To help our students develop math fact fluency we teach them strategies. Spelling is no different. Kids need to have a range of spelling strategies if they are to become better spellers. They should be able to ask themselves, "What can I do to help me spell this word?" There are four main teaching strategies for spelling: Phonological strategies - how words soundVisual strategies - how words lookMorphemic strategies - the meaning of words ... read more

## Why Fact Families are Important for Understanding Subtraction

It's not uncommon for teachers to spend a lot of time focusing on teaching the addition facts and then brush over subtraction. Subtraction has been the ‘poor relation’ that receives less attention. In fact, sometimes students are not helped to see that there is any relationship at all between addition and subtraction. (NZMaths n.d.) One of the top strategies for learning the subtraction facts is to 'think addition'. This is when children ... read more

## Why are some Multiplication Facts Harder to Master?

When it comes to teaching the multiplication facts, students will often find multiplying by 6, 7, 8 and 9 the trickiest to master. There are two main reasons why. Students don't understand the Commutative Property of Multiplication. They don't see 6 x 4 and 4 x 6 as being equivalent. While they can answer 4 x 6, the answer to 6 x 4 eludes them. This means that when they learn the 6x facts rather than understanding they only need to learn ... read more

## Three Easy Ways to Achieve Multiplication Fact Fluency

If you come from a generation where learning to multiply meant reciting your multiplication tables over and over, then you probably don't have positive thoughts about teaching multiplication. Maybe you were given timed tests or had your achievements (or lack of) displayed on the wall. It may even be that, as an adult, you're not still fluent with your multiplication facts. You might need to recite a multiplication rap in your head or use ... read more

## Motivate young readers to learn their sight words

Learning sight words and high-frequency words is a massive component of the kindergarten and first grade curriculum. Not all teachers work from the same sight word/high frequency word lists. Some use Dolch lists, Fry or Words their Way. Some schools provide lists, others don't. Whichever list is used, there's always the same expectation. Students will know a certain amount of words before the end of the school year. Most teachers ... read more

## Skip Counting is an Important Multiplication Strategy

Learning the multiplication facts shouldn't be about learning to recite the times tables. I've seen too many students searching their memories for the answer to 6 x 8, only to have them start at 1 x 8 = 8. There's no knowledge of the multiplication thinking strategies that can help them reach the answer much faster. If kids need to go back to 1 x 8 to find the answer to 6 x 8, there isn't a real understanding of what multiplication is. ... read more

## Editable sight word activities for every classroom theme

Do you say sight words or high frequency words? And does it really matter? There is a difference. A sight word is a word that doesn’t follow spelling rules or the rules of the six syllable types. Kids need to learn to read them from sight because it’s impossible to decode them. High frequency words appear frequently in reading. You can decode them. Often they’re introduced before we’ve introduced strategies for decoding words, so ... read more

## How to have student accountability in math centers

I love using games in my math centers. I have to admit it wasn't always successful. In the early days of teaching, I didn't consider things like how to set up successful centers, or even the best way to use games during center time. Now, with nearly thirty years of teaching experience behind me, those things are second nature. I've learned that if I want students to get the most from a game, not only should I teach them how to play it but ... read more

## Have your Students Master the Doubles Facts

Once first grade students master counting on addition, the next step is learning their doubles facts. The doubles facts are addition facts in which a number is added to itself. 1 + 1 and 2 + 2 are both doubles facts. When students know these facts, it's easy for them to use them to solve their near doubles (doubles + 1 such as 7 + 8 and doubles + 2 such as 6 + 8). Unlike the count on facts which have a thinking strategy, the ... read more

## Motivating Math Crafts for April Fun

Math crafts are a great way to make your math centers fun and engaging. You can bet that every child in your class will be eager for this math activity. With fifteen different options for each craft, your kids can practice addition, subtraction or multiplication number facts, plus multi-digit addition and subtraction. All while being creative and having fun. No more boring math sheets! Math crafts use a variety of skills Math ... read more

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