
computation skills
Posted:
Apr 9, 1999 10:44 AM


I want to reinforce what Barbara wrote about wanting students to be able to figure out facts efficiently. Let families know this is more than rote memorization. It involves relating a fact to patterns in its table and to other facts. With practice doing this, students will memorize more and more facts, but they will have a richer knowledge of the numbers than if they memorize the facts in isolation. By the end of fourth grade students can also be fluent with multiples of 20, 25, 50, and multiples of some other multiples of 10 (30, 40, 60). Families can practice counting by and counting around and talk about patterns in the multiples they are saying. For example, if one person says 3, the other 6, the first 9, etc. the first person will be saying the odd multiples of 3 while the second will be saying the even multiples of 3 which are the multiples of 6. They might follow this by figuring out together the multiples of 30. A possible homework assignment is to ask students to write what they know about one number: it's factor pairs, some fractions and division statements about it, where it is used. This is related to the Ten Minute Math activity, Seeing Numbers. Students can write a lot about numbers with many factors such as 24, 30, 42, 48, 60. Students might also pick a number that they tend to forget the fact for such as 21 or 54, or try larger numbers such as 144 or 240 or 420.

