Math Facts with Fast & Curious

Resistant

I will admit, I was reluctant to use any sort of ‘timed tests’ for math in my classroom. The research does not support it. However, my students were sorely lacking in their multiplication skills, a skill they should have mastered by now. At conferences in September, I spoke with each parent about the need to practice at home and easy ways they could help their child. After a month, there was little improvement. THEN, I had a conversation with Jon Corippo.

Jon suggested I use the Fast & Curious Eduprotocol with math facts. I knew he had convinced Cori Orlando to try this with her 3rd graders previously. She balked at first then became a believer. I still held out. He gave me the same spiel he gave Cori. I begrudgingly tried it. It felt too much like timed tests. At first, the kids loved it; it was something new. But then, they kept asking for it day after day. This lasted a while. Several months later, they STILL beg for it.

Does It Really Work?

Simply put, yes. The data speaks for itself. In the beginning, we were averaging around 56% as a class. That’s 56% correct on a 10 – 20 multiplication question quiz. As a class, we could only score 56% on a quiz. And some quizzes we were a bit lower (48%). YIKES! Within two months, as a class, we score between 96% and 98% no matter the quiz I give them. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t have kiddos who are struggling, I do. I still have kiddos who take an incredibly long period of time to complete it. Some day, I have to end the quiz before everyone can finish. But let’s face it, going from 56% – 96% is a drastic difference. I’ll take it!

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Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

My Process

I use Quizizz, a computerized gaming review system. It’s a mouthful but if you’re familiar with Kahoot, it’s very similar. I choose a multiplication quiz. No need to make your own, just do a search and you’ll find one. Set up the quiz in classic mode and have the students sign in. On day 1, we take the quiz twice. The first time is cold, we write down our score (Quizizz is great that it’ll average your class score for you), review the questions, then take it again. We keep our first score then we record our second score to see how much we’ve improved. For the rest of the week, we take the same quiz. If our score goes up, which it should, we erase the last high score and replace it with the newest score. We repeat this process with a different quiz the following week.

Because students can consistently score in the 90% range on the first go-around no matter the quiz, I only do the quiz once on Mondays. I have some added bonuses you can read about.

Cheating

I have teachers ask if students cheat: help each other, start the quiz over again, tell another student the answer. The answer is yes. But I don’t care. The kids who are getting the answers are clicking the correct answer and reinforcing it. Those that take it again are practicing twice as much as everyone else. It’s really a win-win.

I’m a Believer

Based on all that I have seen in my classroom, I am now a believer in this protocol. The kids still love it months later. The information is transferring. The data doesn’t lie. Even if you’re still reluctant, give it a try. I did and so did Cori!

7 thoughts on “Math Facts with Fast & Curious

  1. Kristan December 31, 2019 / 3:40 pm

    Right! I love using quizzing fast and curious in geometry and pre-calculus! Practice done right and fun too 😀👍🏻

  2. Connie January 3, 2020 / 6:23 pm

    Hello Lisa,
    I heard you on a Beer and education podcast. I was intrigued by your conversation and your history an development of MathReps. I am so glad I followed up and copied your web url.

    I love this material! I am not a math teacher, but rather teach multiple subject candidates. Your work here is completely aligned with brain research and best learning practices. The repetition and holistic design incorporate more brain and body engagement. I can see the neurons firing together during these enjoyable and engaging activities.
    I will be sharing MathReps with my candidates beginning January 2020.

    I hope I can establish a dialogue as I incorporate these strategies and concepts into my curriculum.

    • Admin January 4, 2020 / 4:01 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words. And I am glad that you followed up as well! Thank you for sharing with others. I would love to continue this conversation. I would also recommend Eduprotocols.com with Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo. They have published 2 books and their ideas are wonderful. MathReps was inspired by Jon’s 8 p*ARTS of speech protocol.

      I look forward to additional conversations.

  3. Mr. Bright January 9, 2020 / 6:27 am

    I teach 3rd grade, love Quizizz and have not used it this way. Do you just use the facts or do you think it would be helpful to have a picture representation to give the Representational aspect?

    • Admin January 9, 2020 / 1:43 pm

      For 3rd grade, I think the picture representation would be great. That is where the basis of understanding multiplication comes in. I would slowly move them out of the visual and into fluency when they are ready. CCSS OA 3.7 states that by the end of the year, the students should have fluency. Let me know how it goes!

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