Helping Children Learn Math Facts (page 3)

By — Member Contribution
Updated on Mar 15, 2011


  1. First, mix the Top and Middle cards together. Quickly and correctly answered facts stay in the Middle section; the rest go back to the top. Review strategies and math fact answers. These cards need extra practice.
  2. Introduce a few new math facts per day. Make new fact cards, and update the record-keeping chart.
  3. Assign worksheets using known and new facts. Children will get practice writing correct answers without counting.
  4. Encourage use of trick or strategy names to recall answers.
  5. Once a week, practice Quick cards. First, mix the Middle and Quick cards together. Keep all cards answered quickly and correctly in the Quick section. Move any others back to the top under your child’s name to give extra practice. Then follow steps 1-4.
  6. Give praise for progress!


Continue to practice and teach new facts so that over time, the child learns all of the facts. Time needed varies by ability, number of facts initially known, and frequency of practice sessions.

After all facts are taught and in the Quick section, pull out the Middle and Quick cards. Award a certificate of mastery, but it is important to continue review. Rotate through the pack by practicing about 15-20 facts each day from the top of the stack, and then place them on the bottom.

Some considerations when teaching new math skills

Use known facts and your child can focus on learning the skill. Help children see that the same 4+5 on a fact card is the same 4+5 on the practice paper, within a more complex problem such as 24+5, and within a word math problem such as adding $4 + $5.

If your child knows 5+9, but not 4+8, then teach addition regrouping with 25 + 9, but not 24 + 8.
Your child will not worry about counting out the answer to 5+9, because the answer is already known!
Devise word math problems using known facts. If your child knows 4x6 =24, teach area using 6 cm and 4 cm for length and width. Your child knows 4x6, and can focus on learning the formula and why it works.
Use calculators after math facts are learned, and after students can do the calculation on paper. To complete the long division of 367 divided by 71, students need to divide, multiply, and subtract! Can a student multiply 4.11 x .9 correctly on paper and understand why the answer is less than 4 and not about 36?

To see sample practice pages, more information about the math facts program and books, or read why most timed math fact tests are not effective, visit


Copyright © 2009 by Susan R. Greenwald. All rights reserved.
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