February 25, 2024

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Math Fact Lab is my absolute favorite website for fact practice. I love it for three main reasons:

  • it is strategy based and uses a variety of visual representations
  • it teaches division facts right alongside the related multiplication facts and subtraction facts alongside addition facts.
  • it can be differentiated for any child, from those who need to learn basic addition facts to those who are ready to learn to multiply two digits by two digits mentally.

I first heard of Math Fact Lab in October 2022, when its creator Mike Kenny emailed me. He wrote: “I am a fifth grade teacher, and I created Math Fact Lab to provide my students with a variety of visual strategies to help them more efficiently develop math fact fluency. As the website has been very successful in both my classroom and my school, I recently made it publicly available.”

I checked out his website and was very impressed, but then I started having students use it and was even more impressed. The students generally liked using it, and not a single one actually complained about it. More importantly, though, I noticed them getting really solid in their facts! Finally, I was so happy to see they were getting the relationship between the multiplication and division facts that most other sites don’t emphasize.

As the founder wrote on his website, “Fluency can’t be developed through rote memorization and drill, which is the approach used by our competitors. Students develop true math fact fluency when they explore the basic math facts through a variety of strategies, continuously being challenged to find the interconnections and relationship between the various facts and their inverse operations. MathFactLab was built to do just this.”

Math Fact Lab even offers challenge levels once kids have mastered their facts.

Here’s the list from their site:

In advanced addition/subtraction, students learn to apply their basic fact knowledge in situations where a one-digit number is added or subtracted from a two digit number or when the difference between two two-digit numbers is ten or less.

In super-advanced addition/subtraction, students learn to use their fact knowledge to add and subtract two-digit numbers mentally.

In advanced multiplication/division, students learn the elevens and twelves facts, up to 12×12, a traditional expectation of math fact knowledge.

In super-advanced multiplication, students step out of tradition by extending their knowledge of eleven and twelves up 12 x 20. They also learn to do the same with fifties, fifteens, twenty-fives, and twenties, again up to __ x 20.

Super-duper-advanced multiplication challenges even the most capable by helping them learn to efficiently solve nineteens, eighteens, fourteens, sixteens, thirteens and seventeens all the way up to __ x 20. A graduate of these three advanced multiplication programs should be able to quickly, accurately and flexibly respond to any multiplication problem up to 20 x 20!

Math Fact Lab is very user friendly. I have a teacher account and can add a new student in seconds. Their parents get their class code, user name and password and they can log in at home. If you are a parent, you can just as easily set up your own free account for your child. They will be given a placement test the first time they log on and then given practice at the appropriate level. I can set the practice sessions to be anywhere from 5-20 minutes and the program will have them stop at the end of that time. They have to pass the “Level Lifter” fluency test in both multiplication and division to move to the next level. While the fluency rate setting is set at 4 seconds per problem, I can differentiate by adjusting for any individual student down to 2 seconds or up to 120 seconds (essentially untimed). I can also adjust the pass rate on the Level Lifter or even can give an interview-style assessment and enter a score for any student who struggles with computer-based assessments.

As a teacher I can easily access a report telling me how many sessions each child has completed, how much time they have spent practicing, how they performed on the level lifters, and what their progression in levels has been.

Finally, did I mention it is FREE? What more could you want? I highly recommend you try Math Fact Lab for yourself!

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