• 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.