100-question Addition Challenge Generator
The first event in the Math Olympics
The second event, subtraction, can be found here:
100-question Subtraction Challenge Generator
I made this exercise to encourage improved math operation calculation speed for first graders (specifically my daughter). It should be used after children are already comfortable with addition at a slower pace. I branded this activity an event in the Math Olympics to make it a fun challenge for kids.
The goal is to have students work up to completing all 100 questions in under five minutes. That works out to one question in three seconds or faster.
Files are provided in a zip file (one MS Excel file, one MS Word document with the same content as this description)
I made this printout to help my seven-year-old daughter improve her addition speed. She was a generally-accurate-but-painfully-slow finger-counter, and I wanted her to move away from the theory of addition and towards the quick, practical application of operations in order to speed up her homework completion rate.
How to use the file
The printing format is already set up for you (print area has been defined). If you would like a new set of numbers randomly generated, simply press the F9 key. You can change the high and low number to change the range of random numbers generated (e.g. to make it easier or more challenging).
Children receive the paper with the problems face-down on the table. The teacher has a stopwatch prepared and says, “Go!” while starting the stopwatch. At the five-minute mark, pause the stopwatch and say, “Pause!” and have students mark their completed location in some way (I used a star in the top-left corner). Optionally, you can say, “Continue!” and resume the stopwatch, allowing the children to complete all 100 questions and logging their times.
There are two aspects of math operations being practiced—speed and accuracy. Below are the data from my daughter’s first seven attempts.
5/2/2014-100%-11'20"-Completed 56 in five minutes
5/3/2014-98%-9'15"-Completed 58 in five minutes
5/4/2014-100%-8'28"-Completed 67 in five minutes
5/5/2014-99%-9'17"-She was a zombie after one hour of TV; completed 60 in five minutes
5/6/2014-100%-6'14"-Completed 80 in five minutes
5/7/2014-100%-7'26"-Completed 67 in five minutes
5/8/2014-100%-6'20"-Completed 76 in five minutes
Although she has yet to reach the magical five-minute threshold, she has made huge improvements in bringing her times down. Her accuracy was never really an issue, but I could see her calculation speed increasing each time. She does really well for the first 30-40 questions, sometimes finishing them off in just two seconds, but she begins to wane after that, so you may make adjustments as you see fit to ease children into the activity. (Also, May 5th, 2014 is evidence for getting kids away from screens!)
100-Question Addition Challenge
by Alex Brotman
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License