This is a level 2 number activity from the Figure It Out series. It relates to Stage 5 of the Number Framework.

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know addition facts

know subtraction facts

FIO, Level 3, Basic Facts, Animal Antics, pages 2-3

stopwatch

Timed self-testing activities are an excellent way for students to work out which facts they can recall with speed and which they cannot. Students should record the facts that they do not know for future learning.

The following strategies can help students learn addition facts:

• Do you know another fact close to this one (the unknown)? For example, you don’t know 4 + 7, but you do know 4 + 4. How could you get from (known fact) to find the answer to (unknown fact)?

• Picture what the numbers look like in tens frames.Can you make a full 10, with some over? Draw a picture of this in your book.

• What other new facts will you be able to work out from (unknown fact)? For example, 4 + 7 = 11, so 5 + 7 = 12, 4 + 8 = 12, 3 + 7 = 10, 4 + 6 = 10, and 11 – 4 = 7, 11 – 7 = 4, etc.

Encourage students to keep records of the number of correct answers and the time spent on each section. This encourages self-competition and can motivate students to learn and rapidly recall the basic facts. Results can then be graphed. (This connects to the statistics strand.)

The activity needs a timed penalty for each error, otherwise there is no incentive for the student to get the correct answer.

A possible penalty system could be:

Students can highlight and record those facts they have incorrect and focus on learning these.

A class collection of sheets of calculations focusing on one particular family of facts could be developed as in the example for the seven times table below.

The sheets could be used in the following way:

• Students (and possibly the teacher) have a timed start and sprint through the facts sheet, writing their answers in the spaces provided.

• As the students finish, their time is called out, they record it, and then they turn the sheet over and continue quietly with another task until the cut-off time. This could be 5 minutes or whatever is appropriate for the speed of students in the class.

• Students use a copy of the same sheet for 3 consecutive days and observe their improvements.

• Students can concentrate on a particular multiplication table and present the facts in various forms.