Reflection: Standardized Tests (PARCC/Smarter Balanced) Time to the Minute - Section 3: Mental Math - Basic Facts in Relation to Time


A move to more comprehensive assessments that place an emphasis on students' ability to reason does not mean that there aren't some fundamentals that need to be in place.  I've seen all varieties of programs designed to push children to fluency with their basic facts.  I still think the very best method is for an adult to sit down with them at home every night and review a small set of facts with flashcards for five minutes.  

In lieu of that, I use every opportunity possible to bring basic facts into the lessons in addition to having them complete a fact page (or equivalent through an online program such as FreeThrows) every day.  I also insert a few minutes of basic fact practice into the core of lessons, as is seen here with the basic computation required for time.  

It's frustrating to see children slowed down because they haven't simply memorized the core facts.  The only solution I've arrived at is to give them constant practice at school and to also give them basic practice to complete at home.  I make a big deal out of the students who are fluent with their basic facts by giving them different tasks in the place of a fact page that the rest of the class needs to complete.  They enjoy contests and this is a place where I think a contest of simple skill is okay.  We play around the world or some variation of it each week and this provides positive reinforcement for students who have made the effort to memorize their facts.  All this talk over a task that really would take them no more than about 5 hours of concentrated effort total to master!

  The Battle of the Basic Facts - Are They Still Important?
  Standardized Tests (PARCC/Smarter Balanced): The Battle of the Basic Facts - Are They Still Important?
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Time to the Minute

Unit 6: Time
Lesson 10 of 11

Objective: SwBAT tell time to the minute by finding the time to five minutes and adding on.

Big Idea: Time to the minute is built upon understanding and using time to the closest five minutes.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, telling time, time, telling time to, telling time to 1 minute
  49 minutes
time to minutes image
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