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Fluency Without Fear

Turns out memorization, timed tests and flash cards are not the most effective ways to learn math facts. What?! What are the alternatives? This article from Jo Boaler addresses developing students’ fluency with math facts (such as times tables), including confidence and how some common approaches to math facts can be related to anxiety and loss of perseverance.

The difference between number sense – where students can flexibly use their understanding – and memorization is addressed. Speed and mathematical ability are also addressed. The author describes what research suggests for best practices in building fluency. In the second half of the article, the author suggests various strategies teachers can use to build their students’ number sense and fluency.