Software: FASTT Math

Posted by on October 12, 2013 4:25 pm
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Categories: Column 3

FASTT Math has been a positive influence on our students at Cedar Lane Elementary. Our Appoquinimink School District began using the program back in 2005, then placed it in multiple schools. FM helps students learn and retain their math facts using a systematic and fun approach. Teachers gain access to usage and performance results, immediate data on each student’s progress. With regular use, students and teachers are noticing improvements in the number of facts known and the fast recall of those facts in the classroom. One mark of good software is that students come back to it again and again with renewed interest. That has been true of FASTT Math over the past 4 years at our school.  

“Math Fact Fluency in 10 Minutes a Day!” is the claim on the company website. Is it true? It can certainly help in a big way. The key is regular use. Here is the program description from Scholastic/Tom Snyder Productions: “The FASTT Math intervention program uses the research-validated FASTT system (Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology) to help all students develop fluency with basic math facts. FASTT Math assesses all students to uncover fluency gaps and to establish a baseline of fluency for each student. Then, FASTT Math automatically differentiates instruction in customized, 10-minute daily sessions. FASTT Math ensures that all students, regardless of their fluency level, build the long-lasting fluency they will need to tackle higher-order math.”

Since I teach in an elementary Computer Lab, I measure software use in years or decades, not weeks or months. I have been impressed with FASTT Math over our use of the program in the last 5 years. The key again is REGULAR USE. Once a week in the Computer Lab is not enough. The creators of FM recommend at least 3-5 sessions per week for real progress, and I agree. I would love to see long-term data on how our CLE students benefit from this program into their middle and high school years. Time will tell, or Tim will tell you more later.

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