My husband and I love watching stand-up comedy. One of our favorite comedians is Nate Bargatze. In one of his specials, he talks about having to help his third-grade daughter with her math homework. In the segment, he jokes this math is SO different that parents have to watch a 40-minute Youtube video to teach THEM how to do it! In his bit, he jokes that the goal of common core math is “to use one sheet of paper for every problem.” He continues by saying that you put the problem at the top and just keep breaking it down. “What’s even funnier is that you see old math in the middle of it.” This is SO TRUE, right? As a classroom teacher, I was on the front lines of the classroom when our state transitioned to this new form of learning. Parents were scratching their heads, and I totally understand why. Maybe I should have shown them that 40-minute Youtube video that Nate was talking about! Are you feeling frustrated about how to help your child with their math homework or how to increase their math fact fluency? The reality is that children who have mastered their basic math facts are better equipped to tackle more complex math tasks. In this blog, I will share some engaging and entertaining activities to help your child build math fact fluency.
1st Through 3rd Grade Hands-On Fluency Math Activities
Little ones love using their hands, so why not incorporate this into their math practice at home? For example, use bingo chips, Legos, small objects/toys, or even candy to help your child visualize more abstract math concepts. If your child is having difficulty with addition or subtraction problems, have them use these manipulatives to show and solve the problem. Another fun and simple way to practice math facts is to play Math Bingo. Choose whatever math operation your child is currently working on. Write the answer to a math problem in each box and show your child a problem that corresponds to one of the answers on the card. They have to cover the box that shows the answer to the problem you are displaying. A more challenging option would be to write a problem in each box and show your child an answer. They have to find and cover the equation that corresponds to that answer.
4th and 5th Grade Hands-On Fluency Math Activities
There are so many math games available online to practice math skills like fractions, multiplication, division, decimals, etc. But sometimes, kids just need to play a hands-on PHYSICAL game. Just as described in the section above, a simple Bingo game can help your child practice these more advanced concepts as well. You can also print out a generic board game template, create cards with math problems on them to solve, grab a pair of dice, some Legos (to use as game pawns), and Voila! Instant math game…for FREE! Sometimes it takes a little ingenuity and imagination to come up with engaging games, but your kids will respond in a positive way, especially when they are having FUN solving problems.
In closing, when it comes to math practice at home, using engaging activities such as the ones described above can go a long way in helping your child master math facts and prepare them for more complex math in future grades.