under the sun to get my thirds to master their multiplication with "fluency", and yes, fluency as defined by what everyone else thinks. You're right though, we just need to provide them with multiple practice opportunities in various forms. I love both your cootie catchers and flip cards.

    Thank you for sharing some new ideas! We're doing war games, matching, flash cards, spinner games. All sorts of stuff and I don't think I can ever have too many options to keep these littles busy.


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  4. Hi, I am from iSURF maths and came here to see your maths link up game. In the spirit of a link up you need to link back to our blog in your post. Can you let me know when and which post you have linked back to us?