Creating a reading routine is one of the best ways to make sure your child spends time each day engaging with literacy. If your daily/nightly routine doesn’t include reading now, try adding it in this week. This routine can include not only a specific time (before bed, right after school, after dinner, etc) but also a space to read. Having a special spot to enjoy a book can help your child consistently set time aside each day for reading. Remember to join your child and read a book with them sometimes (or read a book together).
MATH FACTS! MATH FACTS! MATH FACTS!
During this unique year, we have been unable to emphasize the importance of learning math facts automatically as much as we would have liked to. Fortunately, practicing math facts outside of school is one of the easiest ways for students & families to continue to support their math progress! We ask, and encourage, all families to interact with math facts throughout the week as much as they can. Here are some tips to remember:
LEARNING MATH FACTS IS JUST LIKE LEARNING SIGHT WORDS!
Learning math facts is VERY important to be able to solve larger math problems & tasks. Math facts are just like sight words in reading. Students had to practice their sight words to know them automatically, which then helped them read more complex sentences in books. In the same way, students need to know their math facts in order to tackle larger and more complex math problems.
SUCCESS COMES WITH FOCUSED PRACTICE!
Contradictory to the way math used to be taught, it is not best practice to learn multiplication facts in order (0s, 1s, 2s, 3s, etc.). Instead, allowing students to learn them in an order that encourages connections to be made among the facts is actually best practice! (Our recommended order: 1s, 2, 10s, 5s, 4s, 8s, 3s, 6s, 7s, 9s)
When students practice a set of store-bought flashcards or play multiplication games online, they are given problems from ALL multiplication facts. That’s over 130 facts!! This makes it difficult for students to actually retain answers to memory. Instead, practice should focus on ONE fact set at a time (ex. 3s, 9s). This allows the brain to notice patterns, build connections, and receive focused practice with only 10 facts, which makes them easier and faster to learn.
SEE IT! SAY IT! WRITE IT!
When exploring a new fact set, research has shown that when learners SEE something, SAY it aloud, and WRITE it down they are more likely to retain it and move the learning to long-term memory. Students are encouraged to play with their math facts in ways that require them to ‘see it, say it, and write it’!
GROWTH & PROGRESS IS MOST IMPORTANT- TALK POSITIVELY!
Everyone learns differently and at different speeds. It’s okay if students don’t automatize facts immediately. Focus on making growth, progressing a little bit at a time. If students hear positive talk about math facts inside and outside of school, they are more likely to have a growth mindset and want to practice more often!
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY STUDENT KNOWS THEIR FACTS?
At MRH, we follow the research-based guideline of ‘3 seconds’. Therefore, to say that a student has automatized a fact, the goal is that students can say or write the answer to a math fact within 3 seconds.