Young mathematicians have an important job — mastering foundational math facts! But don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be mundane. Check out these super fun and creative ways to help your students stay engaged with their math practice at home or in the classroom! With these fact fluency games and activities, your students will be sure to master math facts.
Spice up boring old flashcards by pairing them with ANY classic game. My favorites are Connect 4 and Jenga. Students keep a stack of flashcards next to them. They have to correctly (and quickly) answer the fact before they can take a turn! Easy and effective!
Tic Tac Toe
What’s better than practicing math facts alone?! Practicing with a partner, of course! This is one of my favorite fact fluency games–and my students LOVE to play, too! These addition and subtraction tic tac-toe boards are a hit! It is so simple with these easy-to-prep game boards! I send them home to practice for homework, too!
Have you seen this idea floating around Pinterest? There are Kaboom sticks for ALL different skills. They are easy to make and kids can play the game for as little or as long as they have! It’s the perfect 5-10 minute time filler. All you need are Popsicle sticks and a container for storage. A teacher at my school collected Crystal Light containers. I use little tin containers from the Target Dollar Spot.
Write math facts on the Popsicle sticks. You can make them mixed facts or focus on specific facts. Include in each bin at least 2 sticks that say “Kaboom”. Students take turns picking a stick and reading the fact with the answer. If they get it right, they keep the stick. If they get it wrong, they put it back. When a player pulls “Kaboom”, they have to put all their sticks back. Play for a set amount of time and at the end, students count how many sticks they have to determine the winner.
Whole Group Games & Activities
Can you tell I am a fan of games? It’s the perfect way to sneak learning in because they don’t even realize what’s going on!
Math Fact Races
This idea from Saddle Up in Second Grade is the perfect combination of competition and speed! And all you need is a whiteboard and markers!
- Draw 2 large circles on the board and write the numbers 0-10 on the inside.
- Pick a number for students to add to those numbers and write it in the middle (see picture)
- Divide your class into two teams. One player from each team speed walks up to the board and adds the middle # to one of the numbers in the circle and writes the sum on the outside of the circle.
- The first team to correctly add the inside number to all of the numbers around the circle is the winner!
Marcie explains it better than me here.
(umm, how precious is that kiddo in a cowboy hat?)
Around the World
I feel like this is played in every classroom, am I right? If you’ve never played Around the World, all you need are flashcards. Two students stand next to each other by their desks and you show them a flashcard. The student who says the correct answer first moves on to the next student and you repeat the process. The goal is to be faster than every student in the room thus moving “around the world aka classroom”.
If you need some flashcards, click here to download the ones you see above for free!
Fast Fact Folders
Fast Fact Folders are a new tool I am implementing to help my students practice their facts daily. Learn more about the options for setting up Fast Fact Folders in your classroom.
Each students’ folder consists of a dry-erase marker and eraser, a plastic sheet cover with a math fact worksheet, and a tracking page. We will start out the year practicing as a whole group but eventually, they do this routine on their own during guided math.
On Fridays, I collect the folders to check out how they are doing. If I feel they are ready to move on, I switch out their math facts worksheet for the next level!
This system is currently available for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You can find it here: Fast Fact Folders or Purchase on TpT
Kahoot is a classroom favorite but up until recently, I never thought of it as a way to practice math facts! Then again, why not? If you have never played Kahoot, it is a free interactive game. There are thousands of pre-made quizzes you can search or you can create your own for any subject, skill or topic. Students can play in partners, small groups or as a whole group to practice math facts AND you will collect some data #winwin
You will need iPads or laptops for students to log in. You can display it on the SmartBoard or projector screen as well but it’s not necessary. Your students need the pin # of the Kahoot game you want them to play. Here is a link for a 50 addition math facts Kahoot game that is already made! You can always make your own and personalize it exactly how you want but sometimes there’s just no time for that!
These activities don’t just help develop a student’s ability to recall facts quickly; they also build their numeracy skills. Plus, they’re incredibly fun and rewarding. Download the free fact fluency games today, and watch your students breeze through math facts with ease! With a little practice and guidance, who knows what great heights your kids will be able to attain?