Let’s pretend it is Thursday, ‘mkay?  I am a *bit* late to everything in my life right now BUT I make it there!  That counts for something…right?

I am linking up to The First Grade Parade and Cara’s Throwback Thursday linky party.

I thought I would post one of my more popular posts.  I posted this in December 2011 all about how I managed fact fluency in my third grade classroom.  It has had a good bit of traffic so maybe it will help you if you missed it. 🙂

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Freebie Fridays

I am linking this up over at TBA’s Freebie Friday!

EDITED  to add addition sign : )

Awhile ago I posted a photo tour of my classroom.  One of the pictures I showed was this about multiplication speed drills:

We are trying something new this year (kind of) to motivate students to memorize multiplication tables.  According to the Georgia Performance Standards students must know up to 10 X 10 with fluency. In order for a student to master the standard on the report card by my district (we do standards based reporting), they must know these by the end of this nine weeks…  As in a few Thursdays ago.  It didn’t happen.   But we are like the Little Engine that Could and we won’t give up!  Slow and steady…

When we started we gave each child a coloring sheet of an empty gumball machine.

We used this one from www.makinglearningfun.com
After students colored them and cut them out, they wrote their names on them and I posted them on the cabinet.
Then we broke out the big guns….we bought TWO gumball machines from the Dollar Tree and THREE bags of gumballs.

We explained to students the purpose of the speed drill tests. Students would be given 1 minute and 30 seconds to solve 12 multiplication facts. If they passed, the next day they could chew a piece of the bubble gum from the gum ball machines during the test (we then went over rules for what would happen if we found gum anywhere but a mouth or trashcan and that it could only be chewed in our classroom- not anywhere else in the school).  The first person to master ALL of their facts would get to take home a filled gumball machine.  They LOVED it!

When we give the tests we try to grade them the same day.  It is not so bad when you get used to it because they are so short.  Then we tell students that pass (that make 100%) they passed and give them a celebration sticker and a round colored garage sale sticker.

On the sticker I write the number of the test the student passed (if they passed their 2s, they choose a color sticker and I write a 2 on it) and then they stick in on their gumball machine. It is supposed to look like a gumball.   Each child then gets a celebration sticker to wear or put in their agendas to inform parents that they passed, and also it makes the students feel special.

To keep all the tests organized, I have tried MANY different ways.  I have tried to have each test separated in Pringles containers that were stacked and color coded, paper clips, file boxes and so on.  I could never get them to work.  This year I have tried a new method and I LOVE it!!!!!!!  Tada!!!

I bought this little coupon file organizer at the Dollar Spot in Target.  I labeled each section with a number and then file the corresponding tests behind each number.  Since the tests are small (1/4th a page) they fit easily in the pockets.

In the front pocket I keep all the “tools” I need : ).  I keep a sharpie, the round, colored garage sale stickers, the “celebrate” stickers (notice mine are in black and white because I was trying to conserve colored ink!!).  These celebration stickers look different,, because I forgot to save the file (how did that happen????) so I remade them above.  This makes it easy to give students their stickers since everything is in one place!!

Here are the copies of the multiplication tests that I use and a sign to post next to the bubble gum machines for the students.  I would have posted it, but I was out of room :(!!!!

I know lots of primary teachers don’t do multiplication drills, but do addition instead.  I also made a sign for addition. I am sick and don’t have it in me to make the addition drills, but those are available free on a million sites, right?  Here is the addition sign:
Students take the tests daily, but at their own pace (if that makes sense) .  Students do not move to the next number until they have mastered (100%) the  previous number.  However, students DO NOT  take the tests in numerical order.  I like to have them take the tests in the following order to ensure success:
0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9

I keep a clip board with a spreadsheet with each child’s name on it.  At the top I have the timed test noted  (0, 1, 2,5,10, 3, 4,6, 7,8 ,9).  When students pass the tests I write the date so I can see how long it is taking them to pass tests and also where they are. When it is time to pass out the tests, I just call out the numbers (“If you are working on 2 please come get your test”).  Most kids are honest.  They write their names on the back of the tests.  I set the timer and the kids have 1 minute 30 seconds (in years past I have done 1 minute- this year it is in my kids best interest to do a bit longer!  Trust me!).  When the buzzer goes off, they hold the test up to be collected. If they work long, someone inevitably tattles (this IS third grade) and the test goes in the trash.  Usually it takes just once. : (

 I like to do different colors by date, just because! 🙂 Here is a prettier typed version:

2017-07-05T22:38:20-04:00Categories: Uncategorized|


  1. Brandee Green July 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Very cute. Everybody loves bubblegum! 🙂
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. Sara Kovach July 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I actually used a bubble gum theme when students mastered their multiplication facts this past year, but I love your format so much better. This is so very well organized. Thanks so much for the ideas.

  3. Sheila July 7, 2013 at 2:31 am

    Love your idea.. quick question.. once they pass the test ONCE is that when they moved on to the next test? Thanks for sharing !

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