Research indicates that fact fluency is critical to mathematical success.
“If appropriate development is undertaken in the primary grades, there is no reason that all children cannot master their facts by the end of grade 3.” Van de Walle, 2006
In recent years, a growing body of research has documented that the skills and knowledge students learn in school is correlated with success later in life. In their landmark study showing the impact of basic skills on adult earnings, Richard Murnane and Frank Levy conclude, “mastery of skills taught in American schools no later than the eighth grade is an increasingly important determinant of subsequent wages.” Tom Loveless, Brookings Institution
Practice to improve speed and accuracy should be used, but only under the right conditions; that is, practice with a cluster of facts should be used only after children have developed an efficient way to derive answers from those facts. NCTM 1989
So basically, the question is not if, but how. It is now widely accepted that traditional “drill and kill” is not the best way for most children to learn their basic facts. Extensive work with concrete materials and real world contexts (word problems) help children understand the meaning behind addition and subtraction facts. Strategies for connecting similar facts reinforce patterns and generalizations.
With that information in mind, I’m proud to announce my newest product, Add It Up! Dot Cards for Practicing Addition and Subtraction Facts. Trust me, it’s been a labor of love! The set includes over 200 cards for practicing addition and subtraction facts. I hope you’ll check it out!