 ## Developing Automaticity with Basic Math Facts

The standards, whether the CCSSM or the TEKS in Texas, definitively state that students should develop fluency with calculations, and that means automaticity with basic facts. Knowing math facts is similar to knowing sight words–it frees up the mind to... ## Building Understanding for the Math Operations

How did you learn arithmetic? By that I mean basic multi-digit computation, such as subtracting with regrouping, multi-digit multiplication, or “long” division. I learned totally by memorizing a series of steps for each operation. The teacher... ## Online Multiplication Fact Practice

The debate rages over whether or not students should “memorize” their facts. We should really be discussing automaticity or fluency, not memorization. Our instructional practices should also stress understanding of the concepts behind math facts, rather... ## Multiplying Decimals

In Texas, multiplying decimals with products to the hundredths was added to the 5th grade curriculum last year, and today I tackled it with some of our 5th graders. Shifting from multiplying whole numbers to multiplying decimals is a huge shift, so that means that the... ## Counting Objects by Twos

One of the cool things about small group instruction is that your lessons often take you down roads you never expected to travel. This week, my third graders were working on adding 3-digit numbers. We were using base-ten blocks to provide the concrete support they... ## Expanded Form vs Expanded Notation

Among all the tsunami-force changes that took place as we moved to our new elementary TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) last year, one rather subtle shift might have been overlooked. I’m talking about the change from expanded form to expanded notation...