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Mastering Math Facts with Stronger Visual Skills


K-8 Strategy


Working Memory

Mastering Math Facts with Stronger Visual Skills

If your student is struggling with math facts mastery and their visual memory is stronger

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will benefit from using math fact strategies that rely more on pattern recognition than rote memorization or a sequence of steps if they have stronger visual skills.
  2. Model and Practice: Use visuals to show students patterns within fact tables: a) For addition and multiplication, show students how they can cut the table in half diagonally because the numbers are simply "flipped". b)Show each times table and circle or highlight patterns. e.g. any number multiplied by 10 ends in a 0, any number multiplied by 5 ends in 5 or 0, with 9's the numbers are the same in reverse, e.g. 18, 81, 45, 54. c) For long division, introduce the lattice method, which is visual and follows the same pattern for each square without needing to remember to "use a zero" or keep numbers aligned. d) Use visual aids such as pictures, tiles, or cubes to help students visualize how subtraction and division are the opposite of addition and multiplication.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Elementary math relies on a variety of cognitive skills. When students are taught foundational skills through rote memorization, they are relying most heavily on working memory and verbal memory. However, elementary math can be taught with a heavier emphasis on visualization and pattern analysis which will be easier for students with stronger visual memory and abstract reasoning skills.