Five Fun Ways to Practice Math Fact Fluency

Hey, ya'll! I'm very happy to be apart of a fun blog hop on one of my favorite topics - teaching math facts. It's hosted by the very sweet Joy Hall of Joy of Teaching. Be sure to scroll all the way down (and why wouldn't you anyway?? :P), so you can hop on over to the next awesome tip for learning math facts.

 So let me share with you five fun ways that I have my students work and improve their math fact fluency.

1) Poke Cards

I create and use these guys all year long. Here is an example of how it works with my FREE Multiplication Beach Ball Poke Cards.

You print them out, cut and laminate them, and then hole-punch the plus signs.

Then taking a light-colored marker, you circle the correct answer on the back.

Students then take a coffee stirrer, a pencil tip, a cupcake pick, or in this case a cocktail umbrella (ok, I would not suggest the latter, but it's all I had in the house and it makes for cute pics :P), and pick the right answer to the fact.

Then they self-check or partner-check by looking to see if they "poked" the right circle on the back. 

Now, to make this a fluency exercise, have students time each other and see how many they can poke correctly in a minute. They can set goals to beat their previous record every time they practice these cards. If you'd like to learn more about poke cards,  just click here.

2) Arcademics Skill Builders

You may be familiar with this website, but if you're not, it's fabulous. There are tons of games for students to practice fact fluency. And the cool thing is, it's an online experience, so students can play against other students from all over the world. This is a great website to share with parents of students who are struggling with their facts. And if you're ever in the computer lab or are fortunate enough to have a computer or two in your classroom along with an interactive whiteboard, you should definitely have a teacher/student challenge. Students love this! 

3) Math Fact Bottle Caps

This will be my fourth year I believe implementing this activity. I'm starting to get a little tired with it, but students get so addicted to practicing their facts this way.

Basically I've created Avery labels for students to practice the basic facts for all four operations. The problem is on the top, the answer is inside.

For my 4th graders, I put about 40 or so in one can (Pringles, actually) and students practice with each other to try to answer all of them in one minute. When their partner says a student has accomplished this feat, they must face the final test - completing the facts with the teacher holding the timer. No pressure! If they achieve this, they receive a QR code behavior coupon (free, too)

4) Facts Ball

I made this from a Dollar General ball to help students practice their multiplication facts. Any kind of foam ball will hold the marker color pretty well.

We just toss it around when there are a few minutes left in the day. Students have to answer whatever fact their right thumb lands on. To practice fluency, see how many the class as a whole can do in a minute. Try to improve every time you play. Or you could do girls against boys. That is usually harmless competitive fun. Usually.

5) Ice Cream Party Motivator

Last but not least, the good ol' timed quiz. Noooo, you say, not timed quizzes. Kids will hate math forever! Well, math facts are only a small piece of mathematical understanding and skill, and I make sure my students know that. And I don't call them quizzes, we call them practice. There are no grades, but if they score a certain percentage right, they get to start building their own virtual ice cream.

Once all students complete their virtual ice cream (and they all do, even if I do private practices with them during recess), it's time for the real deal. Ice cream party celebration. Oh, yeah.

To learn more details about how this works along with freebie clip art and ice cream party tickets, visit Laura Candler at her blog where I wrote a guest post on this subject.

So that was five, right? Ok! So, now that you're down here finally, please head on over Mr. Elementary Math's super duper post on addition facts web games. Have fun hoppin'!

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Tabitha Carro

How to Make QR Codes for Your Teacher Creations

Hey, ya'll! Whether you know or you don't, I just LOVE using QR code in my classroom. They make educational resources:
  • self-checking
  • engaging
  • 21st century
  • so much fun!
So, I made a YouTube tutorial about how I do it. Even if you are familiar with making QR codes, I have a trick I use for getting QR codes quickly into PowerPoint, so I hope you'll definitely check it out.
Now, if you want to add images to QR codes,  you'll need to watch this video (very bad quality, 2012, sorry!) Image QR codes are so much fun and I first used them to create behavior coupons which you can download for free here.

I just recently created an image QR code resource for my kiddos that I am SO excited about. My little immersion buddies really need help with practicing writing in the Spanish language. So I've created 218 monthly writing prompts in QR code form.

You can watch the video below to see how the QR Code Writing Prompts work.

Click here to see the English version.

Click here for the Spanish version.

And I also have both versions combined together in a Bilingual Bundle.

Thanks for stopping by the FlapJack blog! Hope this was helpful!

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Tabitha Carro

DIY Welcome Banner!

For a free back-to-school tip, I'm going to share with you how you can make your own customized triangle banner to welcome in the new school year (or for any celebration).

There are lots of banners out there, but maybe you can't find exactly what you're looking for. That means just one thing: DIY time! And I'm here to help (hopefully :P). To begin just:
  1.  Download this freebie template.
  2. Watch the following video on how to create your own triangle banner.
  3. Start creating your own custom triangle banner.
And yes, I'm a cheese ball in this pic. They say you're supposed to have personality on these YouTube videos, so I'm promise I'm not full of myself. Just trying to be personable. :P

If you're interest in creating a lot more of your own class decor (and other teaching resources), you should totally check out the FlapJack Factory, where I teach you easy-to-follow way to create your own class room resources.

And if you're not into creating your own classroom decor and would rather have it already done, then be sure to check out the following classroom material bundles I have created:

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Daily Deal: Morning Work Editable Templates Bundle

Daily Deal: 50% off my Morning Work Editable Templates Bundle

These keep me and my students organized every morning and for every season of the year! See the resource here or click on the image to watch a video preview.

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Tabitha Carro

WIN It Before I Post It QR Code Writing Prompt Bundle

Hey, guys! Just wanted to let you know I'm doing a quick one-day giveaway on my All Year Long QR Code Writing Prompt Bundle. It contains 216 QR code writing prompts in the form of lined paper and task cards to last you the whole year. Three winners will choose their choice of the English or Spanish version. To enter, head on over to this Facebook post

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Tabitha Carro

Daily Deal: 11 Seasonal Owl Newsletters for $1! Today only!

Sorry I'm so late with my Christmas in July Daily Deal today! To make up for it, I am placing my 11 seasonal editable owl newsletters on sale for just $1! These will keep your parent communication super adorable all year long. Grab your copy before midnight!

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Tabitha Carro

Daily Deal: Fractions Poke Game Bundle

Here's today's Daily Deal! 50% off today only! This bundle includes six engaging, self-checking poke games to give students practice with fractions.

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Tabitha Carro