This is a wonderful subtraction activity. Consistent practice of this activity can lead to huge improvements.
This activity uses a free, online subtraction activity Math Fact Practice. This is a quality, free tool, and this is being shared because it has a great potential to help kids learn math. For beginners, set up the activity for level 5, subtraction, 2 minutes, and mute sound. Try to answer as many problems correctly as possible in 2 minutes.
Once finished with the activity, record the score on the 2 Minute Drill Chart. Students might try to share scores, but generally, the score is for the student and the teacher only. Each time the student does the activity, the student tries to break his or her own personal record. The worksheet helps the student track his or her own progress, and at the same time, find out if the personal record is broken.
When a student breaks his or her personal record, the student is included in the slideshow reward (see end of the video). Here is the generic powerpoint, or, here is the slideshow with names example. This is a great way to reward the students that improved!
Background and Justification
The easiest level was chosen intentionally. This activity is meant to boost a struggling student's confidence. It is not meant for them to struggle. Instead, it is supposed to lead to rapid fire practice, which boosts confidence. With consistent practice, many children enjoy this activity because they can challenge themselves to get faster and faster no matter what level they are at.
The jump to level 10 is quite large, so keep them at level 5 for as long as possible. Or, you can work on addition and subtraction on level 5 at the same time. They will also need new worksheets when switching levels because the score drops when you switch.
Routine with this activity is key because some students will resist participating in the activity. With routine practice, resistance becomes more and more difficult. Students no longer want to avoid the activity, they want a chance to set a new personal record!
This activity was successful in our elementary school partly because of tracking scores and the slideshow reward. Tracking scores keeps kids invested in the activity. They know what they need to score to set a new record. The slideshow reward was also a great tool to reward kids. They really liked to be acknowledged.