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Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency Review by Heidi MosherJessica Kaminski
Math With Purpose
Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency is a binder of games designed to help students master math facts. The product includes over twenty leveled fluency games. Three levels of games fall under categories of "counting all," "counting on," and "strategies." The games are organized as follows:
- Level 1 Activities: Counting All has seven games like "How Many Groups?" and "Skip Counting with a Hundred Chart," for example.
- Level 2 Activities: Counting On has six games, including "Buzz: A Counting Game" and "Area Model Battle."
- Level 3 Activities: Strategies has ten games with names such as "What's Your Part?" and "Find the Factors."
Each game's instruction page includes a goal. Examples of goals are, "Students practice using skip-counting strategies on number lines" and "Students use ten frames to break more challenging facts into known parts." The instructions generally fill one page. They are followed by three to five "Questions for Reflection."
There are 115 pages, including masters of game components. Those need to be copied and cut. Additional items required to play the games include everyday household objects like a deck of cards, colored pencils, construction paper, and pencil and paperclip to make a spinner. Other items, such as a whiteboard and dry erase markers, may easily be substituted.
Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency also includes instructions and charts for assessment options that go beyond timed tests. For example, the assessment provides instruction for covering basic facts before starting on more challenging facts.
The product comes in a sturdy and slim three-ring binder with pockets to store game boards and pieces. Portions of the product are printed in color. The cost is $15.99.
I reviewed Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency with the intent of helping my ten-year-old daughter retain and solidify math facts in a fun and informal way over the summer. She recently completed fifth grade. Games with educational value are always a draw for me. According to the author's website, these games may be used for any child to "practice their math facts at their own pace and level." These math games are a small investment in time with a significant impact and an enjoyable alternative to worksheets or flashcards. Thus, I will achieve my simple purpose of reviewing and solidifying math facts over the summer in a fun way.
Since every student needs to be fluent with math facts to advance, any child learning or reviewing will benefit from these games. The author of this product operates under "Singapore Math Simplified," though the product can be used for any child, regardless of which curriculum they use to learn math. Kinesthetic learners may especially be attracted to this hands-on, participatory product, but the game aspect may draw any child. Many games are designed for pairs or groups of two to four students and would work well with a small group or in a school setting; however, home educators can competently modify the games to be played by a parent and child or to include siblings.
The product requires some preparation, though minimal, as game components must be copied, cut, gathered, and organized. In addition, the pieces and boards are printed front to back, so copies must be made for each game. The book's design with masters to be copied makes it a product that can be used for years with multiple students but is not an open-and-go format for single use.
The genius of the product goes beyond mere games by offering supportive, expert advice for what to do before and after the games. An assessment and recording charts are included for use before playing the games, and a short list of questions for reflection follows each game. Examples of these questions are" How do you know which operation to use?" and "How did you determine the factors of a number?" These two elements give the product an expert feel. If used to the full extent with a child struggling to learn the facts, the experience will no doubt be helpful. The author of Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency is a math specialist. She has years of teaching wisdom and consulting experience as well as creative ideas to share. Her website also offers a similar addition and subtraction fluency product along with much more supportive math helps.
I recommend Multiplication and Division Fact Fluency by Jessica Kaminski as both an enjoyable way to retain math facts and as an efficient way to advance math fact knowledge.
-Product review by Heidi Mosher, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2021