As you well know, we are looking very hard at Math instruction this year at Opstad.  One of the things that I have observed in our students is a lack of automaticity with math facts. Historically, 5th grade has tested on multiplication facts only.  While we were working with long division, I noticed that subtraction was often a problem, and now that we are in fractions, there are simple mistakes being made in addition as well.  

This week we began a new math fact "program" that I am calling "Math Minute".  We first took a handwriting assessment to see how many numbers students could copy in a minute. This assessed only their handwriting speed without the computation part. Based on the results, each student was given a goal for the number of problems they should be able to compute in a minute. Goals in our class ranged from 28 to 40.  

There are 6 levels of addition to pass before moving on to subtraction, and then multiplication and division. Since coming back to school from the storm we have done three Math Minutes.  The good news is that everyone is making progress by getting more problems done/correct each time. The bad news is that we don't know our math facts like we should. :)  I feel confident that this is one piece of our math puzzle, and I'm excited to see how this translates in to every day math.

How can you help?  Keep talking with your kids, ask to see their Math Minutes, offer to practice with them, and perhaps pull out the flashcards again!   Fifth graders may resist practicing addition and subtraction, but it will help them immensely in the long run.  

Carrie Puntillo
01/25/2012 09:24

Thank you for catching these"cracks" that are impacting math progress!
Math minute sounds great!


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