Need help teaching fact families - ProTeacher Community


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Need help teaching fact families
Old 10-02-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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Help! I need help teaching my first graders about fact families. One of my team members plans for our math lessons, and she has fact families for the next week or so. But my kids JUST DON'T GET IT!!!! I'm out of ideas to get it through to them. I've tried tying it to read alouds, using manipulatives, making it into a game of just placing the numbers in place and just plain repitition. Mostly, I realize that they don't really have the number sense to understand it, and I personally think we should focus on adding and subtracting and leave fact families for later. It just doesn't apply to anything they right now. Any suggestions?


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Old 10-02-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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I actually agree that its too soon for fact families. My kiddos barely have the fact that when you put two numbers together you are adding and the same with subtracting. Fact families is when the students REALLY have grasped the concepts.
I'll be interested to hear what other posters have to say...
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:50 AM
 
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I agree totally....way too early for fact families!!
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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I agree too! Way, way to early to teach this!
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Fact families
Old 10-03-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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I went to a Marcy Cook conference and she had a workmat that I found really useful. There is one large circle with two lines attached to two smaller circles. It almost looks like Mickey Mouse. Any way, to teach fact families you would place manipulatives in the smaller circles you bring the objects down to the larger circle (adding) 2 +3 or 3+2 = 5. You then show them the inverse relationship by having them bring back the objects from the larger circle to the smaller circles (5-3=2 and 5-2=3). It is concrete. I hope that was clear.


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Old 10-03-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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Hi, Nunziata!

It's actually easy to plan the way my district has it done. Our curriculum objectives are aligned to the state's and it's all automated. The online program gives us the objectives to teach every six weeks, lists of resources suggested by the district, structures, and strategies. We have the ability to customize all of these lists and databases. Each team member plans lessons for a different content area and we share our lesson plans. We do have the option to write our own plans. We meet weekly and talk every day about what's going on with our students. It actually works out very well. Our district is who says to teach fact families this six weeks. We don't always agree with what they say, but we also don't really have a choice. We can choose how to teach, but not what to teach.

We're still trying with the fact families. We've been trying to just teach the procedures of making the 4 number sentences without them really understanding why they are doing it, but that just doesn't really make sense. Why would a child's brain need to learn something without a reason for learning it? We tried to work it into just a puzzle or game with 3 numbers, but that doesn't make sense! Today we decided to focus on the adding and subtracting for a while longer without the fact families in there. We'll have to try it again, though. Thanks for your comments!
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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Thanks for the idea. It sounds really good. I love Marcy Cook's and Marilyn Burns' ideas. I haven't seen that one, but I'm going to try it. I'll pass it along to my team. And, yes, you were very clear!
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fact families
Old 10-03-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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I am not sure if you tried this-but I saw it on a conference. You put three numbers in a house-the dad is the big#, the mom and baby are the other two numbers. In addition, the dad is always the equal # and in sub. the dad is always the first number.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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I teach this using a "fact family house" with a house outline. In the attic, I put the three numbers in that family. I explain to the kids that this is the fact family and no other numbers can live there. Then I explain that there will be two addition sentences and two subtraction sentences. We write the addition/subtraction sentences in the body of the "house". My kids usually get it pretty well.

I don't think that teaching fact families is really necessary at this age, or even developmentally sound, but the kids can grasp the procedure and usually feel pretty good about figuring out the "puzzle" as I put it.
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