• 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





    Add zero to any number

    Think: The answer is just the number!

    5+0 Think: It’s just 5



    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.


    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.


    5+6   Think: Double 6 is 12, subtract 1 to get 11.


    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


    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.


    Find the middle number and double it.

    7+5   Think: 1 from the 7 given to the 5 makes 6+6 which is 12.


    6 is between 7 and 5, double 6 is 12.



    Multiplication Facts






    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!


    Double the number.


    This is Doubles from addition!

    2*8 Think: Double 8, so 8+8 is 16.


    Double plus another.

    3*6 Think: Double 6 is 12, add 6 again, that’s 18.


    Double and double again.



    Double and then add the double to itself

    4*7 Think: Double 7 is 14 and double 14 is 28.


    Double 7 is 14, so 14 and 14 is 28.


    Count by fives.



    Multiply by 10 and halve that.

    5*6 Think: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 That’s six 5s so the answer is 30.


    10 *6 is 60, half of 60 is 30.


    Triple the number and then double it.


    Multiply by five and add another.

    6*7 Think: 3*7 is 21, double 21 and get 42.


    5*7 is 35, add another 7 and get 42.


    Multiply by five and add the double.

    7*8 Think: 5*8 is 40, 2*8 is 16, 40+16 is 56.


    Double the number three times.

    8*6 Think: 2*6 is 12, 2*12 is 242, and 2*24 is 48.


    Multiply by 10 and subtract the number.

    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.


    One less than 7 is 6, so 60.

    6+3 is 9 so 60+3 makes 63.


    Add a zero to the number.

    10*6 Think: Put 6 in the tens place and 0 in the ones place to get 60.


    Fact Fluency for Addition and Subtraction 


    Reinforcing Strategies
    The link below contains strategies you should use to reinforce strategy development to help with fact fluency.  Research shows only 30% of the population are rote memorizers.  Therefore, memorizing your facts is an ineffective strategy to improve fact fluency. 
    Once students have a strategy in place,  you can implement flash cards and/or timed tests.  However, you should only assess knowledge of facts in which students have mastered a strategy.
    Games to Build Fact Fluency
    Assessing Fact Fluency
    Articles About Fact Fluency

    thank you Cotton Indian for sharing your resources