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Parents are well aware of the importance of reading fluency. However, early math fluency is equally crucial. Simply put, math fluency means fast and automatic retrieval of math facts from memory.
For young students it should be as simple as knowing the number that comes “right after,” or the one that comes “right before.” For example, if a child sees a card with the number 22, he should immediately be able to say 23 comes right after, and 21 comes right before.
Students are usually quite good at getting the number that comes right after, but often falter when asked for the number right before.
A simple way a child can become more fluent for the number right before is counting backward!
Here’s how to practice:
Practicing this simple activity with your young student can be invaluable in promoting number fluency.