Fact Fluency with Question Stacks

One of my favorite things about being part of the #MTBoS is the opportunity to learn from amazing math teachers in both elementary and secondary math. This week, I was inspired by Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) and her Question Stacks activity that she created for her Algebra 1 class. Question stacks is a practice structure that is engaging and self checking (if you get to the end and the last answer isn't the one on the back of the stack, go back and try again!). Sarah explains it perfectly here (<--- read this if you want to understand how it works)


I'm currently working with about twenty 3rd-5th grade teachers on building their content understanding and instructional strategy tool belts in the area of multiplication and division. Supporting students in building fluency has been a huge felt need for these teachers, and I'm looking forward to really exploring it more when I see them again in a couple weeks. One of things we will talk about is the definition of fluency and where it fits in our math instruction as we balance conceptual understanding, application, and procedural skills.

One of the goals of 3rd grade multiplication and division instruction is fluency within 100, with students "knowing from memory all products of two one-digit numbers" by the end of 3rd grade. The reality for 4th and 5th grade teachers (and even many 6th-8th grade teacher) is that many students are still working towards fluency after 3rd grade. I've heard many teachers express that fact fluency is the linchpin for success with future mathematics. I'm not convinced of this, but there's no doubt that as a 5th and 6th grade teachers, I saw many students struggle with computation of larger numbers because they were spending so much cognitive energy on calculating single-digit products and quotients instead of knowing them from memory.

I created a set of Question Stacks that align with the 3rd grade fluency standard (3.OA.7) and hope you'll give them a try (see below for links). For one set, I combined multiplication and division practice to help students think about the relationship between the two operations as we work toward fluency. A note that these are intended to be used towards the end of a student's progression towards fluency, hopefully building on a nice firm foundation of conceptual understanding.

You can watch the Multiplication/Division of 9's stack in action here.

Link to Multiplication & Division Question Stacks (2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, 9's... I'll add more soon)

Link to Multiplication Question Stacks (2's through 10's)

Coming soon! Array Question Stacks

Tips for printing and using Question Stacks:
  • Print pages back to back, with each set (every 2 pages) on a separate color of paper so you don't mix them up!
  • Print on cardstock or laminate for preservation
  • Paperclip each set to a Question Stack directions workmat (from Sarah's blog)
Have fun! Can't wait to hear how it goes. (and if you find any mistakes, please let me know!)


Comments

  1. Hey Chrissy!
    My third graders are loving these! My second graders are begging me for an addition/subtraction version, so I'll be working on that. I'll share it with you after I make them. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. That is awesome! I was just thinking about addition/subtraction! Can't wait to see what you come up with. :)

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