I love using flashcards to quiz my kids on the math facts. They are quick and convenient. But I lfind that my kids typically need more practice. And, depending on the child, conventional drill worksheets may cause a lot of frustration. So, I use other ways to get math practice in and I thought I would share a few of them.
My kids love computers, so it's generally easy to get them to do a few minutes of math facts practice during the day. My favorite go-to site is Multiplication.com. Don't let the name fool you because they have neat little games for ALL the math facts, not just multiplication. And what I like about them is that for some games you can choose the particular table you want to work on (+1, x2, etc).
Physical ActivitiesSometimes we play physical games to help get math facts practice in. On occasion, we have played hopscotch where we write in the math facts on the hopscotch board outside and to jump on the squares, my child has to call out the answer. This is great for wor
king on one particular table.
Sometimes I flash a flashcard and then have my daughter jump ahead a jump in the living room for each fact she gets right. She loves it and giggles throughout as she makes her way across the room towards me.
So if traditional worksheets don't work, there are still other written activities that can be done to get that practice in. Here are a few ideas:
Tic Tac Toe - write math facts problems in the squares and students must answer the problem to place their X or O (we often use game markers for this so we can reuse the tic tac toe board).
Bingo - this is always popular with my daughter. Either write in a math fact on the bingo board or write in an answer and use flashcards to call out the facts.
Here are two kinds of worksheets I made up recently to practice the -1 facts. In the first one, my daughter had to write the number word as the answer to the fact. This provided a little variety to the traditional worksheet, plus got in some practice with the number words.
On the bottom part of the sheet, I had her use tally marks to show the answer to the math fact.
You can make gameboards to practice the facts. This is a quickly drawn one that I made on the fly last week. If you don't want to make your own, there are plenty of places you can download "editable gameboard templates" including ones in Word so you can customize your gameboard.
Another quick game that we played was just to take one die and have my daughter throw it and she had to subtract one from the number that turned up. That entertained her for a few minutes. We used an eight sided die like the ones below so she could have more numbers to subtract 1 from.
Stair (or ladder game)
By far, this has to be the most popular activity of all time of our homeschooling. I have used it for dang near everything (math, phonics, Arabic, sight words). I just make stairs (or a ladder) and write bits of information, such as math facts, on the steps or rungs. My kids have to do the math fact (or make the sound of a phonogram) to advance up the steps. At the end I draw a treat (there's a wonky lollipop in this picture). They act like they are eating it if they get to the top, or sometimes I may put a printed picture of a treat, or in rare cases, an actual treat like an M&M or Skittle piece).
These seem to not be so overwhelming as rows of math facts worksheets. You just write or type a number down the left column and the operation (in this case -1) at the top and student fills in the right column with the answer. Pretty basic, but tends to get the job done quicker than traditional worksheets.
I made up a template below so that I didn't have to keep writing these out. It has six different tables (first page only shown)
So these are just a few ways we practice math facts. I think the key, in most cases, is just to make sure you practice regularly and vary the activities.