Discipline: Mathematics

Professional Resources

Copyright: 2019

Grade(s): K - 5

Imprint: Heinemann

No More Math Fact Frenzy

"Pencils ready? On your mark...get set...begin!"

Remember flipping over a page full of unrelated fact problems and scrambling to answer as many as possible in a minute? Remember trying to memorize math facts by rote? Many of our children are still asked to learn this way­—even though research shows this approach can harm student learning more than help.

Explore an effective, research-based approach to math fact instruction.

No More Math Fact Frenzy examines this research and concludes that our approaches to math fact instruction are often ineffective. We want our students to know their math facts. We know they’re better mathematicians when they’re comfortable with them. Yet the ways we ask students to learn them in many classrooms remain unproductive.

To address this, the authors outline three phases for helping students master their math facts.

  1. Building foundational concepts and strategies
  2. Learning more efficient reasoning strategies
  3. Meaningful, ongoing practice leading to full fact fluency

Then they share recommendations for all three phrases: activities and games that build number sense, strategies that lead to flexible thinking, and ways to create and sustain a classroom culture of fluency. This kind of teaching helps students learn their math facts more successfully—and with less stress and anxiety. 

"When we emphasize foundation concepts and reasoning strategies as the path towards building authentic fluency, students can develop their number sense, articulate their thinking, and understand the reasoning of others."

—Linda Ruiz Davenport, Connie S. Henry, Douglas H. Clements, and Julie Sarama