Fluency on the Basics

Education is often misunderstood or over simplified. This is because formal education encompasses so many different types of knowledge and skills.

One type that gets some discussion is fluency. I’m thinking of two distinct areas which seem to me to have much in common. For instance, they are both vital, they are both achieved in elementary school, and they both require lots of practice.

I’m talking about phonics skills and math facts.  In both areas, automaticity is necessary.  If s student takes more than a second to read a word when they have to sound it out, then the student will not have good comprehension because they took so much time thinking about the phonics.

Automaticity of the math facts is almost the same thing. Once the students start talking about equations, they need to be able to whip through the math fact calculations without creating any additional cognitive overload if they are going to build comprehension of the bigger math concepts.

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