Math Learning Tips for Learning Basic Facts

I wanted to share a few suggestions for learning basic addition and subtraction facts. These activities will help your  student develop different strategies for quickly solving basic facts. When doing these activities it’s important for your student to look carefully at the numbers first, and then decide on a strategy.

  • Learning about addends of 1, 2 or 3: counting on may be fastest and most efficient.
  • Learning about addends of 9: think of 9 as 10 -1. If the fact is 9+6, then add 10+6 and subtract 1.
  • Learning about addends of 8: think of 8 as 10-2.
  • Learning about addends of 5, 6 or 7: look at the other addend and consider how much is needed to get to the landmark number ten. For example, 7+4. Think of 4 as 3+1. 7+3=10; add 1 more to equal 11.
  • Learning about doubles:Most kids memorize these without realizing it! So when you ask them 7+7 they will immediately know 14.
  • Learning about doubles plus one or doubles minus one: if two addends are one or two apart, double the smaller number and add one or two more. For example, 6+7 is the same as 6+6+1. Does your child see how this fact is similar to a doubles fact?

Click here for more parent tips for kindergartners
Click here for more parent tips for 1st graders
Click here for more parent tips for 2nd graders

  • This is the most important one
    * Learning about addends of 9: think of 9 as 10 -1. If the fact is 9+6, then add 10+6 and subtract 1.
    Many kids find it hard to add 9 to numbers as they are much more used to adding 10s. If this can be learnt it will be much easier to learn even larger number sums as its a memorable strategy.
    There are different strategys in my site and Math Lessons to help children learn.

  • Mickelle

    I’m glad you agree! This particular strategy is very powerful. It’s as though kids that do this cross some developmental phase. The ability to think flexibly about numbers this way makes higher level math more approachable.