Developing Multiplication Fact Fluency
What is Fluency?
Fluency means students are fast, accurate, flexible, and have understanding. This involves a mixture of just knowing some answers, knowing some answers from patterns, and knowing some answers from the use of strategies. Fluent students use strategies efficiently. Reaching fluency takes instruction, time, and practice.
Phases of Fluency
Supporting Fact Fluency at Home
- Practice a little bit each day. Aim for 5-10 minutes per day.
- Make practice fun. Use games.
- In grade 3, early work focuses on skip counting as a strategy. To support your child at home, focus on one number at a time. Have them skip count by that number (to the tenth multiple) three times in a row each day. For example, count from 3 to 30. Then repeat that two more times right after. Focus only on that number until they can do it quickly without mistakes. Then move to a different number when they are ready.
- Later in grade 3, and continuing throughout grade 4, we shift our focus to deriving unknown facts from known facts. To support your child at home, use flashcards strategically. Early in learning, use them to focus on one group of facts at a time (ex., ×2 facts). Then switch to another group of facts that is connected to the ones just learned (ex., ×3 or ×4 facts). When your child struggles to quickly answer, ask "How could you use a ×2 fact to help?"
- Once all strategies have been introduced and practiced individually, then begin practicing using mixed facts. Monitor which facts need more practice and focus on those.