Hi, first year teacher here wondering what the best way to get my kids to memorize their addition facts is? Should I assign start at +1 addend and have them practice each group per week up until +9? Or should I start doing Mad minutes each day in class? I'm just looking for the best way to get those babies memorized! Also what's the best way to keep track? What if one person achieves the timed minute test and another one doesn't. How will I keep track?! Expereinced teacher help!

I use Lightning Rod timed tests... I have had the book for many years and did a quick search and couldn't find it any more, but there is a site that has the sheets in pdf format that you can download and use.

I give the last 0-10 test and unless they pass it with no more than one error, everyone starts at 0. I've never had anyone pass it on day one, but if they do, they can read for the short time we are taking the test from then on.

The first day I give everyone the 0 test... those that pass it go on to the 1s... if they pass 1s they go to 0-1... it is cumulative. Those that didn't pass the 1s take it again and the rest move to 1, then to 0-1, then 2, then 0-2, etc.

I use class lists on a grid type of sheet for many different check offs, but you could use a grade book or whatever works for you. As you grade them, you just either write their name on the same sheet again or write their name on the next one. It takes less than 10 minutes each time you do it... Be sure to pass back the one they've taken as soon as possible so they get immediate feedback. If this is unclear, feel free to email me and I'll provide more step by step directions.

Last edited by twincheryl; 01-19-2008 at 04:06 PM..
Reason: forgot to post website

I do holey cards with my class every Friday. We set the timer for 5 minutes at first and then go down to 2 minutes. They should be able to answer 100 problems up to 9+9 in 2 minutes. We also play around the world every afternoon and I bought a game called flash action addition and subtraction for the computer. It is a fast paced flashcard game that will print out the facts that the student needs to learn better. I track the holey card scores on a line graph for each student so they can see their progress.

I would only do Mad Minutes once or twice a week. That allows more times for facts games once a week, too. I would stress to the parents how important it is to memorize the facts to 18. When they get to third, they start memorizing multiplication facts then. When I give Mad Minutes, I give all the students the same test addition to 10. When a student makes a perfect score 3 different times, I move them up to the next section, such as subtraction to 10 or addition to 12, etc. Since all the tests have the same number of problems, you can give different levels at the same time. I keep a chart to show the dates I give them, how many problems are correct, etc. I circle the 3 perfect scores so I'll remember to give those students the next set. Does that make sense? Once a six weeks, I take a grade on timed tests. For students still working on addition to 10 by Jan., I write at the top of the test. . "Johnny needs to memorize his facts. " or whatever. If you have a lot of parental support, I would run off facts on construction paper or cardstock and send home with students.

I make a BIG deal when a student masters a set. Lots of clapping, praise, etc. That encourages some students. For resource or dyslexic students, you can give more time or cut back on the number of problems if necessary.

My school has purchased materials that we call "Rocket Math". It is also known by the name "Otter Creek Math". It is very similar to Mad Minutes with one minute timed tests. I give the tests 4 days a week and it only takes about 10 minutes total out of my daily math time. I am finding it very helpful for those kiddos that really need to memorize both addition and subtraction math facts.

They are having success at passing tests and memorizing their facts.

In our second grade classroom, we have designed addition and subtraction flash cards. The students start with addition fact to 9 on flash cards, they are sent home with a calendar to record practice, and turned back in at the end of the month. The calendars are not considered complete without a parent signature. After they have done a month of addition flash cards at home for homework we send home subtraction facts to 9 flash cards. This also goes home with a calendar for recording. We have found that even five minutes a night practicing really commits the facts to memory, and improves their scores when completing classwork. The students keep the flash cards at home, and later on we'll have them practice both addition and subtraction. Doing this even right at the beginning of the year really helps prepare them for regrouping. Hope this helps!!!

It's a cumulative program starting at 0, then 1, 0-1, 2, 0-2, etc. all the way up to 0-10. I did a lot of it at the beginning of the year and have slacked off a bit, but plan to get back to it next week. We also use flash cards for practice. I use a check off sheet to keep track of what level they are on... when they pass one level, they move to the next. It's a little bit of record keeping and you need to write names on the new sheets so they know what level they are on, but I suppose someone out there has figured out a way to help the kids do the recordkeeping, too! Let me know if you have more questions...

This is something that I have changed the procedure for each year for the last four years. There are so many things to be concerned about when setting up a system for practicing math facts. I feel that I have addressed each of these issues and am very pleased with the outcomes this school year.

#1 - Making it fun and not scary:
Instead of calling it "timed tests" I now call it, "Fast, Fun Facts!"

#2 - Kids feel overwhelmed:
This year, I give them 70 facts to complete in 4 minutes. I am finding that this is much more age appropriate and less overwhelming.

#3 - How to keep track:
This year, I put graph paper on the inside of each child's folder. After grading, I put a dot that corresponds to their score. Before they take their test, they "connect the dots" to create a line graph. I like this because the kids are seeing their progress or defeat and self-motivate to do better. It is also very helpful at parent/teacher conferences to get the point across that they must practice.

#4 - How to get them to practice:
Each month, I send home a "Homework Calendar". It is expected that in addition to the daily worksheet, they read for 15 minutes daily and practice their math facts daily. I have a monthly goal for each of these. Every night, the child writes how many minutes they practiced their math facts, how many minutes they read, and the parent initials the box for that day. Again, this is very helpful at conferences to point out the correlation between number of minutes practiced and how well they are doing on their Fast Fun Facts.

#5: Individualizing (Kids master at different rates):
I really stress to the kids that this is "a private matter" and that we all move at our own pace and that's okay. This is why I use folders. So, when a child has mastered their addition facts, they move on to subtraction, then onto mixed facts. After that, I give them challenging addition and subtraction puzzles from an enrichment book I found at a teacher supply store. This way, they are applying the facts in a fun way.

#6: Whether to use +1 and then +2 and so on or NOT:
I started out doing it this way, but there were some kids that were not getting past +3 when I had others already onto subtraction. This was not okay. It was then that I moved onto a mixed set of addition facts. I really feel that by second grade, they should be able to do this. At my school, they do it the other way in first grade, so this is an excellent progression.

I WROTE TOO MUCH I'M SURE, BUT I HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL!