Are you fluent in a second (or third) language? What does it mean to be fluent speaking a language? Is it just saying words quickly? To be fluent in a language, you need to understand the structure of the language and meaning of the words. You also need to be able to speak with expression and choose just the right word, depending on the context and your audience, to convey your meaning.
The same is true of math fluency. It’s much more than being able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly. To be truly fluent in math, you need to understand how numbers are related to each other and you need to be flexible in choosing a strategy, depending on the numbers you are working with.
A recent article in Teaching Children Mathematics suggests three types of learning experiences that will help students become fluent with numbers. The first learning experience is Number of the Day also known as Today’s Number. This activity can be done as a class; using a poster, bulletin board or SmartBoard, or students can be giving individual sheets to complete. This is a great activity to include in your daily routine. It is easy to differentiate by giving different numbers to different students or using the same number for the class and having each person do something different with the number. Check out the following links for pictures of Number of the Day Charts.
These might give you some ideas for Number of the Day activities you can do to meet the specific needs of your students.