In today’s blog post, we are going to talk about the 3 for free strategy and how you can use it in your classroom. What is the 3 for free strategy? It is a fact family strategy that helps students remember their number families. When students understand the connection between addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, they can better understand these concepts. We will discuss some ways that you can use this strategy in your classroom and how it can help your students learn their facts!
Are you looking for an easy to use Fact Family worksheet? Download my FREE printable Fact Family Worksheet here.
What is a number family?
A number family is a group of numbers that are related to each other through addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. It is also called a fact family. For example, the number family of 10 would be 6 and 4.
6 + 4 = 10
4 + 6 = 10
10 – 4 = 6
10 – 6 = 4
This number family is all related. It also applies to multiplication and division sums.
3 x 4 = 12
4 x 3 = 12
12 ÷ 3 = 4
12 ÷ 4 = 3
The Strategy of 3 for FREE
The strategy of 3 for FREE implies that if you know one sum, then you get 3 more for free in that fact family. It is easy to use, easy to understand and once you know how to use it, means you can reduce your mental load, because you simply don’t need to know all of the sums!
The strategy of 3 for FREE says… If you know 3 x 4 = 12 then you also know 4 x 3 = 12 – we simply do a switcheroo. Then because we know that multiplication and division are inverse operations, we also know that 12 ÷ 3 = 4 and 12 ÷ 4 = 3. Simple!
This strategy can be used with any number. For example,
5 + 6 = 11 so
6 + 5 = 11 and
11 – 5 = 6 and
11 – 6 = 5
Once you know one of the sums in the fact family, just switch the numbers around to figure out the others! But you skill have to have some understanding of numbers to ensure this works properly each time!
Why you SHOULD Teach 3 for Free to Teach Number Families
As you can see from my example, the concept of 3 for FREE is a simple one to understand, but the math behind it is so powerful. If students understand how to use this strategy, it makes solving problems so much easier!
Here are some benefits of using the strategy of 3 for Free to teach Number Families:
- It helps students understand the connection between addition and subtraction, multiplication and division.
- It is a great way to help students memorize their facts.
- It is a simple strategy that can be used with any sets of numbers.
- It helps students understand number and solve sums mentally using sums they already know!
You can read more information about fact family triangles in our posts about the connection between Addition and Subtraction and Multiplication and Division.
Don’t forget to download your free worksheet at mathfullearners.com/factfamily to practise your number families.
You can download the 3 for Free Posters in my Fact Family Triangle packs.
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