Math Fluency

Hey everybody!  It's been awhile since I've posted over here.  I think summer got in the way or something.  Anyways, it's me.  A Teeny Tiny Teacher.

Today, I'm talking about Math Fluency Assessments.  In other words, Timed Tests.  Mad Minute.  Hurry Up and Answer These Equations.

Do you believe in them?  For first graders?  Or second graders?  Possibly even Kinder?

I don't know.

My team did Timed Tests for years.  There were 44 levels with 16 equations on each level.  Students had one minute (or, in my case, two or three if I forgot to watch the clock and got busy eating my snack) to complete the test.  If they passed it, they moved on.  If they didn't, they stayed on that same level.  I don't feel like I put any pressure on my kids (especially because I was eating a granola bar most of the time), but I ALWAYS had someone crying before, during, or after the test.  ALWAYS.  Every year.  Never failed.

My first graders also didn't actually MEMORIZE their math facts.  They just got super fast at counting on their fingers.  Well, some did.  Others were stuck at the same level for weeks.  UGH.  I'd usually just pass them on because I couldn't take it anymore.    I'd usually pull those students and work with them one on one.  I had nothing else to do so it worked.  Ahem.  Cough.

In the midst of all this testing, I had a lot of grading.  16 equations x 20 kids = a lot of grading

And then I had even MORE grading because my class size went up to 32.  Truthfully, 31, but I can have up to 32.  16 equations x 32 kids = insane asylum

My team and I decided we had to stop the madness.

(Well, really, I kind of bullied them into my way of thinking.  But once they understood where I was going with this, they were on board.  Especially because I said I would do all the work.)

I created a Math Fluency Assessment Take Home Pack.  Students work at their own pace at home.  When they are ready to be tested, they bring their level back.  I am going to have upper graders help me with this part.  A parent volunteer would work, too.  Instead of writing the answers down, the student will orally state the answer.  In other words, the facts will actually be committed to memory.  And there shalt be no tears!  Because the student will have already practiced at home.  No surprises.

I have some other ideas for how I'm going to implement this in my classroom, as well as some FAQ on two different posts.  I think it's going to save my life.  Or, at least keep the insane asylum at bay.  You can click {HERE} and {HERE} for more information.  :)  I hope you'll come visit!

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

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