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# "Numerical Fluency" vs. Memorizing "Number Facts"

Nov 8, 2021 | Mount Lebanon

We want to introduce the importance of “numerical fluency” and learning basic “number facts.”

Picture this scenario. A teacher asks a classroom, “If you spend 70 cents, 80 cents, and 90 cents, how much did you spend altogether?”

The teacher is thinking:

“7 + 8 + 9 = 24.  With a zero at the end, the answer would be 240 cents.”

However, our “finger counting” students, which is sadly too many of them, are thinking:

“7 + 8 = 7…8…9…10…11…12…13…14…15,” then “15 + 9 = 15…16…17…18…19…20…21…22…23…24…25 (oops).”

Many times, finger counters get the wrong answer because they either count too many or too few.

Since the process of “getting it wrong” is so uninspiring and time–consuming, not surprisingly, many students report being “bored" in math class.  In addition, the process has taken so long that the student is no longer in the flow of the lesson, which in this case, is learning about how to “add a 0 at the end.”

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