Math facts are a lot like sight words in reading.
Math instruction is more than drilling number facts. But at the same time, computational fluency can't develop without mastering basic facts. If a student must use his fingers to add 6+7, then 456+987 is going to be slow going!
The bulk of my math instruction is on making meaning of numbers, but we also do some activities where the focus is on quick and accurate recall. Emily mentioned the Banana Split program I have a parent helper run. We also do races and tests and games.
One big wish, though is that I had more computer access. There are on-line games for every math topic. And while some sites are basically computerized worksheets where students see a problem and type a correct answer, there are loads of entertaining games. The reinforcement of immediate feedback is an incredibly valuable thing!
Here are a few of my favorite sites:
- Brainpop Jr. (it's a subscription site, but some activities are free)
- Cool Math
- Math Playground
- Fun Mathematics Lessons
- Ambleside Primary
- BBC schools
- Fun School
- Primary Games
- US Mint