Fact fluency is an essential background skill in math.
Have you ever tried to teach students to add fractions with unlike denominators who don’t know how to multiply? Have you experienced the tedious nature of teaching students who still count on their fingers to add four digit numbers using multiple strategies? So much emphasis in math is placed on having a deeper understanding, but the reality is, those deeper conversations are so much easier to have with students who have basic fact fluency.
Do My Students Need Help with Fact Fluency?
As an intervention teacher, I am like a detective when given a new group of kids. I usually have two weeks to help them master a specific grade level standard. Most kids who come to me, though, struggle with grade level skills because they struggle with the background skill. The first thing I ask myself is, “What are the background skills they need to be successful with this standard?”
If I have a group of kids that need work with dividing decimals, rather than start with a lesson on dividing decimals, I take a bit of time to quickly assess for basic multiplication or division facts and for subtraction with regrouping. My paper pretest would have four problems. Two dividing decimal problems and two subtraction with regrouping problems (one with regrouping over zeros). Then we’d take a digital fact fluency assessment.
I love digital fact fluency assessments because they are quick, fun, and I don’t have to grade them.
Free Websites with Fact Fluency Screeners
There are several options for screening for fact fluency. Here are three that are easy to use:
Quizizz: Quizizz is a website that gives multiple choice tests on anything you choose.
You can create your own assessments or search through those made by others.
The kids love that they get a meme after each question. It has different memes for correct or incorrect answers and I find that the humor takes the sting out of making a mistake. They also award kids by telling them when they’ve gotten three in a row.
Quizizz has the option of a leaderboard which can be turned on or off. Many of my students love the leaderboard and work hard to beat their classmates in speed and correct answers. Some students don’t like the public nature of the leaderboards so I’ll turn it off if I know that to be the case for some kids in the room. Quizizz can be assigned with a 6 digit code or through Google Classroom. With Google Classroom, the students get a pdf with their results so they can see which questions they got correct.
Multiplication.com: Multiplication.com has many premade self correcting quizzes for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
There are quizzes for specific facts and quizzes up through specific facts so the kids will have to continue to remember previously studied facts.
Students find out after the quiz which question they got right. When a quiz is done, students can see how long it took them and a percentage.
They are given the option of printing a pdf of their results which can include printable flashcards for mixed facts or all facts.
Cool Math 4 Kids
Cool Math 4 Kids: Cool Math has self correcting quizzes for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students are given a drop down menu and can choose which test to take, how many questions there will be, and how much time they’ll have for each fact.
When they are done they are given the option of printing a certificate.
XtraMath.org: Students log in to xtramath.org and it takes them through practicing a few facts at a time.
XtraMath is designed to be used daily. Students work at their own pace and it tells them when a lesson is done.
The benefit of using Xtra Math is that once the students complete the placement quiz, it helps them practice the facts that they need to learn. This website was helpful to me when I had only a couple computers in my room. Kids would take turns going to the computers.
Personally, I usually use Quizizz. I love the integration with Google Classroom and the enthusiasm my students show when I say we are going to use Quizizz. The kids see it as a fun activity rather than a quiz or test, and I get scores and spreadsheets with specific data to help me guide instruction.
Improving Fact Fluency
Once students have taken fact fluency screeners, we set clear goals. For my class, 90% or higher is considered fluent. So, for example, if a student gets a 75% on a mixed multiplication fluency test, the student would take individual fluency tests for 2s, 3s, etc. If a student gets less than 90%, that becomes the students goal. They work on assignments in Google Classroom and play math games to help them practice. When they feel ready, they try the assessment again.
I created a system like this for addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Each one is broken into smaller goals and has links to fact fluency Quizizz for each level.
These fact fluency resources contain digital assignments that give students the opportunity to learn strategies to help them understand the skill enough to become fluent. Each level also has an ‘early finisher’ slide that has a video and games that help the student practice that level.
Fact Fluency Digital Resources
These fact fluency digital resources are in Google Slides.
Improve memorization and help students multiply fluently with this digital Google Slides Resource by focusing on repeated addition and other multiplication strategies. Fun, self paced, differentiated multiplication practice motivates students to pass each assessment.
Are your students fluent in subtraction facts? Students will subtract within 5, subtract within 10, and subtract within 20 using several strategies in Google Slides. Animated directions allow students to work independently on Part Part Whole, Number Lines, Ten Frames, Twenty Frames, Count On, Compare, and more. This digital resource is paperless and requires no prep!
Are your students fluent in addition facts? Students will add within 5, add within 10, make ten, and add within 20 using several strategies in Google Slides. Animated directions allow students to work independently on Part Part Whole, Number Lines, Turn Around Facts, Ten Frames, Twenty Frames and more.
Improve memorization and help students divide fluently with this digital Google Slides Resource by focusing on unknown factor and other division strategies. Division strategies include using arrays, creating equal groups, fact families, skip counting, using multiplication to divide, strip diagrams, half, half of half for