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Top 12 Tips for Teaching Math Facts

As teachers of all grade levels know very well, it is extremely difficult to teach students higher order math algorithms when they are not fluent with their basic facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). If students are not automatic in responding to math facts, their attention is necessarily taken away from the multiple steps necessary to solve more complex problems.

Think about long division. Students must be able to come up with the answers to multiplication, subtraction and division facts all in the context of the higher order algorithm. Less than automatic facility with math facts often results in either errors in the algorithm or fact errors. Both kinds of errors appear to be the result of carelessness when in fact it is the result of being distracted by having to figure out the answers to facts. Below are 12 principles necessary to successfully teaching math facts.

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