If you’re an elementary teacher, your lessons are often focused on the math facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division. Without computation fluency, students will likely struggle, especially when they need to advance to complex critical thinking work. Take into consideration the different types of learners in your classroom and format your lessons for teaching math fact fluency with activities that appeal to everyone.
Can you immediately picture a few students who fall into each of the learning types below? Here are a few suggestions for tailoring your lessons to your students.
Pictures, images, and spatial understanding are key to these learners. For them, seeing is believing. Look for resources with illustrations, photos, charts, and graphs.
- Flashcards with pictures as well as numbers
- Workbook pages that are heavy on illustrations
- Online programs with vibrant colors, motion, charts, or tables
These listeners take to lessons that incorporate songs, a rhythmic pattern, or a familiar tune.
- Dialogue, discussions, or play acting to work out a solution
- Rhythmic patterns to recite equations and answers that are set to tunes of simple songs
- The option of submitting answers to homework and in-class assignments as video or MP3 audio files
Get up and get moving. These learners respond best to activities that keep their bodies in motion.
- Clapping, hopping, or other movement to learn math facts
- Scavenger hunts or finding answers to math equations hidden around the classroom
Hands-on activities work best for these learners, whether they’re writing, drawing, or building.
- Drawings or charts for showing their work and representing the solution to math problems
- Note taking as they read or listen to instruction
- Activities like grouping, sorting, and counting or using tactile materials such as clay and salt trays
Remember to encourage parent involvement as part of your plans for teaching math fact fluency. Keep in mind that parents may not know the best way to help their children outside of flashcards and reviewing homework. Give parents of early learners, and older students as well, resources they can use to reinforce math in simple, everyday ways. Also, give them help with homework and test prep strategies. You’re sure to see the difference in your students and their progress.