Parent's Guide to MathFacts in a Flash

Your child will be participating in the MathsFacts in a Flash program. This guide is designed to answer your questions about MathsFacts in a Flash. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact your child's teacher.

What is MathsFacts in a Flash?

MathsFacts in a Flash is a computer software program that allows teachers to give students at all levels essential practice on their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts, as well as other mental maths skills such as conversion of fractions and decimals.

How does MathsFacts in a Flash work?

  1. Baseline Test - Students complete a timed test for each new maths level.
  2. Personalised Practice - Students practise a variety of problems at their current level, including any problems missed on the previous test.
  3. Timed Tests for Mastery - Students complete 40-item timed tests.
  4. Automatic Advancement - Students move to the next level after meeting their target on the test.
  5. Instant Information for Teachers - Detailed reports give teachers an instant snapshot of student progress.

Why is it important for students to master maths facts?

Practice allows students to achieve automaticity of basic skills - the fast, accurate and effortless processing of content information - which frees up working memory for more complex aspects of problem solving. In other words, mastering maths facts through the use of MathsFacts in a Flash provides the foundational skills necessary for computational fluency and problem solving, which leads to success in more advanced mathematics.

What maths levels are students tested on?

With MathsFacts in a Flash, students practise and test on up to 58 levels in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares and conversion of fractions, decimals and percentages.

Students complete a timed test at the computer for each new maths level:

An automatic correction feature gives students immediate feedback during practice sessions. The problem is then repeated to reinforce learning.

Immediate on-screen feedback shows students how they performed toward targets and helps students pinpoint problems that need more practice.

MathsFacts in a Flash End-of-Year Benchmarks

(master by the end of)
Benchmark Level
Year 1 Multiplication by 2
Year 2 Review: Division by 5, 10
Year 3 Alternate Forms: Division by 3, 4, 6
Year 4 Review +, −, ×, ÷, conversions

How do students master levels in MathsFacts in a Flash?

Students master levels by answering 40 questions correctly within their mastery time target. The teacher can adjust mastery time targets per student and per level to provide the most appropriate challenge for each student. Students can challenge their best times.

How will I know how my child is doing?

You can access your child’s MathsFacts in a Flash data through Renaissance Home Connect from any web-enabled desktop computer, laptop or tablet (seven inches or larger).

The school will provide information about how to access the program. In Renaissance Home Connect, you simply log in with the same user name and password as your child. Once you have logged in, you can view your child's current level, and the problems that your child missed on his or her last practice or test - either at home or at school.

You also have the option to receive an email notification each time your child masters a level in MathsFacts in a Flash at school. You can have up to six people receive automatic emails each time a student completes a MathsFacts in a Flash level.

The research is clear - students do better in school when parents are involved. Renaissance Home Connect links the school and home, making maths practice even more effective. By logging in from your home computer, you and your child can receive instant updates on progress toward maths targets.

Are there other ways to monitor my child's progress?

A TOPS Report is generated after your child completes a MathsFacts in a Flash session at school. This report provides feedback on your child's understanding of their maths facts. The teacher may send the TOPS Report home with your child. Review the report, sign it and send it back to school with your child.

This report provides immediate feedback on a test the student has taken. TOPS reports are available instantly after each session at school to help you assure student mastery of maths facts throughout the year.

Can my child use MathsFacts in a Flash at home?

Yes! By logging in to Renaissance Home Connect, your child can practise the same maths facts at home that he or she practises at school, or the child can practise at any level. Your child can choose whether to practise or test for each level. Practices focus on the problems that your child missed on a test, plus other difficult problems from that level. Tests are timed, and cover every problem in the level. Tests taken from home do not count toward level mastery at school. Students can also see which levels they have mastered.

My child does not have access to the internet at home. How can my child practise maths facts from home?

Teachers can print flash cards or worksheets on the same levels that are in the computer program. Students can take the printed sheets home to increase their maths facts practice.

How can I help my child with his maths facts at home?

  • Actively encourage maths facts practice the same way (and for the same reasons) you might encourage practice of a musical instrument or an athletic skill. Students practice for speed and accuracy.
  • Work with your child to practice the maths facts that he or she missed on practices or tests. These problems are listed on the TOPS report that your child gets at school, and on-screen after each practice or test if your child is using Renaissance Home Connect.
  • Practise facts with flash cards that you have at home or with printed flash cards that your child brings home from school.
  • When you practise with flash cards, sort the cards into "correct" and "incorrect" piles.
  • Review the incorrect problems and then insert correct problems between them for further practice. This helps students with fact retention.
  • Ask your child to read missed problems aloud while writing them for practice.
  • Help your child see the relationship between a missed fact and another fact that your child already knows. Examples:
  • Missed Fact Known Fact Explanation
    8 + 9 = 8 + 8 = 16 8 + 8 is 16, so the answer to 8 + 9 is just one more than 8 + 8, or 17
    7 × 6 = 6 × 7 = 42 7 × 6 is equal to 6 × 7
    24 ÷ 8 = 8 × 3 = 24 24 ÷ 8 = ___ means the same thing as "What number multiplied by 8 equals 24?"
  • It is best not to force students to memorise facts before they have learned the concepts in school. Check with your child's teacher about which are the most appropriate MathsFacts in a Flash levels to practice at home.
  • Know your child's mastery time target - the target time for correctly answering 40 problems in a level. Find it on the TOPS Report or on the opening screen of either School Results or Home Results in Renaissance Home Connect.
  • Develop a simple reward system for home maths facts practice. It is important to notice and reward your child's efforts in addition to the child's progress. For example, you might reward:
    • time spent practising
    • number of facts practised
    • lower time than last session
    • greater accuracy than last session
    • 100% accuracy with the mastery time target
  • Find ways to link the maths facts that your child is learning to practical activities. Let your child see when you use maths facts day-to-day: figuring change, balancing a cheque book or with any estimation.