### Memorizing number facts is often a struggle for teachers and students. The history of mathematics education shows that when students are asked to internalize facts by rote memorization, a divide is created in the classroom. Some students succeed while others – with a lower capacity to memorize – struggle.

### Students should never be asked to memorize something that they first don’t understand on a conceptual level. Once they reach conceptual understanding of a topic, (e.g. adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing) they need practice to gain fluency of the number facts.

### When practice facts are presented randomly, the struggling student often finds the exercise arduous and tormenting, because they are overwhelmed by a vast problem set. Adding intentionality to practice while narrowing the scope of what children are being asked to memorize, helps students build fluency and confidence.

### Pattern Sheets, which consist of small sets of number facts, are one way to provide students with a manageable task, using focused, patterned practice after they have developed a strategy to solve. Students are guided through these carefully sequenced patterns by alternating gray and white stripes that run left to right down the page.