Mitchell Mark, CEO of Math Fluency Now, a former university instructor and 3rd grade teacher, described his approach to teaching math to youngsters. He explained that from birth children are taught to count and, therefore could solve simple math problems, e.g. 5 + 7 = 12. However, by the time they reach 3rd grade, math problems become more complex and many kids lose interest because of the difficulty.
Mitch developed an approach (Math Facts Mad Dash) which makes learning math more like a game, appealing to kids’ competitive spirit. The game is designed to wean students from counting and engage them in learning facts. The emphasis is on concentration and staying focused. They start by setting goals, for example, “I can run from my desk to a designated point and answer the problem in X number of seconds. Others will then want to perform the task quicker. Competition can be within a classroom, between classes, between schools, etc. He believes this approach will work for kids between ages 3 and 12. Participants are provided study guides.
Fluency is a combination of understanding and repetition.  Teachers send study packages home with the students so they can learn the formulas, set goals and practice the exercise. A form entitled “Three ways to empower children” was distributed to us and we were encouraged to get involved in helping children to succeed in math.