Mathlete Championships!

1 + 3 = 4....2 + 4 = 6....3 + 5 = 8....OH. MY. WORD! I am about 90% certain that I cheered my math facts in my sleep last night! We have been working tirelessly to memorize our basic addition facts.  I have designed a little schedule that only gives the kids until the end of October to have them memorized! It is a blessing and a curse having a 5th grade husband for a the SAME school! Mostly a blessing...but the curse comes at times when he tells me things such as "Hope...they are in 5th grade and STILL do not know their basic addition facts!"  It is during these conversations that I have a mild stroke heart attack moment of pure insanity to take a deep, DEEEEP breath!  So...I am convinced that this "will not be my babies!" 

I have tried the timed test method with my little firsties in years past but just did not have much luck! Now, don't get me wrong, this is an excellent way to practice but just not one that committed the facts to memory!  PLUS...some kids would never make it past the 2nd level! So, what good did that do???  This year I am convinced to nail it...some way...some kids WILL know their facts!

This year, I have decided to divide my facts up into three levels.

Level 1:
Doubles - You All Know These

In Betweenies {not sure of the spelling here, but it works}
When there is one number in between, you double that number to find your answer.
Example: 6 + 8 (seven is in between, the double of seven is 14...and there you have it!)

10 is My Best Friend
7 + 9 (Take one from the seven and make the 9 become a 10. 10 + 6 = 16)

Squish Rule
10 + 6 = 16 (Squish out the zero in the ones place and replace it with six ones!)

Level 2:
All Facts 0 - 4

Level 3:
All Facts 5 - 9

Every two weeks, the students have the opportunity to "beast" the level {in their words...not mine! I swear they keep me laughing all day!  Beast....obviously means do very well??? Ha!} Last week was their time to shine with level one. I am happy to say that every student passed level 1! Hooray! 

Maybe this success had a little something to do with the medals I promised them. Maybe...just sayin'...maybe! :)  As they pass each level, they are rewarded with a medal! Three levels = Three medals (bronze, silver, GOLD!) Now, up until Sunday night...this whole medal thing was a GREAT idea! I had searched high and low to find bronze medals. All I could find was gold. That is what I get for planning ahead...right?  It was on to plan B...make them! Here is what I came up with....

Our Bronze Mathlete Championship Medals
I made our championship ceremony and "banquet" {a.k.a. Cookie Cake} a BIG DEAL! They were ALL into it! They received their cards for level two on Tuesday and so many of them are begging to go ahead "beast" level two immediately!  It's all about creating that excitement...I swear it can work wonders for learning!

Our delicious championship banquet meal!  

How do you work on basic addition facts? I am dying for more ideas!!!! :)



  1. What a great idea!! I LOVE it!! I would like to use it with my 2nd graders instead of mad minutes....and honestly I never liked them in school until I actually knew all my math facts. What are you doing to test them before moving on to the next level?



  2. I never in all my days have used the in betweenies but I will now! Heck, I'm gonna teach that sucker tomorrow!!! Thanks for sharing your plan! I love for practicing basic facts online.

  3. Would love to know how you assess them before moving to the next level.

    2B Honey Bunch

  4. has been an awesome resource in my classroom. You set it up and use it as a station and it is completely student run! It emails me a report every week and every time a student passes of an operation. I use it during math homework time. While everyone else is working on their homework and I make my rounds, 5 kids sit at the computer and do xtramath. The computer tells the kid when he is done and who to go get next. LOVE it!

  5. How do you plan to handle students who may not pass a level?