How to Teach Basic Facts Memory

Basic facts practice can be redundant to elementary math students. However, practicing facts helps the students memorize them, which is important to learning skills in more advanced math. Playing math games is a great way to encourage students to enjoy practicing facts. Students will also practice social skills as they play math games to memorize their math facts.

Things You'll Need:
* Prepared basic fact cards

Step 1
Prepare multiple sets of note cards (about 24 in each set) with the basic facts appropriate for the class. For example, for addition facts, make one card with the fact problem, "4 + 2" and a matching card with the answer, "6."

Step 2
Advise students of the behavior expectations before game play. Set expectations for noise level and discuss behaviors of staying on task. Also, set the consequences for potential misbehavior.

Step 3
Demonstrate the game rules to the class. Turn all of the cards face down. Take turns with a partner turning over two cards at a time. Explain that the player who finds a match gets to keep the cards, and when all of the cards have been matched, the player with the most matches wins.

Step 4
Divide the class into pairs. Provide a set of cards for each group. Allow plenty of time for the groups to play and finish a whole game (about 15 minutes). If desired, allow students to switch partners and play again.

Step 5
For stations play, provide a different set of fact cards for each group. Allow the groups 2-5 minutes to play, and then have them rotate the games, so that each group is playing with new facts. Allow time to rotate and play until each group has played each set of facts.

Step 6
During game play, monitor the room to keep students on task and help judge any problems that arise. Assess students' levels of memory to help determine any particular facts that need to be addressed or retaught.

Step 7
Leave the games out for students to play during their free time. For additional practice, provide note cards for the students. Allow them to make their own facts memory game to take home and play with a parent.

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