Growing Fact Fluency: Part 1


It's an important word when it comes to reading.  But thanks to the Common Core, it's also an important word when it comes to math.

Clearly, teaching fluency in reading and math are two completely different things.  But the similarities are the key words:  accuracy and automaticity.  I expect that my students be able to recall their facts automatically, but they also must be correct.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I haven't really done enough with fact fluency in my classroom for various reasons.  This year, I decided it was time to step up my game.  So I decided to create a method to use in my classroom where I could allow my students to practice their fluency facts, track their progress, and communicate the results with parents.  I wanted to create something in my classroom that was flexible, trackable, and easy to manage.

Now I have a great way of practicing and tracking my students' fluency progress in my classroom, and it totally excites me!  It has been working well for a few months now, and I am thrilled at how easy this has been to implement!

Here's how I work on fluency in my classroom:
About 2 days a week, we take a fact fluency assessment.  I try to shoot for Tuesdays and Thursdays, though it doesn't always work out that way!  But my goal is to take an assessment twice a week.  I have a checklist where I track each students' progress through the levels.  On test day, I check my sheet, hand each student the correct assessment, and send them to their table to put their name on the paper.  It takes less than 2 minutes total.  Once everybody has their paper, I hit the timer.  They have 1 minute to answer 25 problems.  When the timer goes off, they put down their pencils and I collect the assessments.  Quick and painless.

My students have to take and pass two assessments before they can move up to the next level.  The first assessment has all the problems written the same way.  The second assessment has "mixed" problems.  My reasoning is that I need my students to be able to answer 0 + 2 and 2 + 0.  I have seen where some of my students really struggle with looking through the entire problem, so making them take the "mixed" assessment lets me know if they are really fluent with their facts or not, no matter how they are presented.  After I give the assessment, I quickly go through each child's paper to see who demonstrated mastery of the set of facts they were working on that week.  If they did, I put a check in that column next to their name.

I also created 2 different tests, an A test and a B test.  If I have students who sit near each other and are on the same level, I give them different tests.  Then I don't have to worry about cheating.

If they passed their assessment, I do one of two things:

1. Send home the next set of math fact flashcards
2. Send home a certificate (if they passed the second quiz!) and the next set of math fact flashcards.

Either way, they get the next set of math facts to practice at home to prepare for the next assessment.  This helps me keep the parents informed on their child's progress as well.  The kids are also very proud of their certificates and love being able to take them home!

If you are interested, my Fact Fluency program is available in my TPT store.

Even though I track their progress on the checklist I keep in my binder, I felt like it was important for the students to see their progress as well.  So I created a Student Fluency Data Wall to help the students track their progress.  I'll be back soon to share how I track student progress in the classroom, and how this helps my students with practicing their facts!

Your Turn:
How do you help your students demonstrate their fluency of facts in your classroom?  Please share by leaving a comment!


  1. This looks like a great program. I'm heading over to Tpt now. Thanks!

    1. Thank you! I think it is! Please make sure to check back- I have some more posts about fact fluency that I'll be sharing here in the next few weeks. I hope you will read them!


  2. Do you consider passing getting all 25 correct in the minute?