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Learning Math Flash Cards

Make your own flash cards on index cards.
by Kristal Gardner

Knowing basic math facts helps students in all areas of math. 1st and 2nd graders should focus on addition and subtraction. 3rd grade and up should practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Here is one way to learn them.

Start with one group at a time.

1. Begin with the zeros 0+0 0+1 0+2 0+3 0+4 0+5 0+6 0+7 0+8 0+9 (and their commutative pair i.e. 1+0 2+0 3+0 4+0 5+0 6+0 7+0 8+0 9+0). Make sure the child understands zero plus any number equals zero.

2. Add the ones to the pile - add 1+1 1+2 1+3 1+4 1+5 1+6 1+7 1+8 1+9 (and their commutative pair). Make sure the child understands that any number plus one is the next number in sequence.

3. Add the doubles to the pile - 2+2 3+3 4+4 5+5 6+6 7+7 8+8 9+9 (and their commutative pair)

4. Add the doubles plus one facts - 2+3 4+5 5+6 6+7 7+8 8+9 (and their commutative pair)

5. Add the nines to the group - 9+2 9+3 9+4 9+5 9+6 9+7 (and their commutative pair). Make sure the child knows how to add a number to 10. The easy trick is ten plus a number is that number with a one in front of it. For example 10+5= 15 (five with a one in front of it). Then teach the child that 9 plus a number is the other number less one with a one in front of it. For example 9+5= 14 (five minus one is 4 and put a one in front of it)

6. Add the twos to the group - 2+4 2+5 2+6 2+7 2+8 (and their commutative pair)

7. Add the threes facts - 3+5 3+6 3+7 3+8 (and their commutative pair)

8. Add the fours facts - 4+6 4+7 4+8 (and their commutative pair)

9. Add the fives facts - 5+7 5+8 (and their commutative pair)

10. Add the sixes facts - 6+8 (and their commutative pair)

Now the child should be practicing all the math facts flash cards. Don't add a set of cards until the first set has been mastered. Once addition is mastered, follow the same steps with subtraction. It might help to include some addition so the child can know all the facts in that family. For example 2+3=5 3+2=5 5-2=3 5-3=2 If that is too confusing for the child, stick with the subtraction facts.