"Pencils ready? On your mark...get set...begin!"
Remember flipping over a page full of unrelated fact problems and scrambling to answer as many as possible in a minute? Remember trying to memorize math facts by rote? Many of our children are still asked to learn this way-even though research shows this approach can harm student learning more than help.
Explore an effective, research-based approach to math fact instruction.
No More Math Fact Frenzy examines this research and concludes that our approaches to math fact instruction are often ineffective. We want our students to know their math facts. We know they're better mathematicians when they're comfortable with them. Yet the ways we ask students to learn them in many classrooms remain unproductive.
To address this, the authors outline three phases for helping students master their math facts.
- Building foundational concepts and strategies
- Learning more efficient reasoning strategies
- Meaningful, ongoing practice leading to full fact fluency
Then they share recommendations for all three phrases: activities and games that build number sense, strategies that lead to flexible thinking, and ways to create and sustain a classroom culture of fluency. This kind of teaching helps students learn their math facts more successfully-and with less stress and anxiety.
"When we emphasize foundation concepts and reasoning strategies as the path towards building authentic fluency, students can develop their number sense, articulate their thinking, and understand the reasoning of others."
-Linda Ruiz Davenport, Connie S. Henry, Douglas H. Clements, and Julie Sarama
About the Author:
Linda Ruiz Davenport is the Director of K - 12 Mathematics for Boston Public Schools and supports mathematics teaching and learning district-wide. Follow her on Twitter @LindaD_BPSMath
Nell K. Duke, Ed.D., is a professor in literacy, language, and culture and also in the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. Duke received her Bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Duke's work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in economic poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include the development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. She has served as Co-Principal Investigator of projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation, among other organizations. Duke has been named one of the most influential education scholars in the U.S. in EdWeek. In 2014, Duke was awarded the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association, and in 2018 she received the International Literacy Association's William S. Gray Citation of Merit for outstanding contributions to research, theory, practice, and policy. She has also received the Michigan Reading Association Advocacy Award, the American Educational Research Association Early Career Award, the Literacy Research Association Early Career Achievement Award, the International Reading Association Dina Feitelson Research Award, the National Council of Teachers of English Promising Researcher Award, and the International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award. Duke is author and co-author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is Inside Information: Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text through Project-based Instruction. She is co-author of the books Reading and Writing Informational Text in the Primary Grades: Research-Based Practices; Literacy and the Youngest Learner: Best Practices for Educators of Children from Birth to Five; Beyond Bedtime Stories: A Parent's Guide to Promoting Reading, Writing, and Other Literacy Skills From Birth to 5, now in its second edition; and Reading and Writing Genre with Purpose in K - 8 Classrooms. She is co-editor of the Handbook of Effective Literacy Instruction: Research-based Practice K to 8 and Literacy Research Methodologies. She is also editor of The Research-Informed Classroom book series and co-editor of the Not This, But That book series. Duke has taught preservice, inservice and doctoral courses in literacy education, speaks and consults widely on literacy education, and is an active member of several literacy-related organizations. Among other roles, she currently serves as advisor for the Public Broadcasting Service/Corporation for Public Broadcasting Ready to Learn initiative, an expert for NBC News Learn, and advisor to the Council of Chief State School Officers Early Literacy Networked Improvement Community. She has served as author or consultant on several educational programs, including Connect4Learning: The Pre-K Curriculum; Information in Action: Reading, Writing, and Researching with Informational Text; Engaging Families in Children's Literacy Development: A Complete Workshop Series; Buzz About IT (Informational Text); iOpeners; National Geographic Science K-2; and the DLM Early Childhood Express. Duke also has a strong interest in improving the quality of educational research training in the U.S.
Connie S. Henry is an Assistant Director of K - 12 Mathematics for Boston Public Schools. She has taught and coached math for many years.
M. Colleen Cruz is a fierce advocate for the students and teachers with whom she shares her passion for accessibility, twenty-first century learning, and social justice. An educator with over two decades of experience in both general education and inclusive settings, Colleen is also the author of several books for teachers including Risk. Fail. Rise. A Teacher's Guide to Learning from Mistakes and The Unstoppable Writing Teacher, as well as the author of a young adult novel, Border Crossing, a Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Finalist. Additionally, Colleen co-edits the Not This But That series with Nell Duke - a popular series of books that pairs research and practice. Colleen has served as a senior staff developer and later the Director of Innovation at Teachers College Reading & Writing Project, Columbia University. She currently supports organizations, districts and schools who want to bring her unique combination of integrity, humor, real-world practicality and a rare depth and breadth of scholarship to their communities.
Douglas H. Clements is the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Denver. Follow him on Twitter @DHClements
Julie Sarama is the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Technologies and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Denver. Follow her on Twitter @JulieSarama