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# Content: Scaffolding for Fluency

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Memorizing “the times tables” is a familiar task for many, often required in schools. While the idea of memorization is widely accepted, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics challenges this norm, emphasizing the importance of fluency rather than rote memorization. This shift in perspective aligns with broader state and national standards, urging educators to foster a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. This article explores the concept of fluency and offers insights into scaffolding multiplication facts for students in grades 3-5.

### Understanding Fluency

What does it mean to be fluent in something.Â  I am sure you are fluent some task or skill.Â  Â Maybe it’s a different language that can understand with ease and efficiency or maybe it’s car mechanics that you can figure out and solve on the spot with the right tool and precision. Having fluency over the small things that make up that language or car mechanics can help you if you want to have a deeper understanding of the topic. The same is true for kids with Math!

In grades 3-5, the goal is for students to develop fluency in multiplying whole numbers.

## Scaffolding Ideas

Because memorizing the times tables is so common a task, and because so many students have trouble with it, the web offers lots of scaffolding. You can work with your teacher (or team) to assemble a toolkit from these sources. A useful flash-card style drill appears atÂ Â https://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/math-trainer-multiply.html.

If suitable, work with the students in short sessions. At this site you can vary session length (from 10 seconds to 10 minutes) and you can vary the problem cutoff time (time allowed before the program treats non-response as an error) from 2 seconds to 8 seconds.

Introduce concepts like repeated addition and skip counting to enhance understanding.

Read through this lesson on skip counting from the state of Connecticut on how to understand skip counting and teach it to early math learners to support their fluency.

Understanding Multiplication and Division Relationships

Emphasize the relationship between multiplication and division, using examples to reinforce conceptual understanding.
We love how Jeff Lisciandrello of Room to Discover demonstrates how to connect these two concepts together. See a link to his work here.

Internet Resources and Flash Cards

Explore online resources, including YouTube skip counting videos, and consider traditional flash cards with a strategic focus on challenging facts.
We love this resource: Multiplication Machine

Pattern Recognition

Explain and explore patterns within multiplication, such as the nine times table pattern, to enhance appreciation for mathematical structures.

Interactive Methods

Utilize interactive methods, like finger-based patterns for the nine times table, to engage students and make learning more tangible

#### Helping with Instruction (WORKSHOP)

• Unit 1: Helping with Instruction in General: The Role of the Paraprofessional
• Unit 2: Universal Design for Learning
• Assignment 1
• Unit 3: What is Scaffolding and Why is it Important?
• Unit 4: Learning Targets and Advance Organizers
• Unit 5: Explicit InstructionÂ
• Unit 6: Concept Maps, Story Maps, and Other Graphic OrganizersÂ
• Assignment 3
• Unit 7: Helping Students Learn to Study
• Take Notes
• Unit 8: Metacognition
• Unit 9: Infographics
• Unit 10: Helping Students Learn Test-taking Skills
• Unit 11: Putting it all Together: The Paraprofessional’s Contribution to Instruction
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