I teach in a district that has used Investigations for many years, in fact we are still using one of the very first editions in our rooms today. When I first started teaching in the district, as a student teacher, seven years ago, there was not a lot of focus on mastering math facts at all. Everything was inquiry based and focused mainly on problem solving. Which isn't necessarily bad, expect when you're trying to teach higher level concepts that really require a solid foundation of fact knowledge. We got a new math curriculum specialist in our district who implemented a math fact fluency program a few years ago, and then tons of focus was put on math facts. I felt sometimes, I was teaching math facts more than my math curriculum. Through trial and error, a more balanced math fact diet is now occurring in my classroom.
I spend probably about ten to fifteen minutes a day on math facts. Some days, we play a review game during morning meeting involving our math facts. Some days, one of our brain breaks is quiz/quiz trade with flashcards. Below is a You Tube video of quiz, quiz trade in action. This is not my classroom, fyi. :)
Basically with Quiz, Quiz Trade, every student in the room gets a flashcard. I set the timer, and they start pairing up. Student A shows Student B their flashcard. Student B answers and Student A lets them know if they are correct, or incorrect. Correct answers get a simple praise, incorrect answers they might prompt them on a strategy to use to get the answer. Then Student B shows Student A their card and Student A answers. Once Student A and Student B have correctly answered each others flashcards, they switch cards and find new partners. This process of quizzing and trading continues until the timer goes off. I love Quiz, Quiz Trade because it gets the kiddos moving, it encourages cooperation, and exposes each student to a wide variety of facts quickly. Amy Lemons has some great addition and subtraction flashcards as well as multiplication and division flashcards that I used in my classroom this year.
At the end of math, we spent about five minutes working on fluency packets for either addition or subtraction, I taught second grade last year, but I wasn't super crazy about them. I felt they wasted a lot of paper and it was hard to manage as a teacher, as I was the one checking them. This upcoming year, my fourth grade team and I will be spending about ten minutes a day on Rocket Math. They love it, but honestly I don't know much about it other than the apps look like a lot of fun. I hope to share more about this later in the school year. :)
I also try to incorporate math fact practice in my centers as much as I can. There are so many great ways to do this. One of my favorite ways to do that is with spinner games! I LOVE spinner games because they are so easy to prep. All your kiddos need is the board, a pencil, paper clip, counters, and a recording sheet. :) Easy breezy, nice and easy. :)
Not only do I love spinner games for centers, math rotations, and early finisher work, I also love them for parent helpers. I just jot down the boards I'd like for them to work on with each student. This works out perfectly, because they get to work with kiddos and I don't have to spend lots of time prepping for their visit.
I have two spinner games available in my store right now, and I hope to add subtraction and division before the summer ends.
*NEW PRODUCT!*There are lots of websites too that you can use to for workstation rotations with your class as well. My favorites are Fun4theBrain and Arcademic Skill Builders. It is my understanding that these websites have Apps as well for Apple and Android products. I have heard really great things about XtraMath but I have not used it in my classroom. My district has a subscription to FasttMath, and I'll usually let kids on that as well to practice their facts. Although the appealing thing about XtraMath is that they can practice at home too! :)
Obviously my math contract homework encourages math fact practice at home. I send the contract home on Tuesdays and they are due the following Tuesday, so my kiddos have a week to complete the three activities. Even though I have math fact homework routine, sometimes it's nice for my students to practice their facts even more than that, especially those pesky multiplication and division facts!
When I taught third grade, I'd have my kiddos fill out raffle tickets when they practiced their facts at home, after they had completed their math contract homework for the week. I'd try to pull raffle tickets each day to pick from the Treasure Box, but that got costly and I didn't always remember to pick kiddos. While I liked the concept of rewarding extra practice, the system was easy for me to manage and it only excited a handful of kids. I just uploaded a freebie to TpT that I hope gets my whole class excited about mon "star" ing their math facts. :)
All the products in this posts are linked to my TpT store and the incentive chain links are FREE. :) If you like them, don't forget to leave me a little note either here or on TpT. Since it's so hot, hot, hot, I'm throwing a little beat the heat sale today and tomorrow. :)