CSSU Fact Fluency Update - 2011
Needing to know math facts to do mathematics is like needing to know the “ABCs” to read. Research clearly demonstrates that, like sight word fluency for reading, fact fluency is key to advancing to higher math thinking. To enhance student fluency with math facts the CSSU math coordinators designed a fluency, or automaticity, assessment called the Fact Fluency Toolkit, which is now used in grades 1-8 across CSSU. The toolkit defines a process all teachers use t assess students’ automatic fact recall the same way and gather the results. Our goal is to emphasize math fact practice and assessment, analyze the data, and provide additional instructional support for students who need it. Through this process, we will monitor student progress at each grade level. “Fact Fluency” is one targeted area that is being addressed supervisory union-wide as part of a larger math improvement initiative.
Ideally, fact fluency will be accomplished for most students by the end of 5th grade. It is our intention at the middle level, to eventually shift the focus from fact fluency to computational facility.
In addition, the Bridges in Mathematics Program, now fully implemented across grades K-5, provides practice and conceptual development that supports the development of automaticity with math facts. (Teachers of grades 3 - 5 are participating in professional development and implementation of the new program this year, 2011-12.)
No matter what assessments and programs are in place, children should practice their basic math facts often, both in school and at home. To support this effort, please make time to practice basic facts with your child. Dice games, homework games and activities, decks of cards, flash cards, computer programs and oral practice are all ways to help your child become more fluent with math facts. If your family prefers using technology, there are many websites, some of which are located on the District Math website at www.tinyurl.com/MathSkillsPractice. The “Bridges in Mathematics” website also offers excellent ideas. Go to http://www.mathlearningcenter.org/resources/materials/parents (Click on the appropriate grade level on the left hand side of the screen, scroll down until you see a list of sites for each strand of mathematics).
FASTTMATH (Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology)
As part of our focus on increasing proficiency in mental arithmetic, CSSU schools are implementing a software program called FasttMath that can target the specific facts students need to practice. The program gives students the opportunity to practice basic math facts quickly and accurately both at school and at home. Knowing the basic facts gives children a solid foundation for more complex mathematical skills and concepts.
IMPROVING CONTENT AND PEDAGOGY- FOSTERING MATH THINKING AND DISCOURSE IN OUR STUDENTS: BEST PRACTICES COURSE FOR MATH TEACHERS
Clare Earley of Teacher Development Group is currently leading a professional development effort that includes a content and pedagogy course called, "Best Practices in Mathematics". Every K-8th grade teacher of mathematics across CSSU is expected to take the course over the next three years. Part of the professional development also incorporates studio classroom math coaching for three years following the course. Teachers observe classroom practice and participate in math coaching with Clare, thereby embedding the skills and content they learn in class.
Bridges Math Program:
"Addressing the Concerns" (powerpoint presentation to the Math Strategy Group, July 19, 2010)
Correlation of the Bridges program to the Vermont GEs: Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5
Last Modified on April 11, 2013