## Friday, March 29, 2019

### Fact Family Family Fun: Fact Family Flip It!

What has three numbers, three symbols, and can bond a family together?  A fact family--when played with in the card game Fact Family Flip It! that is.

If you teach math in the third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth grades--or if you are a parent of a child in one of these grades--you've heard yourself say, "Please learn your math facts."  Actually, if you're like me, you've heard yourself beg, plead, and whine those words more than you care to remember.  I probably sound something like this:  "Pleeeeeeeeeez, pleez, please learn your math facts, sweetie, puh-leeeeezzzz."  But wait--there's more:  I grew even more frustrated and desperate as I realized that my students could finally remember basic multiplication facts, like 9 x 6 = 54, let's say, but (BUT), they had no idea that 54 DIVIDED by 6 was 9 or 54 DIVIDED by 9 was 6.  AND they thought of 6 x 9 as being completely separate and REMOTE from its sister, 9 x 6.  Ugh.

Top all of that frustration off with being expected to help fourth graders conquer standard algorithm long division, and you've got the makings of a teacher meltdown.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and I desperately needed a solution to the problem of kids not knowing and worse--not wanting to know their multiplication and division fact families.  Watching a set of children play War, I wondered how I could bring that level of intensity and engagement to a game involving targeted fact families.  Fact Family Flip It! was born.

 Fact Family Flip It is easy to print, cut, store, and play.  Have fun with or without the included gameboard.

In Fact Family Flip It!, players vie to beat their competitors to fact recognition and card acquisition, and the game can get wild.  And loud.  And fun.  The more I played this game with my students and my tutoring charges, the more they wanted to play.  And the more they played, the more proficient they became with multiplication and division fact families.  An added benefit was that whining and stonewalling was replaced with excitement and BONDING over the game.

Fact Family Flip It! is created in sets of--you guessed it--fact families.  Isolating the facts as students learn them is helpful, so I made sets of 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, 6's, 7's, 8's, 9's, and 12's, sold both separately and in bundles.  As kiddos master sets, they earn stickers and bracelets from the Fact Family Flip It! Celebration Kit (included with the bundles), and game sets can be combined for review.

One big benefit of this game is that kids don't get tired of it.  Instead, they're motivated to earn more points by weaning themselves off of the provided fact sheets or multiplication charts.  Can you imagine how much easier it would be for fourth graders to learn that bugaboo standard algorithm long division IF they actually knew their basic multiplication and division facts, instead of having to refer to a chart almost every step of the way?

This is my favorite part:  A huge added bonus benefit of Fact Family Flip It! is that instead of a child practicing math facts alone at a computer, they are engaged with other children and adults.  This game could be played at Family Game Night for an entire year, and I don't think kids would be weary of it!  In fact, I believe the competitive nature of the game lends itself extremely well to family bonding--over something that otherwise makes teachers whine, parents nag, and children cry.

So, what has three numbers, three symbols and the power to bring families together?  Fact families in Fact Family Flip It!, of course.