Friday, June 8, 2018

FactsWise: Students learn what you teach!

I've been working to transform the teaching and learning of math basic facts fluency since 2004, and teachers keep telling me what a difference they see with students who have had daily mini-lessons that focus on conceptual understanding, patterns, and strategies as stepping stones to full fluency. I recently was talking with Myuriel, a 4th grade dual immersion teacher, who captured the power of FactsWise so well.

You're all invited to view the Introductory modules for both Addition/Subtraction and Multiplication/Division at any time at

Monday, August 21, 2017

Announcing FactsWise E-Courses!

I'm delighted to announce that you can now learn all about FactsWise through online e-courses for both addition/subtraction and multiplication/division. These e-courses include all of the information from the two-day FactsWise workshops, as well as additional classroom videos and in-depth insights into the lessons and strategies that we just don't have time for in the workshops.  (

If you're a teacher who wants to learn a bit more about FactsWise before you decide to enroll in the course, you'll be able to access the introductory chapter for free to see what it's all about. If you're a teacher who'd love to attend the two-day workshop but are a bit too far away from southern California to make it happen -- this online course is designed to help you transition to a simple approach to facts fluency development that time after time has had remarkable results. (

If you're a teacher who's been introduced to FactsWise from a team member and you want to get a full understanding, this course is for you. Many teachers just like you have told me that they felt so much more confident about building their students' flexible number sense and facts fluency once they had a more in-depth understanding of the principles behind FactsWise. (

And if you're a teacher who's been to a FactsWise workshop and you want to get a refresher or see it in action, this course is for you too! You'll be able to see many more video clips online than I could ever show during the workshops, and there are a number of bonus downloads you'll be able to access through the course. (

Of course, I'd be delighted to meet you in person at a two-day FactsWise workshop -- which are offered in the fall through both the Santa Barbara County Education Office as well as the Orange County (California) Department of Education. And if you attend one of these workshops, you'll get a special coupon to access the online course as well.

I'm happy to announce that both the FactsWise Addition/Subtraction and also the FactsWise Multiplication/Division courses are completed. The introductory module is completely free and will give you a strong overview of the approach and implementation research behind FactsWise. You can find them both at

Please feel free to share this with other teachers you think might be interested -- I'd love for you and your colleagues to be able to take advantage of these courses!

Monday, October 24, 2016

At Your Request - Activity Progression Updates

As several of you have requested, I've added the assessment tools and parent letters to the Activity Progression files. I appreciate your request, since I think it will make it easier to get started by opening and using the Activity Progression files.

Addition/Subtraction Activity Progression

Multiplication/Division Activity Progression

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Subtracting from Teen Numbers

When you are getting ready to begin Goal 8 Subtraction, you may be wondering how you can help your students move beyond counting back or counting up to solve these problems using strategies based on properties of operations. I've made a Subtracting from Teen Numbers screencast that shares four different strategies that do just this. The screencast also includes a number talk approach that will provide students with time and tools to generate some or many of these strategies using logic and visuals. These four strategies will also be very relevant to Goal 9 subtraction.

You may also find you want to try this approach with Goal 5 subtraction. Relating subtraction to addition and Take from Ten may be particularly helpful for Goal 5.

I hope you and your students enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

At your request ... Daily Activity Progressions

Many teachers have told me that they really want to focus on basic facts fluency for 5 to 10 minutes each day, but they have difficulty finding the time to plan those activities. So I've put together a set of sample  activities for each of the goals for addition/subtraction and also for multiplication/division. 

The activities for each goal are numbered sequentially, working first on concept building with mostly concrete activities, then shifting to strategies and patterns using visual representations, and finally moving in the third column to abstract practice. You'll find the blackline masters referenced in the activities following each progression. 



I hope you find these resources helpful ... and please post here to share what you learn as you try them out with students! 

Note: If you have attended a workshop in the past year, you probably recorded the password for the online FactsWise resources in your notebook. If you attended an earlier workshop, feel free to contact me at to get the password. If you've not been able to attend a FactsWise workshop, you can purchase the activity progressions at Teachers Pay Teachers: Addition/Subtraction and Multiplication/Division

Also, if you'd like more more information about the entire FactsWise program, you can find the 2016 FactsWise Resource Books at Teachers Pay Teachers: Addition/Subtraction and Multiplication/Division.

Monday, June 6, 2016

3 or 4 in a Row Game Directions - Multiplication/Division

If you've been looking for directions for the 3-in-a-Row games for each Multiplication/Division Goal, I've put together a video that explains them while showing a sample game being played. Following the 3-in-a-Row game, I've also included directions for the two different variations on the 4-in-a-Row games that are cumulative reviews after Goal 5 and Goal 8. I hope you and your students enjoy playing these games during the abstract practice phases of the different goals!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sample Planning Calendars

After talking with a number of teachers, I've put together some sample planning calendars for developing basic facts fluency across your school year. Hope they're helpful -- as samples!