In late spring of last year, our students grade 3-5 were assessed with the new online state test called the M-STEP. This test measures all students across the state to compare their academic abilities in math and reading (grades 3-5) and science (gr 4) and social students (grade 5).
While watching our students take their first online test, we made detailed notes of systematic instructional changes to implement to better prepare our students for this coming spring’s M-STEP assessment.
One area that stuck out for mathematics was math fluency – the ability to complete basic math facts accurately and quickly. The students who had strong math fluency were able to solve simple problems quickly and devote the bulk of their math assessment time to the higher levels of work needed for reading through the multiple steps of the math problem.
We have taken on this intervention in grades 1-5 so that by the time our students reach grade 3, they are strong in addition and subtraction facts.
In order to become fluent in math facts, children must practice everyday for 5-10 minutes. We are building in as much time as possible in school through math lessons, intervention groups, multiple math apps along with one in particular called MATHFACTSPRO . We like this program because it tracks student progress over the year at school and home.
Great features of this online practice for math facts:
- Each student’s program is individualized based on the facts needing practice.
- Students who know their math facts are more confident math students and have greater success in math.
- Online math fact practice is more effective than paper flashcards. This online program provides immediate feedback (correct/incorrect) and adjusts the level based on student needs.
How does my child use MATHFACTSPRO?
- After signing in, start practicing.
- The program will stop once your child has gotten 50-100 facts correct. (Pre-set by each teacher)
- Your child will see a chart of their fact progress – and you are able to view this as well.
- GOAL : 5-10 minutes of MATHFACTSPRO each day for homework. Teachers can check the program to determine who is doing their math homework each night. Parents can also monitor progress.
Thank you for your support of your child’s learning through this simple and effective homework practice. This is one skill that goes a long way toward building math confidence and it is as simple as daily practice.
We will update you more throughout the next few weeks on other interventions we are putting in place to help our students be more successful readers, spellers, writers, mathematicians and more skilled at showing what they know on the M-STEP test.
NOTE: Please do not schedule any vacations or appointments for your grade 3-5 student on these days. Dates to note:
- Grade 5: April 11-April 25
- Grade 3: April 25-May 09
- Grade 4: May 9-May 23