I've always been honest with those around me about my "relationship" with math. We used to be enemies, but now we're very close. In fact, we are so close, I allow math to spend much of the day in my classroom, alongside my students. We're practically B.F.F's.
With that said, my views on teaching math are constantly evolving, and I think any teacher implementing the Common Core Standards can probably relate to this. As I make my way through the Common Core, one third grade standard in particular really sticks with me:
3.OA.C. 7 Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the
relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 ×
5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end
of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.
The underlined part is what gives me the biggest pause, I am now responsible for determining if a student is proficient at memorizing facts! I CRIED over memorizing multiplication facts when I was a kid! REAL TEARS!!!!!!!
Now, we've spent months developing our conceptual understanding of multiplication and division, as we should have, it's a critical area in 3rd grade. I fully understand that knowing multiplication facts from memory helps students solve more difficult problems down the road. I had to memorize facts as a kid (remember, tears?!). But as a teacher, I've never been one to focus on "answer production", and in all honesty...I've never required my students to formally prove that they know their multiplication facts.
Instead, I have always addressed computational fluency through games- card games, dice games, array games, computer games, etc. And so far, no tears from the students (or me).
So my wondering is...how do you address computational fluency at your grade level? What activities work well for your students? Do you have a "no-tears" approach for math facts?!
Now for the give away! For surviving Monday, I will give the first 3 people to leave a comment my "Multiplication Boot Camp" packet from Teacher's Pay Teachers. It has 12 of my favorite "games" for practicing math facts, quick fact assessments, a progress tracking sheet, and a homework log. You can find more info here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Multiplication-Boot-Camp-Grade-3
Just leave your email in the comment box and I will send it to you!