Quick! What’s 72 ÷ by 9? 42 ÷ by 6? 3 × 7? We have some students at VU who are getting lightning fast with their number facts–including one super speedy young man who gives us all a run with division–building their mathematics muscles and preparing for a great future. When we started adding 10 minutes of practice every day after homework and reading, we weren’t sure what would happen, but the kids love it and they are getting stronger every day!
With one student, it began with having her copy the multiplication tables, recite them, and write them again. You can’t remember what you don’t know, and she was frustrated trying to do flashcards when she had to stop and calculate. It is so gratifying to watch her amazement as she discovers she can remember what she has just written and said out loud; her recall grows faster every time. And she’s not just learning her number facts, she is learning perseverance and resilience. That growth mind-set is the most valuable thing.