Math 247 Unit 1: Early Number and Operations Concepts

Topic/week 3 Strategies for computing basic facts and mental math, and teaching strategies for basic facts.

Goal: The goals this week are for you to

Basic facts: what are they, why should we teach them, how can we teach them.

I want you to start out by reading a couple of papers that have been very influential for the way I think about math facts. Right now, I'm just going to have you read a couple of things, and then answer a few questions about them.


Read a lot of the FAQ Basic Facts: Questions, Answers & Comments that Ed Rathmell has written. We will be looking at specific addition and subtraction fact strategies in the next few lessons, so if you are looking for something to skip, you can skip some of that. Make sure you read the sections "What does it mean to teach basic facts?", "What do we know about teaching basic facts?", "How can we teach thinking strategies?", "When is basic fact drill appropriate?" and "How should you assess children on the basic facts?"


Make 10 sample lesson ideas


Write responses to these questions (upload to the drop box)

Mental math and basic fact strategies for addition and subtraction

Videos to watch

Addition Counting Strategies

Addition Derived Facts Strategies

Subtraction Counting Strategies

Subtraction Derived Facts Strategies

And using Addition to figure out Subtraction


(optional) The sections in Basic Facts: Questions, Answers & Comments about strategies are is a good source to review the strategies in the videos.


Write some word problems for teaching addition and subtraction facts strategies (dropbox)

Write a speed sheet for addition facts practice (dropbox)

Watch the lesson Dino Math which is # 12 in the Teaching Math Video Library K-4 at, and then write me an answer to these two questions (dropbox)

Array model for multiplication, thecommutative and distributive laws, and why they make sense..

Videos to watch:

Array Model Multiplication: commutative and distributive laws
How to explain the commutative property
How to explain the distributive property

To read:

 Let me know if you need me to write something for here. 


 Explaining and understanding with the commutative and distributive laws (dropbox)

Mental math and basic fact strategies for multiplication and division.

Videos to watch:

 Part 1: Skip counting, counting up or down from a known fact, commutative law, patterns for 0, 1, 5, 9, 10

If the pattern for multiplying by 9 is new to you, you should watch this longer explanation of the 9's trick

Part 2: Doubling, and counting up or down revisited

Part 3: Distribitive law: breaking apart into known facts

On the Children's Strategies CD, on the Multiplication and Division tab, watch the Counting and Derived facts clips

Division Facts


From the Math Trailblazers: Teachers site, read the TIMS Tutor on Math Facts pages 258-260 (Multiplication and Division facts Strategies)

Read the article Learning to Think in the Content->Readings section of D2L


Multiplication Fact Strategies (dropbox or scan and dropbox)

Watching Division Strategies (dropbox)

Fact Families  (dropbox)