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5 and 1-Minute tests, through 'Accurate Facts per Minute' (AFPM), give measures
of progress in basic fact knowledge that mean something to you
as teacher and are easily understood by your students and their
parents. Use them as an integral part of teaching through the
period in a student's development when memorisation and recall
tests cover addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and mixed
students stand in general accuracy and speed
find the specific
areas where they need to develop accurate knowledge and/or
improve their speed
use findings to
set individual and class goals and to enable monitoring of
progress to those goals
use findings to
help decide if the best teaching methods are in play
1. Why test?
large proportion of our students are not reaching curriculum
recall and 100%
accuracy with basic addition and subtraction facts during Level
2 and with multiplication and division facts during Level 3
performance in maths, education and life is enhanced/jeopardised
by their relative success or failure
only if we keep
precise longitudinal measures of a student's basic
facts progress, as through the AFPM measure, can we tell
if students are on track and be able to do
something about it if they are not
In a context of broad assessment in
maths, basic fact capability should be assessed:
at the start of the year - to establish a baseline; to
set goals for the first term; to make early identification of
students needing special help; to keep parents advised and
guide those who are able and willing to provide help at home.
end of Terms 1 and 2 - to see how
well goals are being met, modify as required and take firm
remedial steps if necessary and in consultation with parents.
at the end of
the year - to review what specific progress has been made
made over the whole year and what this means for the
particular student. It provides a basis for reporting to
parents and for handing over to a new teacher.
3. Who benefits?
Teacher feedback suggests that results benefit teacher,
‘It was easy
to share the results with the children - in fact they have
gone into their individual folders so they can look at them.
They may see that they have only a few items wrong and can
concentrate on those, or that they have a lot of work to do on
see this as useful information.’
‘…the tests provide a very clear way of showing results to
parents and interpreting them.’
of teaching/learning basic facts. When a student or a large
proportion of a class is not doing well the question should
always be asked whether the teaching methods and materials need
is one option.
to teachers resources
basic facts learning resources