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  • Ruth Hicks

    August 22, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Claire, I think that I have good mental computation skills, however, when my memory is engaged in other robust activity like teaching a class, monitoring behaviour etc, I often “loose my automaticity of facts”. Over the years I have discovered that using my fingers or dice dots on the board or a quick decomposition of a multiplication fact, not only gives me a correct fact answer, but it reinforces for my students that tools are useful. Fingers are always available for skip counting or adding up or down. I remember getting in trouble in grade 2 for the dots on my math pages – quick tool for adding on. I actively encourage the use of tools. When working memory is available and facts are automatic, students extinguish their use.