• Thinking Strategies for Basic Facts

The key to using strategies for basic facts is to have the children discover the patterns and then name them.  These are suggestions.

Addition Facts

 Strategy Description Examples Zero Add zero to any number Think:  The answer is just the number! 5+0 Think: It’s just 5 One-more-than Two-more-than Add one or two to any number Think:  Say the number and count up one (or two.) 5+1=6  Think: It’s 5, 6. Doubles Add a number to itself Think:  Just double the number. 5+5=10  Think:  Double 5 is 10. Neighbors (or Near Doubles) Add a number and its neighbor Think:  Double one of the numbers and (add or subtract) one. 5+6   Think: Double 5 is 10, add 1 to get 11. OR 5+6   Think: Double 6 is 12, subtract 1 to get 11. Tens Ten plus a single digit Think:  Ten plus any single digit is the ‘teen’ (or 11 or 12) 10+6  Think: 10, 6, make a teen is 16. Make Tens One addend is 8 or 9.  Use it to make a ten and then use the Tens strategy. Think:  Take 1 or 2 from the other number to make a 10 with the 9 or 8, then say the ‘teen.’ 8+6  Think:  Use 2 from the 6 to make the 8 a 10 (6 becomes a 4), then 10+4 is 14. Nifty Nines See Make Tens or just think: Nine plus a single digit is the teen that is one less. 9+6  Think: Nifty nine plus 6, one less than 6 is 5, answer is15! Almost Neighbors The difference between the addends is 2. Think:  Double one of the numbers and (add or subtract) two. 7+5  Think:  Double 5 is 10, add 2 to get twelve OR Double 7 is 14, subtract 2 is 12. Make a Double The difference between the addends is 2. Think:  Take one from the bigger number and add it to the smaller number to make a double. OR Find the middle number and double it. 7+5   Think: 1 from the 7 given to the 5 makes 6+6 which is 12. OR 6 is between 7 and 5, double 6 is 12.

Multiplication Facts

A great book for multiplication strategies is The Best of Times by Greg Tang, available from Scholastic, Amazon, etc.  It usually appears in a Scholastic book order about once a year.  (All the books by Greg Tang are great!)

 Strategy Description Examples Zero If I have 0 groups of anything, I always have 0. Think:  The answer is always 0! 0*5 Think: It’s always 0. Ones (or the Identity) If I have 1 group of any number, I just have that number. Think:  1 times any number is that number. 1*6 Think:  It is just the number, so it is 6! Twos Double the number. OR This is Doubles from addition! 2*8  Think:  Double 8, so 8+8 is 16. Threes Double plus another. 3*6  Think:  Double 6 is 12, add 6 again, that’s 18. Fours Double and double again.   OR Double and then add the double to itself 4*7  Think:  Double 7 is 14 and double 14 is 28. OR Double 7 is 14, so 14 and 14 is 28. Fives Count by fives.   OR Multiply by 10 and halve that. 5*6  Think:  5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30  That’s six 5s so the answer is 30. OR 10 *6 is 60, half of 60 is 30. Sixes Triple the number and then double it. OR Multiply by five and add another. 6*7  Think:  3*7 is 21, double 21 and get 42. OR 5*7 is 35, add another 7 and get 42. Sevens Multiply by five and add the double. 7*8  Think:  5*8 is 40, 2*8 is 16, 40+16 is 56. Eights Double the number three times. 8*6  Think:  2*6 is 12, 2*12 is 242, and 2*24 is 48. Nines Multiply by 10 and subtract the number.OR Think one less than the number, put the new number in the tens place.  The ones column is the number that added to the new tens place equals nine. 9*7  Think:  10*7 is 70, subtract 7 to get 63. OR One less than 7 is 6, so 60. 6+3 is 9 so 60+3 makes 63. Tens Add a zero to the number. 10*6 Think:  Put 6 in the tens place and 0 in the ones place to get 60.