Bottlenecking is described as "A point or an area of traffic congestion". This perfectly describes what happens when kids get to multiplication with Whiz Quizzes. Where do they bottleneck? At the 3's and the 4's!

I know some of you are already frustrated with these facts. You work and work and they just don't get past. Have no fear! It is not just your child. They all do it. In fact, research shows that these sets of facts are the hardest facts of all! More than half of our Fearsome Fifteen Facts have 3's and 4's in them. 

They are hard, but you can help your child. Count by the number they are on constantly. I told the kids to count by them every time they walk. 3, 6, 9, 12...each time they take a step! Counting by is the fastest way to figure out a fact when they don't automatically know the answer. 

The other thing is to tell them to skip the ones they do not know and come back to it!
There is no sense in one problem causing them to miss everything. If they move on, then they might only have to practice one or two of facts instead the whole set!

Hope this helps!

We are spending a lot of time in the next 2 weeks on subtraction. Subtraction is one of those skills that makes so much sense to us, but is hard for kids to grasp. Amazingly they will appear to understand it after a lesson. Most will even do well on their test at the end of the subtraction unit. 

Yet when it comes back around with word problems, data analysis, elapsed time, and division, suddenly they forget everything they have learned. They forget that you can't subtract 5 from 2, and they will tell you that 42-25 =23. They will do this because they will forget all about regrouping. They will even make silly mistakes like forgetting to take a ten when they add ten ones when regrouping. 

This is the reason why I spend so much time on subtraction and building it's foundation. Students must thoroughly understand it and it's process. I also spend a lot of time teaching them different ways to subtract. Some ways require them to remember very few steps. Some involve counting and not remembering facts. And other methods eliminate the need to regroup at all. Whatever way they choose to subtract, they will have a thorough understanding of subtraction when we finish this unit. An understanding that will, hopefully, stick with them throughout all of our math units!
We are off to a great start with fact practice. Math facts are extremely important in a child's mathematical career. We practice every day using Whiz Quizzes. Children must practice to get better.

With that being said some students and parents (for that matter) are really starting to stress out about Whiz Quizzes. These are not meant to be an area of stress. They are meant to be practice. (I do not even take them as a grade.) The kids are supposed to move at their own pace, which means they are not competing against one another. It is okay that some are on mulitplication while others are still on addition.

It takes time to memorize facts. Sometimes even the smartest of children have a hard time memorizing. Memorization is not a dirty word either. Yes, they need to understand what the operations mean, but they also need to be able to memorize their facts in order to recall them quickly.

Please do not stress yourself or your child out about it. They will get it in their own time. And when they do they will remember! If they get stuck on one set help them with their homework and leave it at that. Also, Thank you for all of your support.
School has started and we are getting off to a great start. I am so excited to be teaching almost every third grader math. It is a little overwhelming, but this way I get to know every child. I am so excited!

It is definitely taking some adjustments on all of our parts. Students are having to adjust to having three teachers and learning how each of us expects them to act and perform. We are having to get used to having around 75 students and having them come in and out of our rooms all day. Parents are having to get used to communicating with all of us and knowing what to expect from each teacher.

Every day we adjust. Every day we accomplish a little more. Every day we change classes a little faster. Every day it gets a little bit easier. We are off to a great start!