Why do Students Struggle When Learning Math Facts?

Learning Math Facts

Math facts are simply the basics: addition, subtraction; multiplication; division. They are basic number combinations and calculations we do every day.  So why is it that learning math facts  creates such huge problems for teachers and students in our classrooms?

Subtraction mistake when learning math facts

Common subtraction mistake when children are learning math facts.

Is it that some of us are just naturally better at math than others?  Perhaps.  The good news is you as a teacher can help anyone improve their math skills.  You might be wondering how.  Well, rote memorization alone won’t get us there.

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Decompose Numbers Using Number Bonds

Number Bonds

Can you picture spending several classroom periods on the number 5?  Specifically, breaking it down into parts, and putting it back together again?  Sounds like a lot of time, right?  But, spending this amount of classroom time to decompose numbers using number bonds,  allows students to gain a deeper, more flexible understanding of numbers.  You might be wondering what those periods would actually look like, how you’d keep your students engaged and learning for that amount of time.  In this blog, we will explore exactly that.

What are Number Bonds  

Simply put, number bonds are the different ways we can break apart numbers. Number bonds are all about the relationship between numbers and quantities. The relationships of parts to a whole. Building the foundation for all mathematical operations. Building mental images of number relationships. While it sounds like a simple concept, it can be difficult for students to learn.  So, it is important to dedicate time for them to learn the concept.

How to decompose numbers using number bonds

Use of color and representation helps to connect ideas.

Why Number Bonds

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Journaling

How often are you journaling in your classroom? If you’re like most teachers, your answer might be, “Not often” or “Not enough”. Many teachers tell me, “I don’t know where to start”, or “I don’t have the time”. Sound familiar?

In this blog, we will focus on answering the following questions:

Why journal?
How do I start?
What will I gain from adding it in my classroom?

Why journal?

Did you know that Journaling is one of 5 non-negotiable learning experiences?
As John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on
experience”.
As teachers, it is important to “see” inside the minds of our students in order to:
• Inform our delivery and instruction to prioritize what comes next
• Collect evidence of growth in their thought process and their ability to
communicate that on paper
Journaling enables us to “see” our students’ thoughts and strategies and it helps the students
build a habit of thinking. However, careful consideration needs to be given to the
implementation process because it is not a natural process.

How do I start?

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