Technology has transformed many aspects of modern society, and nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of teaching and learning. Nevertheless, the need to commit to memory all basic facts of arithmetic remains one of the great pedagogical constants.
It's not all down to rote memorization, however. One of the most important modern early learning goals is the attainment of "numeracy:" a visceral sense of what numbers are together with utilitarian mastery of what they do and how they do it.
After learning to count, compare, and estimate numbers, a child's next goal in the study of arithmetic is to understand addition and subtraction (joining and separating) and multiplication and division (repeated addition and repeated subtraction).
Once these definitions are demonstrably clear, addition and multiplication facts are collected through experimentation with real objects and memorialized in tables. After addition and multiplication tables are memorized, subtraction and division facts are easily learned as "reverse addition" and "reverse multiplication." Related math facts are then grouped four-at-a-time in "fact families" and recorded permanently in memory as gestalts (2+3=5, 3+2=5, 5-3=2, 5-2=3). The goal is instant recall of each and every single-digit math fact.
Thus attained, basic numeracy opens up the world of mathematics as both tool and tableau, powerful and beautiful beyond imagining.
Engaging, efficient tablet and smartphone apps have replaced the venerable flash card stack as the method of choice for learning basic math facts (though flash cards can still be used productively in assessment and to add variety).
Ultimately, kids and adults so inclined can train as mental mathletes performing astounding feats of human calculation.
Below are math fact apps and training sites I recommend:
3-Corner Addition Subtraction Fact Family Cards
3-Corner Multiplication Division Fact Family Cards
Addition Subtraction Multiplication Divison Flash Cards (with Word Problems)
Math Fact Apps
Math Fact Flash (iOS)
Arithmetic Wiz (iOS)
Zapzapmath: K-6 Math Games (iOS)
Math Facts Flash (Android)
Flashcard Math Free (Android)
Zapzapmath: K-6 Math Games (Android)
Math Facts Plus (Android)
Mental Math Games (Android)
APlus Math Flashcards
Wikipedia: Mental Calculation
Wikipedia: Mental Abacus
Copyright © 2006-present: Christopher R. Borland. All rights reserved.