Monday, October 10, 2011

Shoot For the Stars Math Facts Bar Graph!

Here is a great way for your students to track their progress each nine week period with math facts!  I created a bar graph for my students to keep in the front of their math journals that allows them to "color in their scores" on a bar graph.  This will help my kiddos with goal setting for timed tests!  Right now I have several students on multiplication, some on subtraction, and a handful still on addition.  My goal is to have all of my second graders on subtraction or multiplication by Thanksgiving!  This is actually a sneak preview from my Solar System unit that is coming out next week.  Thanks!-Yvonne


  1. Your second graders really get into multiplication fact timed test?? Wow, we introduce multiplication but don't do timings on it. How do you do get them to master addition and subtraction so quickly? What kind of timings do you use? How long do they get to complete it? Lots of questions, I know.

    2B Honey Bunch

  2. We start the first week of school with five minute addition tests. I really talk up "graduating" from addition to subtraction and give certificates, etc... to encourage the kids to practice! My kids have a "math fact partner" that they practice fact cards with, addition games, take practice timed tests with, etc.. and that really seems to help. They are accountable to each other. I really stress that our class goal is for everyone to graduate to subtraction so we can have a "class math fact party!" I do have to comment that we have awesome parents at our school who really help out with practice at home as well. Once my students graduate from subtraction to multiplication, we really push usage of "doubles" strategies for multiplication. I usually pull a couple of kiddos who are struggling to my table each week and give them 8 minute tests instead of 5 minute. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks!-Yvonne

  3. Math Facts are a big concern at our school right now and I am diligently trying to find a way to fix this. I teach 2nd grade. What are the 5 minute tests you give? How often do you do it? Are you able to share your system? I would appreciate any help you could give me. There is no set way at our school and it's very frustrating. I have 34 students and I just need a system that I can stick to to help them. Thank you in advance!

  4. have 34 kids??? THAT is amazing. I am fortunate that I have 20 at this time. That alone helps me out. I am putting together a packet as we speak on "Math Fact Fun". No secrets will have worksheets (timed tests) and some game ideas you can try with your class. Basically, I give a 5 min. (8 min. to my struggling students) 100 fact test each Friday. The kids have a weekly folder that they keep these tests in and parents sign weekly. We watch to see if their scores increase/decrease and record on the bar graph above. There are all kinds of timed tests you can pull up on the internet if you need one now. Games we use throughout the week include: math fact centers, math fact buddy study, math fact around the world, Math fact Basketball...basically I try to get in 2 games a week with math facts. The challenge gets to be when you have half the class on addition, some on subtraction, and some on multiplication. Also...STRESS THAT WHEN THEY GET THE ANSWERS RIGHT they HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHICH STRATEGY they used. Because our standards say we must have the addition facts mastered...that is my main focus. The kiddos who are ready to go practice with other study buddies on those levels. I will hopefully have my packet out in the next week or so. It won't have any magic answers...the key is practice, practice, practice but maybe you can use some of the ideas/worksheets that I have in it. I hope this helps. Thanks!-Yvonne

    1. Try it is free and will give you reports and move each kid up and tell you who is on the computer next. You may set it for your grade level.
      I've used it for 3 years now.

  5. Hi Yvonne,
    I have a quick question for you. Can you send me an email at
    Thanks! :)
    Sunny Days In Second Grade

  6. Hi again Yvonne. Thank you so much for your response. I am really excited for your packet to come out. I will definitely purchase it. I am in need of a simple and effective system. So my biggest question for you is how do you decide if they move on? Do you give mixed sheets and they have to master so many or do you focus on +1, +2, ETC. I'd really like to get the ball rolling this week because the system I have right now is killing me to keep up with and I need to try something else. With 34 kids it just needs to be effective, but also something I can keep up with. Thank you so much for your help!!!!! ~Amy

  7. When they get 100% on the mixed addition facts sheet (up to 18), then I move them onto a subtraction sheet and so on with multiplication and division. When they "graduate" to subtraction I give each student a graduation certificate that says they have mastered their addition facts. I make a big deal out of it with the class and announce who graduates each Friday afternoon (or Mondays if I have to grade them over the weekend). When I test on Fridays I let the 5 minute kiddos test together and I have them raise their hands for the test they are on (addition, subtraction, etc..) and I set the timer. Then I do the same with my 8 minute kiddos. Sometimes I pull my 8 minute kids to my table to help them focus. Those who are not testing either read a book quietly on the rug or work on something quietly. With so many kids, you might do better to have half the class test on Thursday and the other half on Friday??? You could adjust your times based on this schedule. I don't start with +1, +2 facts...I just start right off the first week of school teaching doubles, doubles +1, doubles -1, make a ten strategy and others. This just seems to work for me. The kids have the same timed test each Friday until they get 100%. This is great for POI documentation as well because the addition games, fact cards, etc... during the week are interventions and the timed tests on Fridays are progress monitoring. The first time they take the test with facts to 18, they score really low but scores go up each week. Just try to make it up a math fact celebration!!! I told my kiddos that we would have a pizza party or order McDonalds for our fact party celebration! Good luck and keep me posted on how this goes.-Yvonne

  8. I love your bar graph idea! I’m retired now but taught for many years. I felt that after understanding math, it was important to know all facts. Timed tests in my combined first and second grades, also used a bar graph to keep track of their scores. And much to my surprise initially, the children loved taking timed tests. They were so disappointed if we couldn’t have one. Timed tests were for addition and subtraction with multiplication, and division tests for those who were ready.

    See my entry about timed tests: Peggy Broadbent

  9. Thanks Peggy! I just checked out your resources on and love them! -Yvonne