In Case You Missed It: A Fun and Effective Math Tool - Bracelets!


What teaching tasks make you heave a sigh and pray for strength? Finding that evidence in the text? Test prep? Getting a name on the paper? Or...

Basic math facts, you say? Let me just say, this is one of mine.

I know that basic math facts are important. Knowing them fluently is evidence of number sense and is a powerful tool.

But they can be a struggle to teach and to learn. From addition to subtraction, right through multiplication and division, mastery of those essential little concepts can elude the best teacher and student.

First, The Method

Enter fact families! Fact families look at the relationships between number "families", or groups. They look like this:

Understanding the relationships between these number families addresses the concepts underlying the facts. It is great for developing number sense

Next, A Fun, Fashionable, and Effective Tool

You can't work on basic math facts all the time. What can students do when they're not actively working on a learning those facts?  Fact Family Bracelets!  They are a fun, portable, and social way to get extra practice!
kids with arm bracelets

To prepare the bracelets, copy one set per child onto card stock and laminate.  Cut apart only as needed, depending on the families that the student needs to learn. Tape a bracelet around the child's wrist.  

Encourage your student to practice saying or writing the four related math facts whenever they have a few minutes. When a fact family is mastered, you can tape the bracelet into a math journal or onto a display board to admire.  Then, on to the next bracelet!

Invite The Gang!

Share what you're doing with your school!  Encourage other teachers, administrators, and volunteers to ask the child what the bracelet is about.  How encouraging for a child when the principal or another adult shows interest in what they're learning as they stop and talk to him/her...based on their really cool bracelet!

If you'd like to try out Fact Family Bracelets, you can find them here. I'd love to know how they work for your students! Best wishes!      

Growing Grade By Grade
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Big Concept...Easy Display

     One of the foundational concepts of our science curriculum is...where do we get energy?  We can trace it all the way back to the sun!  I keep this small display up in the classroom all year and we refer to it often.  It really does seem to give students a "home base" from which to work.

     Do you have a small display that makes a big impact?  Share it with us!

Growing Grade By Grade
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[name=Pat McFadyen] [img=] [description=My purpose is to support YOU and your students with practical solutions and curriculum materials that teach, play, practice, and assess.] (facebook=

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