Sunday, January 5, 2014

At Your Request - Goal 2 Animal Strips Handout (Snails)

When introducing Goal 2 (x 5s), it can be helpful to have students focus first on the even factors of 5.  Students can use an animal strips handout that helps them see the multiples of 10 patterns.

Once students are fluent with products of the even factors of 5, then they can work on the odd factors of 5. Students will be able to use the distributive property frequently with this approach.  For instance:

                                                7 x 5 = (6 x 5) + (1 x 5) = 30 + 5 = 35

You can also use the snails handout as students begin working on Goal 2 division.  "How many groups of 5 snails are in 30 snails?"  

At Your Request - New Multiplication/Division Flashcards

After hearing from teachers how well the factor-factor-product grids have been helping students make connections between multiplication and division, I spent some of the winter holiday making flashcards with  these grids.

You have a couple of different options to choose from if you want to use these with your students.  If you want to save paper, option 1 below is the way to go.  If you want to have each goal start on a new page, and have a set that includes both multiplication facts (e.g., 2x3 and 3x2), then you'll want to use option 2.   And if you have students who are ready for the Top 21 facts, use option 3.                         

  1. FactsWise Multiplication/Division Flashcards - Factor-Factor-Product Grids - Paper Saver
  2. FactsWise Multiplication/Division Flashcards - Factor-Factor-Product Grids - Complete
  3. FactsWise MD Top 21 Flashcards - Factor-Factor-Product Grids

It's also important to teach students how to use flashcards effectively:
  1. Focus on just one goal at a time to start.  (Later on you can put two or more goals together when reviewing.)
  2. Look at the front of each flashcard.  If you think you know the answer, check the back of the flashcard.  If correct, then decide whether you knew it "fluently" -- within 2 seconds, without having to count to figure it out.  If you knew the fact fluently, place the flashcard in a pile with other "fluent" facts.  If you had to count, take more than 2 seconds, or didn't know the correct answer, place the flashcard in a "Still Working On It" pile.  
  3. Once you've gone through all of the facts for the goal you're working on, now concentrate on the "Still Working On It" flashcards.  Practice those facts several times.  When you notice that you are developing fluency with a fact, you can move it to your "Fluent" pile.
  4. When you have moved all of the facts to your "Fluent" pile, then go back through the entire set of flashcards and decide if they are really fluent or whether you need to move some back to the "Still Working On It" pile again.
  5. Be sure and work on these same facts several days in a row, until you can put every fact in the "Fluent" pile in your first run through the cards.  Make sure you shuffle the cards frequently so that you are truly learning the facts, and not just the order you're used to.

Timed Tests -- NOT the Way to Build Facts Fluency and NOT the Way to Assess Facts Fluency

If you'd like to learn more about FactsWise, you can freely preview a number of the FactsWise mini-lessons and game...