Q&A #19149

Timed Test Addition struggles

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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Dec 11, 2007 at 14:24:13
Subject: Re: Timed Test Addition struggles

Dear Dani,

Thank you for writing to T2T.  You don't say what grade your daughter is in,
which might make a difference re: whether my reply "makes sense."

Although it's certainly great to have those addition facts memorized to
mastery, and able to recall them quickly, the fact is that not all children
can do so. We are raising a grandson who is in Gr. 4, but has learning
difficulties and still relies on his fingers for addition and subtraction. He
has the "concept", but just cannot commit his facts to memory.

How does your daughter do on the facts when given enough time to complete
them? It might be worth talking to her teacher, and sharing with him/her
the anxiety your daughter is experiencing with the timed tests. As part of
our grandson's Individual Education Plan, he is to be given extra time on
tests in order to complete his work. If your daughter is able to answer the
questions given enough time, then this is information the teacher should have.

As for helping her with the facts at home, I'd suggest rather than
"practicing the tests" at home (which puts her in the same "anxiety
environment" as at school, that you play games involving addition.  Even a
game such as Snakes and Ladders (or Chutes and Ladders) involves adding the
numbers that are on the dice. You can take a deck of cards and remove the
10s and face cards and play "Addition Snap". Turn two cards over, and the
first one to get the sum wins the two cards (you can carefully time your
response to give her time to answer :).  The more you can practice the facts
in a fun environment, the better the chances that your daughter will start to
learn them more easily/quickly.

Hope this helps,

 -Ralph, for the T2T service

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