Many math experts are advocating to drop timed tests and instead focus on developing fluency through more relevant and concept-driven practices. In her paper Fluency Without Fear: Research Evidence on the Best Ways to Learn Math Facts, Professor Jo Boaler from the Stanford Graduate School of Education argues,
"Number sense is the foundation for all higher-level mathematics... When students focus on memorizing times tables they often memorize facts without number sense, which means they are very limited in what they can do..."
Instead, Boaler urges us to teach math facts in ways that also deepens number sense.
"As students work on meaningful number activities they will commit math facts to heart at the same time as understanding numbers and math. They will enjoy and learn important mathematics rather than memorize, dread and fear mathematics."
A subtraction facts obstacle course simultaneously teaches math facts and number sense. Each fact is quickly learned by climbing, running, and swinging through the course. When every obstacle is a number, your brain and your body link up to boost awareness and enable the production of strong memories.