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Thinking Strategies for Basic Facts
The key to using strategies for basic facts is to have the children discover the patterns and then name them. These are suggestions.
Addition Facts
Strategy
Description
Examples
Zero
Add zero to any number
Think: The answer is just the number!
5+0 Think: It’s just 5
Onemorethan
Twomorethan
Add one or two to any number
Think: Say the number and count up one (or two.)
5+1=6 Think: It’s 5, 6.
Doubles
Add a number to itself
Think: Just double the number.
5+5=10 Think: Double 5 is 10.
Neighbors (or Near Doubles)
Add a number and its neighbor
Think: Double one of the numbers and (add or subtract) one.
5+6 Think: Double 5 is 10, add 1 to get 11.
OR
5+6 Think: Double 6 is 12, subtract 1 to get 11.
Tens
Ten plus a single digit
Think: Ten plus any single digit is the ‘teen’ (or 11 or 12)
10+6 Think: 10, 6, make a teen is 16.
Make Tens
One addend is 8 or 9. Use it to make a ten and then use the Tens strategy.
Think: Take 1 or 2 from the other number to make a 10 with the 9 or 8, then say the ‘teen.’
8+6 Think: Use 2 from the 6 to make the 8 a 10 (6 becomes a 4), then 10+4 is 14.
Nifty Nines
See Make Tens or just think:
Nine plus a single digit is the teen that is one less.
9+6 Think: Nifty nine plus 6, one less than 6 is 5, answer is15!
Almost Neighbors
The difference between the addends is 2.
Think: Double one of the numbers and (add or subtract) two.
7+5 Think: Double 5 is 10, add 2 to get twelve
OR
Double 7 is 14, subtract 2 is 12.
Make a Double
The difference between the addends is 2.
Think: Take one from the bigger number and add it to the smaller number to make a double.
OR
Find the middle number and double it.
7+5 Think: 1 from the 7 given to the 5 makes 6+6 which is 12.
OR
6 is between 7 and 5, double 6 is 12.
Multiplication Facts
Strategy
Description
Examples
Zero
If I have 0 groups of anything, I always have 0.
Think: The answer is always 0!
0*5 Think: It’s always 0.
Ones (or the Identity)
If I have 1 group of any number, I just have that number.
Think: 1 times any number is that number.
1*6 Think: It is just the number, so it is 6!
Twos
Double the number.
OR
This is Doubles from addition!
2*8 Think: Double 8, so 8+8 is 16.
Threes
Double plus another.
3*6 Think: Double 6 is 12, add 6 again, that’s 18.
Fours
Double and double again.
OR
Double and then add the double to itself
4*7 Think: Double 7 is 14 and double 14 is 28.
OR
Double 7 is 14, so 14 and 14 is 28.
Fives
Count by fives.
OR
Multiply by 10 and halve that.
5*6 Think: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 That’s six 5s so the answer is 30.
OR
10 *6 is 60, half of 60 is 30.
Sixes
Triple the number and then double it.
OR
Multiply by five and add another.
6*7 Think: 3*7 is 21, double 21 and get 42.
OR
5*7 is 35, add another 7 and get 42.
Sevens
Multiply by five and add the double.
7*8 Think: 5*8 is 40, 2*8 is 16, 40+16 is 56.
Eights
Double the number three times.
8*6 Think: 2*6 is 12, 2*12 is 242, and 2*24 is 48.
Nines
Multiply by 10 and subtract the number.
OR
Think one less than the number, put the new number in the tens place. The ones column is the number that added to the new tens place equals nine.
9*7 Think: 10*7 is 70, subtract 7 to get 63.
OR
One less than 7 is 6, so 60.
6+3 is 9 so 60+3 makes 63.
Tens
Add a zero to the number.
10*6 Think: Put 6 in the tens place and 0 in the ones place to get 60.Reinforcing StrategiesThe link below contains strategies you should use to reinforce strategy development to help with fact fluency. Research shows only 30% of the population are rote memorizers. Therefore, memorizing your facts is an ineffective strategy to improve fact fluency.Once students have a strategy in place, you can implement flash cards and/or timed tests. However, you should only assess knowledge of facts in which students have mastered a strategy.Games to Build Fact FluencyAssessing Fact FluencyArticles About Fact Fluencythank you Cotton Indian for sharing your resources