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Assessing Addition Fact Fluency

Tracking Addition fact fluency using the Factivation!® for Addition pre-assessment

The Factivation!® for Addition Assessment Tool can be used to pinpoint Addition fact gaps (for older students) or can be used to obtain a baseline from which to measure progress (younger students).

The purpose of the assessment tool is to determine which facts students do and do not know. Older students taking the Multiplication assessment are instructed to leave blank products they don’t know and they are generally okay with that.  studentsYounger students, however, may be fearful about not answering a problem and will immediately go to finger counting for facts they don’t know convinced that not knowing the sums right now is acceptable. Here’s a simple lesson you can do with younger students to explain what fluency is. When faced with a sum they do not yet know, students are encouraged to write a “P” for pass, thereby eliminating the intimidation associated with having “blanks” on their paper.

Step 1: A Lesson on Fluency

Write the word fluency on the board and explain to students that you’re going to be discussing what this word means. Tell them you’re going to ask some questions. Some they will be able to answer fluently. Others will need “think time”.

Question 1: What color is an apple? (Wait for responses.)
Question 2: How many seeds are in most apples? (Wait for responses.)

Explain that the first question you asked was so simple, everyone could answer it fluently. But, the second question required more thought and could not be answered quickly, so that question was not answered fluently. Explain that many students tried to answer the question by making a guess. Assure students that there are times when making a good guess is fine, but emphasize that guessing quickly is not the same as fluency.

Repeat the same procedure with the following question set and ask student which question could be answered fluently.

Question 5: What is this boy’s name? (Point to a boy in the class.)
Question 6: How many boys are in our class?

Explain that they could answer the first question fluently because they have known that student for awhile. But, the second question would likely require counting. If you have to count, that’s not fluency.

Repeat as needed with more questions sets and have students identify if the question could be answered fluently or not.


Step 2: Distribute the Student Page of the Factivation!® for Addition Assessment

Follow all administration and scoring instructions provided in the Assessment Tool instruction packet & teacher script.  Remember to assure your students that not knowing the sums right now is alright. Instruct them to write a “P” for Pass if they are unable to answer a problem with fluency.  Tell them that, as long as they have either a number or a “P” in each blank, then they have done a great job.

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