By Bectoria Crandall
Wanna know something that drives me crazy? Flashcards. I realize they are a useful tool in teaching math facts, but every store-bought set out there makes no logical sense to me-and I’m a grown up! When it was time for me to begin teaching the basic addition and subtraction math facts to my child, I like most parents I know, went out and bought a set of flashcards. To my dismay, the flashcards were in the most random order possible. To me, math facts relating to one another should be grouped together for a child who is just beginning to learn them. For instance, 0+1=1 should share the same card as 1+0=1 (one on the front and one on the back). I just feel that the logical construct of math should be self evident when teaching even at its most rudimentary level. Apparently the flashcard printers of the world don’t share this sentiment. So what’s a smartypants to do with illogical flashcards? You guessed it! Make her own! Here’s how…
What you will need…
Blank 3 X 5 note cards
Method for addition…
Using both sides of the flashcard write the math facts, beginning with zero, relating to each number showing both possible ways the facts can be written (i.e. 0+1=1 on one side then 1+0=1 on the other).
NOTE: Begin by teaching all numbers as they relate to 0 up to twelve, then as they relate to 1 up to twelve and so forth (i.e. 0+0=0 up to 0+12=12 etc. then 1+0=1 up to 1+12=13).
Repeat this process for each number up to twelve (i.e. 12+0=12 up to 12+12=24).
Method for subtraction…
Write math facts in order using the front and back of each flashcard beginning with 12-0=12 down to 0-0=0.
NOTE: To begin teaching subtraction concepts, be sure that the flashcards read in order from front to back and throughout the deck of subtraction flashcards (i.e. 12-1=11 should be on the back of the card that reads 11-1=10). This way, the child can learn that subtracting is much like counting backwards only in increments of a given number.
Once you have your flashcards written in proper order, begin working with your child on memorizing their math facts. HINT: As a memorization tool, repeat the fact with the child three times before moving on to the next card (i.e. 12-0=12, 12-0=12, 12-0=12).
NOTE: Flashcards should be used to reinforce learned math facts. For better results, flashcards should be used in conjunction with other counting and subtraction games.