Masters Theses/Capstone Projects

Date of Award

4-27-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction (MAE)

Department

Education

Advisor

Dr. Susan Constable

First Committee Member

Dr. Jeff Smith

Second Committee Member

Dr. Diane Ross

Keywords

Fluency, Math Education, Multiplication, Division

Subject Categories

Educational Methods | Elementary Education | Higher Education

Abstract

In order to complete higher level math tasks, fluency of multiplication and division is crucial. Based on state standards, third grade students are expected to become fluent with multiplication and division facts from 0-100 by the end of the year. Throughout history many educators have relied on timed tests to teach and assess math fact fluency. Best practices for helping students become fluent with math facts is now highly debated. The purpose of this teacher action research study was to evaluate the effectiveness of using math fact games and visual math cards as means of distributed practice in order to achieve fluency with multiplication and division facts among a group of forty-seven, third-grade students in a suburban school district in Central Ohio. A mixed-method design was framed within a cycle of inquiry used in teacher action research, including a pre-assessment, student interviews, and summative assessments for data collection. The focus of the study was to implement research-based instructional strategies for boosting fluency of math facts, then assessing, student fluency. Data from the Post-Assessment, verbal assessment, rating scales, and interviews showed that students did in fact learn to multiply and divide when taught these strategies. Students reported that learning strategies were crucial, math games were helpful as well as enjoyable, and timed tests would cause anxiety. Moreover, the assessment used in this study was a more valid measure of what fluency in mathematics really encompasses. Regardless of the sequence in which the two strategies were introduced, all students demonstrated growth in strategy usage and efficiency over the two-week period.

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