“Are math facts still important?” is a question I am sometimes asked. The answer is a resounding YES! Mathematical reasoning, number sense, and problem solving, along with traditional fact memorization, are all important aspects of a student’s learning in an inclusive math program. If a student can recite memorized math facts without understanding, then the student will compute without knowing if answers are reasonable or make sense. If a student understands math concepts but is struggling with basic math facts, then they may get lost or held up in the problem solving process.
Fluency does go beyond math facts. In sixth grade it also includes being able to efficiently and accurately solve multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers and decimals.