Destination- Summer Math Reflecting

I have been reading the book Mastering Basic Math Facts in Addition and Subtraction by Susan O’Connell and John SanGiovanni. Have you heard of it? I have really enjoyed it so far, and have learned so much. Every summer I tend to pick a couple of books to read each summer that I think will help me in the coming year. Usually it’s books about writing or teaching reading, because I hate to admit it but math is not my favoriteand it probably comes across that way in my classroom. When I reflect back and think about our daily math it has never been something I’ve been excited about so as unintentionally as it may be that’s probably what comes across to my kiddos.
SO my vow this year was to work on that and math in generaleven though it’s not nearly as exciting as writingor readingor artor writingand writingor writingcan you tell what my Favorite subject is??
One of the first things I read that I connected with is the thought of “automaticity.” My school requires that we give timed math fact tests. Which as you’ve probably read from me before I HATE! I know it’s a strong wordbut true. I just don’t see the need of having children doing repeated math facts in a specified amount of time. Have you ever had anyone hand you your checkbook or a bunch of math facts in your adult life and say “here, you have two minutes to get this done!” NOPE! Not me.
But if it is what Mr. Principal says we must do thenwe must do. (grrrr).
Right away this book says “Automaticity with basic facts is a goal for our students, BUT alone it is not enough. Students must also understand the facts they are being asked to commit to memory.” Ding Ding Ding!! “they must understand the facts.” Can I get an AMEN!
Another thing I like about this book is the way it is set up. Chapter one starts with understanding addition and subtraction, and then the next chapters break down the how’s and whys. Because like the book tells us “it is important that students attach meaning to the operations before there is any focus on fact fluency.” Love that!
I am about half way through this book and I have already revamped my math fact practice for my kiddos and am working on SO much more. I started with the easiest- the math fact homework that I send home for my kiddos to practice at home. I’d much rather spend our time in the classroom on the how’s and whys and exploring the numbers and concepts than a daily, dull drill and kill. I feel that if I can reinforce the understanding of numbers and facts then their time practicing at home should be easy and fluent!
I like that the book says that kids should learn plus 1 and 2 facts first then plus 0 and plus 10’s. That makes a whole lot of sense to this math-senseless teacher J.

Here is the homework practice I made for my kiddos and have added to my TpT store. It is called “Destination Automatic Math Facts.” Because-"automatic” makes much more sense to me than “timed.”
Here is a peek at the first section. It has a homework helper, grouped fact practice tests, data collection, and a few ideas for rewards-cause who doesn’t like rewards. It's all Common Core aligned as well. 
I’d love to give a couple of these away. Like I said it is just the first part (the easiest part) I will soon be adding subtraction and facts through 20.
Leave a comment and I’ll pick a few “winners” (I guess you don’t know if you’re actually a “winner” until you see the product lol)   

I’ll be back with more thoughts and ahh haa’s from my book later!
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  1. I have several math books pinned that hopefully I can get to this summer. It's an area that I definitely need to work on. I might have this one pinned too. Great thoughts!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Love reading your thoughts on this book! It's on my "to read" list.

  3. We started using Everyday Math this year. I really have struggled with it, there might be 3-5 different skills in one math lesson. One thing I can say about it, they do not press memorization, but most of my students had an excellent understanding of addition and subtraction and how to find the answer whether it was using counters, drawing pictures, counting on fingers (something that just goes against my way of thinking), etc... I'll ber looking forward to reading more of your review.

    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  4. I have not heard of this book. I will need to check it out. I also need to work on my teaching of math. We use Everyday Math also but I have put Math Facts into my Math Block for practice. Thanks for sharing this book.

    Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

  5. seems like a much bettr method for the kiddo's and I couldn't agree more and yes you can have an AMEN!!!!!

  6. I have this book in my Amazon shopping have inspired me to click "purchase" :) I am required to do timed tests, but this year I taught the WHY and had my firsties explore facts all different ways besides memorization. Best year yet!