What is a Fact Family?

12:47 PM

When approaching math with young children it can seem daunting at first. There is just so much to learn!! If you take a minute to think about all the math we can simply "just do" without even a moment's thought, it seems crazy that once upon a time we were those children. The great thing about math is how it relies on cold hard facts. The numbers behave the way they do because math is predictable.

The predictability of math is what makes the basics a pleasure to teach. The realisation on a child's face when they "get it" is an amazing moment to witness! The fact is, when someone "gets" something their burning desire to learn more is stoked and they activity seek out more knowledge. 

So what exactly is a "Fact Family"?

Well, a family of people start with the coming together of two people who then produce a third person. In math, it's the coming together of 2 numbers to produce the third number in the family. 

For example:

1 + 2 = 3
2 + 1 = 3

So no matter which way you place 1 and 2, they will always equal 3 when we perform addition on them.

Now, let's look at subtraction:

3 - 1 = 2
3 - 2 = 1

As you can see - no matter what is done to them, all three members of this fact family will be present in the equation. That's because although family members might relate to each other in different ways, families stick together!

Fact families are a brilliant way of showing children how important the relationships between certain sets of numbers are. 

Fact family worksheets and games are a brilliant way to build children's number sense and, more importantly, their confidence while working with groups of numbers in both addition and subtraction. 

by ZippadeeZazz

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