Engaging Fact Fluency Practice - Math Coach's Corner

Engaging Fact Fluency Practice

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

I’m just back from the SDE National Conference on Singapore Math  Strategies in Las Vegas, and I’m fired up!  What a fabulous learning experience.  More on that over the next few days.  Many of the sessions focused on fact fluency and mental math, and that reminded me of a game I used with my 5th graders.  I dusted it off, prettied it up, and I present to you Speed Math.

Speed Math is a game for 1 to 4 players, but it would also be a great activity for small group instruction.  Three cards are drawn, and all the players work individually to write equations that equal 0 through 10 using the numbers on the cards and any of the four operations.  The deck of cards includes a Wild Card that can be used for any value.  Think of all the math your kiddos are doing as they try to come up with equations!  The player that creates all eleven equations first is the winner.  If time is short, then the player with the most equations when time expires is the winner. Wouldn’t this also make a great homework assignment?

This sample shows how a hand would be played using the cards 2, 6, and 4.  Think of all the facts students are practicing as they look for equations!
An optional recording sheet is included.  Of course, students could record their work in their math journal just as easily.

You can grab this freebie at my TpT store!

12 Comments

  1. Lyn S

    Love this idea! Why haven’t I thought of this? Thanks for including it as a freebie, I’ll be downloading soon.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I’m sure your kiddos will love it, too, Lyn! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Kelly Koonce

    Thank you so much for this! So simple, but so effective!!!

    Kelly

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Simple is good, Kelly, right? It’s something the kiddos won’t tire of.

      Reply
  3. Lisa Bee (Grade 4 Buzz)

    What a great game! Thanks so much!
    -Lisa
    Grade 4 Buzz

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      My pleasure, Lisa!

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Why are fifth graders doing exercises with skills learned in third grade and earlier? They should be solving problems with fractions.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      It would be heavenly if all of our students came to us with the skills they are supposed to have mastered in earlier grades, however that is not always the case. A game like this combines fluency practice with great thinking skills. It also gives the kiddos a chance to have conversations about their solutions, thereby addressing important mathematical practices. I mentioned that I had used it with my 5th graders, but it’s appropriate for any students who have an understanding of all four operations. So you’re right, it would be a great game for 3rd grade and up.

      Reply
  5. SherylLyn

    Thanks, Donna. Can’t wait to use this in my classroom this year. Great idea!

    Sheryl B

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      You’re welcome, Sheryl! It will be great practice for the kiddos. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Teach80

    Thanks for this game. I work with special needs students and they love when we play games-they don’t consider that work! I’m always looking for fun ways to teach concepts. 🙂

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Absolutely! Games are a highly engaging way to get kiddos to practice. 🙂

      Reply

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