Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Strategy-Based Fact Drills

 Do you ever feel like you teach a strategy for basic facts, but then don't give the students enough time to practice the strategy in isolation before having them apply it in class?  I know I do.  I feel like I quickly move on to the next strategy without giving the students enough time to master the one that was just taught.  I have yet to find a perfect solution to teaching basic facts in my classroom.  I feel like my students knew their facts the best when I used the Saxon Math program, but that is no longer an option for me since our school has adopted a different program.  I loved how Saxon provided practice with a given fact strategy before moving on.  So, I created strategy-based fact drills that will give my students plenty of practice with the strategies I'm introducing.   

I plan on using this only as a supplement to my current fact program.  I am using Rocket Math in my classroom and have been happy with it.  Still, I think my students would be doing much better if more time was spent on practicing fact strategies.  I still see SO MANY fingers out and my students are relying almost completely on "Counting On" and "Counting Back".  I plan to spend the first 10 minutes of my math block on fact practice every day.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we will do Rocket Math.  (I only do this three times per week since it takes awhile to go through each student's Rocket Folder.  But, don't let this scare you from trying it out.  If you have a good system down, you can check over folders for the entire class in 15 minutes.)  Tuesday and Thursday's fact practice will consist of modeling/practicing a fact strategy.  Depending on the difficulty of the strategy, we may do one or two strategies a week. 

Here are the strategies I've included drills for in my packet:


Each strategy includes two different fact drills (25 problems) and answer keys.  The strategies are labeled at the top of each page with a short reminder of how to use it. Each drill is also labeled as A or B. These would be great to copy back-to-back (A/B) so students could complete side A at school and side B at home. Also, the answer keys make this conducive to independent work in centers.

Click any of the images above to check it out on TpT or click HERE.  :)

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