Mastering Math Facts by Involving Everyone in the Learning Process
To help students memorize math facts they have in their pocket, I involve the entire school community. I let everyone know that the kids from Mrs. Wistrom's class have facts in their pockets that they are trying to memorize, and encourage teachers, parent volunteers, custodial staff, the principal - even students from other classes - to ask the children to pose the question, "What's the fact in your pocket?" In response, students are expected to recite their fact...and to do so correctly!
Everyone has great fun throughout the year with this activity. For instance, the Librarian at our school often quizzes the children as they are lining up to return to class. If they are able to recite the fact correctly, they are free to line up. If not...they must return to their seats and silently practice the fact while they are waiting their turn to be called once again.
Our principal loves to pop his head in without notice, point to a student and say, "What's the fact in your pocket." When it is recited correctly, he goes on his merry way. Mind you, this typically occurs outside of the scheduled math lesson. He might pop in during silent reading, a spelling test, an art lesson - just about any time he passes by our classroom.
Before a class trip to the local police station, I explained our fact activity to the chief. Oh what fun the kids had when in the middle of his presentation, he stopped and asked a few kids to recite their facts!
Even the bus drivers have joined in on occasion, quizzing students as they get on or off the bus!