Basic math facts are an important tool for students to achieve success in problem-solving. Learning basic math facts are a routine part of a student’s progress in the elementary grades. Assessing student progress and collecting data are essential parts of the process.
One of my newest products, 20 Basic Math Facts Assessments, can be used as a pre-assessment at the beginning of the year, a formative assessment during the process, or a summative assessment when students are ready.
The twenty assessments in this pack include:
- •Addition facts with addends to 12, or
- •Subtraction facts with minuends to 12, or
- •Multiplication facts with factors to 12, or
- •Division facts with dividends to 144, or
- Mixed facts of all four operations
Teachers often choose to, or are required to, limit time on mixed fact assessments like this one. Having administered these assessments during my career, I know there are differing opinions about the proper amount of time. Ideally, students will be able to state an answer to a problem immediately, with no hesitation. Writing answers can require more time to let young hands do what their brains tell them. I suggest 4-5 seconds per problem, unless additional accommodations are required. For 40-problems, 3-4 minutes would fit. If you feel that more time is appropriate, adjust for your students’ needs. Keep in mind that the more time given, the more chance students have to calculate using other tools, such as counting on fingers or making marks on paper. Each teacher will have to decide if the goal is automatic recall or finding the answer with various strategies.
Whatever the amount of time you choose, it’s helpful to establish a routine. My routine was to pass out the papers face down and have students write their names on the back. This kept them from spending assessment time writing their name and the date. When I said, “Turn your paper over.”, I paused for a few seconds to allow students to get oriented to the sheet. Then, I said, “Begin.” and started timing. Once I stopped the time, I reminded students to write their name on the front.
Checking assessments can be burdensome. I always had students check their own paper with a special pen/pencil as I called out the answers. Students either did nothing to the correct problems or put a check mark, if they wanted to. Incorrect problems were simply circled.
Consider creating data notebooks and have students record and monitor their own growth and progress.