Fabulous Fact Families!

Looking for a novel way to showcase fact families to your students?  This physical house will help students to visualize how fact families are related facts.  While you’re there, grab the free printable packet with dice and a worksheet to practice their new skills!

What is a fact family?

The definition of a fact family is actually quite simple:   Use 3 numbers to create 2 addition and 2 subtraction number sentences. Now - this also holds true for swapping out addition/subtraction for multiplication and division. When you start to realize that the same three numbers can be moved around, it suddenly becomes far easier to memorize your math facts. One example of an addition and subtraction fact family using the numbers 3, 2, and 5:
  • 3+2=5
  • 2+3=5
  • 5-3=2
  • 5-2=3
Something I always like to share with students:  That largest number will always be the answer in your addition number sentences and the largest number will always start out your subtraction number sentences.

What is a fact family triangle?

Math games for fact families can be played with fact family triangles.  Fact family triangles are just a triangle shape with each of the fact family numbers placed in each of the 3 corners of the triangle. You play by quizzing yourself or another student by holding a hand over the largest number to see if the student can correctly identify the missing number by stating the related facts.

Make Your Own Fact Family Funhouse:

Are you ready to make your very own fact family house?   It was super easy {and you all know I'm not super crafty, so if I can do it, anyone can.  Even my hubby was impressed - haha}!

Step 1:

Grab some basic supplies, such as a wooden house (I found mine in the Target Dollar Spot, but we know how long those items last), cardstock, scissors, and washi tape.


Step 2:

Measure and cut pieces of cardstock to fit into the compartments of your house.

Here's what mine looks like when completely filled.  Kind of boring, right?   That washi tape will jazz it up quite a bit!

Step 3:

Add washi tape to the cardstock shapes in any direction you like.  This part is where you get to get creative!  Go all the same color or mix it up.  Plain or pattern is wonderful too!   Want to skip this step?  Use colored cardstock instead as another option!

Step 4:

Now that your house is ready {how cute is that, right?} you will want to download the Fact Family Funhouse Packet of worksheets below and print them off.  Use cardstock for the dice templates. Bonus tip:  Use cardstock for the handout, laminate, and it can be used over and over again by students with a dry erase marker!

Step 5:

Cut out your dice, fold on the dashed lines, and use a little tape to secure.  Place in your house and you are done!

How fun is that?

Now, use your house for small groups and/or center time.  Students are able to use the dice to show a number sentence first, then they can manipulate the dice (without rolling them) to show another fact in the fact family.  Last up - they can show the remaining 2 facts.

Once they have mastered that part, use the worksheet so the student can write down the 4 related facts in the house on the paper.

Make sure to grab your free fact family worksheets below.  I have included the basic number dice, operations dice, a blank template to create your own dice, and the worksheet for showing students' work.

How do you teach fact families in your math class?  I would love to hear in the comments at Organized Classroom!  Talk to you soon!


This post originally appeared at Organized Classroom.

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