Fact Family Funhouse

Teaching a fact family lesson is one of my favorite topics!   I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers.

Like any other math concept for young students, you will want to start by using concrete models and then eventually moving to abstract ideas.  This super fun fact family house project, complete with cardstock dice, is easy to set up, yet super effective for learning.

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

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.

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Math Games Bundle

6 math products that will be perfect for students in grades K-6!

See it HERE.

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}!

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

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.

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

Step 2:

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

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

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

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

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!

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

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!

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

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!

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

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.

I love watching students light up when they realize how they can easily figure out how to subtract without using fingers but instead by using fact families.

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

~Charity

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