Saturday, January 11, 2014

Spark Student Motivation - Math Fact Fluency

Hi all! I'm linking up with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturday!

This time I'm sharing about motivating kids to learn their math facts! I'm in charge of a rather large 3rd grade math class, which is when kids start to really learn multiplication and division. Coming from 5th grade last year, I know that kids sometimes still don't have their facts to the point where they need to be. I think it's pretty important for kids to have their facts down pat so that when we amp it up to multi-digit multiplication and long division they can work at a good pace, and not make simple mistakes. 

So, even though it isn't the most exciting thing in the world, fact fluency practice is necessary! I have two things that I've just made for my own classroom to help motivate my students when it comes to fact practice.

My kids LOVE playing kaboom during my math workshop. I have several kaboom games for them to play, but I just created a Multiplication Fact Fluency Kaboom game for them. If you're not familiar with Kaboom, it's a fast-paced card game where players draw a card, try to answer it and then accrue cards that they answer correctly. If they draw a bomb card...Kaboom! They lose all their cards. Also, the cards can just as easily be used by an individual student as flash cards, or for a whole class version of the game. I just added this Multiplication version to my store for a measly $2! Check it out!

Finally, I really wanted a way that my kids could track their progress as they learn the different multiplication and division tables. I've seen a lot of different versions of this before (build a pizza, etc.), but I wanted something unique. I also didn't want to cut out a hundred little mushroom and pepperonis. 

My class has really been focusing lately on becoming centered. I've even introduced a 7 minute block of time in the middle of my day where we take time to sit and I walk the kids through a daily meditation. So in keeping with that theme, I created Mandala Math Fact trackers! 

Basically, each time a kiddo masters (100% in 1 minute) one of their tables, they get to color in one layer of the Mandala! I made up quick quizzes for each of the tables, both multiplication and division, and 5 options of mandala. I think the splash of color will look great outside my classroom, and I think the kids will really like practicing patterns and rotational symmetry each time they get to color in a new layer. 

This kiddo mastered his
1s, 2, 5s, 10s, and 11s!
This kiddo has mastered
her multiplication facts!

I added the pack of 5 custom made mandala, and quizzes for each of the multiplication and division tables to my store for $4! It's worth that just to not have to cut out all of those pepperonis and mushrooms, right?! But seriously, I think my kids are going to enjoy it, and I love that it is as simple as printing, copying, and using!

And because I hate making blog posts where it seems like I'm just advertising something...which wasn't my intent (I promise!)...I'm going to do a Pin It to Win It competition! Simply pin the cover of the product you want a chance to win to pinterest, and then post the pin link in your blog comment! I'll let Killer B choose a random number in a couple days to see who wins what!

Also, a quick heads up to anyone who isn't a Facebook follower yet...I'll be changing out my Free Follower Freebie soon, so this would be a great time to go over, like my page and grab your freebie! There's a button at the top of the right column that'll take you straight there!

Be sure to check out the other cool ideas in the linky this week! I especially liked Joanne's Snowball Fight!


  1. Love the colorful fact tracking! Pinned here -

  2. My kiddos love Kaboom and I love the mandala idea! I pinned here

  3. Kaboom with multiplication facts! Great idea! Here's my pin!
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  4. Is it wrong to love both products and want a chance to win either? Here's my pin for the mandala. Thanks.

  5. Always looking for fun and exciting ways for my kids to master multiplication facts! Thanks.

  6. I don't think I know the game Kaboom - I will have to check it out when I get a chance!!
    <a href="http://www,>Learning to be awesome</a>

    1. And because you have to be in to win! (and apparently I can't write a url properly!!)
      Learning to be awesome


      Diane Mikle *this is under my husband's google account! : )

  7. Hey Nick. Your post came at a perfect time. I've been thinking about memorizing math facts A LOT! Any way, I pinned a product

    and wrote about your ideas on my blog:

    Plus, I read about you in another blog - that blogger used your finding math everywhere product.

  8. Nick, I couldn't agree more about students learning their multiplication facts fluently! As a 4th grade teacher, I appreciate you working with those 3rd graders! I love your 7 minute block of time in the middle of the day-I think we all need to integrate this into our schedule! I'd love to hear more! This could be your post for next Saturday! haha Thanks for sharing and linking up BBB!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching


09 10 11 12
Blogging tips