Today’s educational landscape seems to value “fast facts” and timed tests, but how effective are these practices? Consider these two scenarios:
Today, schools seem to place so much pressure on students to be able to do “fast facts.” Schools are giving out awards and incentivizing the memorization of facts with things like ice cream parties where students are only allowed to get a certain amount of ice cream or toppings based on the groups of facts they know.
Math facts practice should involve more than just speed and memorization. This low-prep, kid-approved game does help students practice their math facts, but it will also help them develop an understanding of how multiplication works too!
Fact fluency still matters, but timed tests often do more harm than good, despite the teacher’s best intentions. Instead of resulting in the development of mathematical fluency for students, timed tests usually result in student anxiety. It’s time for educators to give timed tests a time out.