Friday, October 21, 2016

Introduction - FAQ

What Are Math Facts?

Most of us remember learning our multiplication tables such as 7 x 8 = 56. Just as important are the addition, subtraction, and division tables. Being able to quickly retrieve facts such as 18 - 9 = 9 or 36/9 = 4 is known as automaticity. The official definition:

Automaticity /ˌɔːtəməˈtɪsᵻti/ is the ability to do things without occupying the mind with the low-level details required, allowing it to become an automatic response pattern or habit. It is usually the result of learning, repetition, and practice.

So when we say students should practice their math facts, we mean practice the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems using numbers up to 10 (or higher) so that they can develop automaticity. Notice also that automaticity requires learning, repetition, and practice in order to build the neural connections in the memory area of the brain. Your child's teacher will be sending home activities that can help your child develop their memory of the important math facts. This blog will also act as a collection point for these ideas to use at home.

Why Are Math Facts Important?

  1. Knowing math facts to automaticity helps build confidence in math. Imagine the frustration as a child is trying to learn how to add 399 + 516, but they still have to stop and think hard about the answers to 9 + 6 or 9 + 1. They end up feeling like math work is painfully slow which can lead to overall negative feelings about math.
  2. Studies have shown that students who use the memory part of their brain to retrieve basic math facts instead of the processing part of their brain, perform significantly higher on PSAT tests as high school juniors. The exact reason requires more study, but scientists theorize that memorization of basic facts frees up the processing part of the brain so it can work more effectively on the problem solving involved in the test.



Recommended Math Fact Speed by Grade

FPM = facts per minute
Addition
Subtraction
Multiplication
Division
Kindergarten
Not tested
Not tested
Not tested
Not tested
1st grade
Up to 9 + 9
(not timed)
Up to 18 - 9
(not timed)
Not tested
Not tested
2nd grade
Up to 9 + 9
20 FPM
Up to 18 - 9
20 FPM
Not tested
Not tested
3rd grade
Up to 9 + 9
20 FPM
Up to 18 - 9
20 FPM
Up to 9 x 9
15 FPM
Up to 81 ÷ 9
15 FPM
4th grade
Up to 10 + 10
25 FPM
Up to 18 - 9
25 FPM
Up to 12 x 12
20 FPM
Up to 144 ÷ 12
18 FPM
5th grade
Up to 10 + 10
30 FPM
Up to 20 - 10
30 FPM
Up to 12 x 12
25 FPM
Up to 144 ÷ 12
25 FPM
6th grade
Up to 12 + 12
35 FPM
Up to 20 - 10
35 FPM
Up to 12 x 12
35 FPM
Up to 144 ÷ 12
35 FPM



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