Best Addition and Subtraction FlashCards EVER!

Posted on September 9, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

These are great visual flashcards!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Another Great Multiplication Packet

Posted on July 29, 2015. Filed under: Assessment, Differentiated Instruction, Math Centers, Math Workstations | Tags: , , , |

Check this out! Great stuff for multiplication!  It aligns with my upcoming book Math Running Records!

Don’t miss the Online Math Running Records Conference for Multiplication and Division (August 8). Register today!

Remember Fluency Doesn’t Just Happen!  You PLAN for it!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Ways to think about subtraction!

Posted on December 5, 2012. Filed under: Assessment, Common Core, During the Guided Math Lesson | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Subtraction is much more difficult for children than addition.  We don’t tend to teach enough subtraction strategies and have students play around with them in small guided math groups and math centers.  Here are some ideas to add to your thinking about teaching subtraction.

Resource 1

Resource 2 (Be sure to scroll down to the illustrated examples!)

Resource 3

Where are your students along this learning continuum?  What do you need to teach next?

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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A Multiplication Fluency Activity

Posted on July 18, 2012. Filed under: Assessment, Classroom environment, Common Core | Tags: , , , , , , |

Here is a great idea for tracking fluency. Have the students keep track using ice cream cones!  You can either buy the package or make your own!  Check it out.  Whatever you do, please find some way so that students have a motivation and a self-tracking system to learn their tables …not just memorize them but be flexible with thinking about them in terms of strategies.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Sweet Facts: Ice Cream Fact Math Workstation Activity

Posted on February 8, 2012. Filed under: Common Core, Elementary math, Math Centers | Tags: , , , , |

Here is a “sweet” idea for teaching the facts!  This would make a great math center activity.  It is also a cute and rigorous bulletin board.

Ice Cream Facts

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Great Basic Facts Number and Strategy Club!

Posted on August 3, 2011. Filed under: Assessment, Elementary math, Math Centers | Tags: , , , , , , |

This is a great website based on the Oregon Teachers of Mathematics guided activities.  They have created a series of activities to scaffold learning.  As the students complete the activities, they move through membership levels in the “number club” and then the “strategy club”.  This is just great basic practice and a motivating structure.  The clubs are listed in the left sidebar.  Check out all the information on this site!

This is how they frame it:

“Number Club provides a framework for methodically working through the patterns that make up our base-ten number system. Strategy Club builds on understanding those patterns and using them to solve progressively more challenging addition and subtraction problems. This program is a tool to differentiate instruction within the frame-work of a whole group lesson….and best of all; it’s a hit with children!”

Number and Math Clubs



Be sure to look at the class summaries and the certificates.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki


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The Dolch Words of Math

Posted on June 8, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

As  quiet as it’s kept, there are theories about teaching math.  People research it.  They develop theories about it.  One of the best kept secrets is that Math has Dolch Words (Newton, 2008).  In Language arts we talk about the necessity that students know their dolch words- words that they must know in order to read fluently.  Same with math.  Van De Walle ( has outlined some of these “words.” Our children need to know the basic facts (there are 100 addition and 100 subtraction ones) like the back of their hand.  Basic facts are all the facts from 0 through 18. There is a way to teach them (according to math theory). In our guided math groups, different groups of students will be working on different types of facts.  Just as in reading, everybody isn’t studying the same words. Some kids know all the words from list 1, they might be on list 5.  Same with math.

We want our students to understand what addition and subtraction means (to have conceptual understanding).  It is just as important that they have procedural fluency (automaticity and fluency) as well as problem solving skills. The “dolch words” gives teachers a frame to ensure that students learn all the facts so they are fluent by the time they start multiplying and dividing.  The upper elementary students have trouble with math because they don’t know their basic addition and subtraction “dolch words.” Here’s a list of the most common “math dolch words”- facts students should know so they do math with automaticity:

  • +0 facts
  • +1 facts
  • +2 Facts
  • complements of 5
  • complements of 10
  • doubles
  • doubles +1
  • doubles +2
  • lucky 7
  • lucky 8 facts
  • lucky 9 facts
  • -0 facts
  • -1 facts
  • easy subtraction facts using known facts
  • harder subtraction facts – adding up to subtract

What do you do in your classroom to track student’s progress  with the “dolch words” of math?  Do your student’s have any concept of what they have learned and what they still need to study?  In what ways do you think some sort of individualized tracking system might help them in learning their basic facts?


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