How to Practice Math Facts

Enrichment Therapies

January 16, 2017

By Haley Hall, B.A. Learning Specialist & LEAP Instructor

Does your child have a hard time memorizing their math facts? Whether your child is working on addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts, you can use the following strategy to help master them! You may have heard the staff here at ETLC talk about the strategy of visualizing. We talk about it a lot because we use it a lot! This strategy is effective for several different types of children, especially those who are visual learners. For today’s example, I’m going to use the fact: 3×4=12.

  1. Show the child the math fact written in black ink on an index card. Make sure to show them the entire fact with the answer. If you don’t have a set of math flashcards, you can make your own by writing the fact on a blank index card with a black marker! I typically write the facts vertically because students usually see their facts written that way. Tell the child to picture the fact in their head. This means that they should take a snapshot of the card and “see” it in their mind. Once they have their mental image, you can take the card away.
  2. Tell the child to write the fact in the air. For this step, they would use their finger as if it were a pencil and write 3×4=12.
  3. Next, ask some questions about the facts. You could ask, “What was the answer? What was the number on the top? What was the sign?” If your child isn’t accurate in answering these questions, go back to the beginning and repeat steps 1 and 2.
  4. For addition and multiplication facts, the next step will be to have the child verbally say the fact backward
  5. This only works for addition and multiplication facts because they follow the commutative property, which states that the numbers can reverse order and still get the same answer. For example, 3×4 is the same as 4×3. This property doesn’t apply to subtraction or division, so if you are practicing those facts, just skip this step!
  6. Finally, have the child write out the fact on a piece of paper.

The next time you show the child the fact, show it to them without the answer written on the card. Remind the student to use the picture in their head, and see if they can come up with the answer using that mental image. Use this strategy for any math facts that are difficult for your child, and I think you will see great results!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.

740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317


5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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