Top 10 Ways to Drill Math Facts

10 Ways to Drill Math Facts

Let’s face it, learning math facts is important. Kids will have trouble with math and algebra without their facts memorized. Thankfully there are many ways to memorize math facts.

10 Ways to Drill Math Facts

1. Flashcards

Flashcards are the old standby. Use index cards, write the problem on one side, and the answer on the other side. You can bundle them all together with a rubber band, or hole punch them and stick the cards on a ring. Flashcards are easy to keep in the car to pull out when kids are bored.

2. Drill Sheets

Drill sheets are another rather unexciting method to drill math facts. Pull out the sheets and have the kids fill one out everyday. For more enthusiastic results, make a game of the drill sheets and race your children to completing one accurately.

3. Chants

There’s a reason schools used to chant to facts with kids. It works wonderfully to help kids memorize their facts. March around the house every morning chanting the facts you’re working on this week. Let the kids make a parade of the march wearing costumes, waving flags, pulling stuffed animals in wagons, while shouting out “2×1 is 2, 2X2 is 4, 2×3 is 6…”

4. Copy Work

Copy work, where you copy the facts on paper, is another effective method of drilling facts. Write the fact group you’re studying on a sheet of paper and have your child copy it. Copy work works especially well if you recite the facts as you write them.

5. Songs

You always have the option of setting the math facts to music instead of chanting them. Try singing the facts to Mary Had a Little Lamb or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It’s a challenge! Another option is to find a CD with the math facts set to music. You can listen to it in the car and sing along. It’s amazing how quickly kids learn facts when they hear them everyday in the car.

6. Fill Out a Table

Pull out a sheet of graph paper and draw a large square that’s 10X10 in size. Write the numbers from 1-10 in the row above the table and in the column to the left of the table. Now have your child fill out the table either adding or multiplying. Filling out the table everyday helps to cement the facts.

7. Hopscotch

Go outside and draw a large hopscotch. Instead of numbers, write your child’s most difficult facts in the middle of the squares. Before you jump on a square, yell out the answer. Hopscotch is a marvelous way to drill facts.

8. Bounce Balls

Some kids find it hard to sit still, so why make them? Head outside with your children, bounce balls together, and chant math facts while you do so. Pass the balls back and forth or play catch. Just keep the chant going.

9. Roll Dice

Find yourself a pair of dice to use and something to use as a counter. It could simply be making tick marks on a sheet of paper. Pick up the dice and roll them. If 3 and 6 appear, call out 3+6 is 9 or 3X6 is 18, depending upon the facts you’re learning. Keep track of all correct answers. Once your child knows the facts within 6, try using 2 pairs of colored dice such as red and green. Roll the dice, add the reds together and add the greens together, before multiplying the two numbers. This allows you to work on fact groups up to 12!

10. Dominoes

Instead of dice, use dominoes to learn the facts. Instead you can play dominoes but before you can play, multiply the two numbers on it together. If it’s not right, you lose your turn! Again as the children become adept with the smaller numbers, start to multiply the numbers on both the dominoes being connected together.

Memorizing the math facts may be necessary, but it doesn’t have to be dull. Change the method of drill constantly and alternate between games, quiet drill, and physical activities.

Sara Dennis

About the author

Sara Dennis is veteran homeschool mom of six who's still homeschooling her youngest kids after the oldest ones have graduated, entered college, and moved on to adult life. She loves chatting about the ins and outs of educating kids at the kitchen table. Sara blogs at Classically Homeschooling.

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  1. Our favorite way to practice math facts is to write the equations on the driveway in chalk and shoot them with water guns or hit them with water balloons as they call out the answers.

  2. Hi there! You might want to check out number talks to develop true fluency and Cathy Fosnot’s landscapes for learning. She has an excellent landscape for how Mathematics develops over time. I appreciate how she groups the problems together working on big ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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