Mastery of basic math facts is a necessary building block for higher-level mathematical reasoning skills. Recall of math facts is sometimes difficult for students and will improve with practice. As students in grades 2-5 begin school, teachers will pre-assess them to see if they know (with automaticity) the math facts they have been taught in prior grade levels. As new types or groups of math facts are introduced, teachers will again pre-assess students to see which facts they know well and which they need to practice. The expectations for math fact mastery for each grade level are drawn from the Common Core Standards (a synthesis of math standards from multiple states).
In order to master the facts that they do not yet know, students will be assigned math fact practice four times per week (5 minutes per session). Teachers will determine the resources to facilitate this practice. The teachers will also provide a monthly calendar to be used as a practice log. We ask parents to initial the four dates during the week on which the student practiced his/her math facts. It does not matter on which days the student practices, as long as he/she completes four 5-minute sessions per week. Students who demonstrate mastery of the required facts will not be expected to practice at home. Teachers will periodically quiz these students to make sure that they have maintained the knowledge of their math facts. In addition to this home practice, we are implementing additional strategies throughout the day that have proven to be successful in helping students learn their math facts.
Please note that students in grade 1 will wait until January to join this effort after they have received more math instruction. In the meantime, teachers in grade 1 will, of course, differentiate their math instruction based on what students know and what they need to learn.
We appreciate your continued support and are excited to partner with you to help our students improve their math facts.
Steven M. Piasecki