Math FactsDear Parents,Our math lessons in class focus on developing and understanding the concepts of addition and subtraction. A goal of the PCSD/Common Core Math Curriculum is that students in first grade not only thoroughly understand the concepts of addition and subtraction but also memorize the addition and subtraction math facts up to 10 (sums being no greater than 10 and subtraction problems beginning with a number no higher than 10). Attached to this letter is the complete set of flashcards/facts that your child will be expected to memorize by early May. Memorization means that the answers to the facts are known automatically (answers are given instantly, without using fingers or counting in one’s head).During the school year your child will frequently be taking timed tests that will check his/her automatic knowledge of these (attached) math facts. Completed timed tests will be sent home so that you can see your child’s progress. When unable to complete an assessment in the allotted time, or when one to two errors or more are made on an assessment, your child will need to increase practice of the appropriate set of facts. Children will be reassessed on sets of facts until they have mastered those facts.We suggest the following method for practicing the fact cards with your child:
1. The child tries to give a quick answer to the facts on each of the flashcards. The automatically known facts are placed into one pile and the facts that need more practice in order to become automatic are placed into a second pile. “Automatically” means the answer can be given instantly, without using fingers or counting in one’s head.
2. The child practices all the facts in the automatic math facts pile, along with only two or three facts from the second pile of facts that need more practice. No new facts are added until those two or three unknown facts become automatic also. When these facts become automatic, two or three new facts from the second pile are added. This process is repeated until all the facts are known automatically.
3. Facts should be practiced daily until all facts are known automatically. Once the facts are all automatic, then periodic practice (a few times a week) is needed to maintain them.
The Jefferson Road First Grade Team