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Using XtraMath to Motivate Students to Learn Math Facts

XtraMath is a free online math fact fluency program. The overall goal is to help students develop quick recall and automaticity of basic math facts since they are key to so many other math concepts.

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Do you ever need extra motivation not to hit the snooze button again? How about folding the laundry right when the timer goes off? Students need extra motivation sometimes just like adults do.

Depending on the situation, teachers can use a special treat, extra recess, or afternoon movie. If you read a previous blog post about my favorite websites and your class needs extra motivation in math class, try XtraMath!

Using XtraMath to motivate students to learn math facts is an excellent game-based format that will leave students begging to have more time with this resource! 

What is XtraMath? 

XtraMath is a free online math fact fluency program. The overall goal is to help students develop quick recall and automaticity of basic math facts since they are key to so many other math concepts.

Students begin by taking a pre-assessment and then the program assigns activities for students to practice based upon age and progress. Students will have fun earning smiley faces and wanting to get faster at their facts in order to beat the teacher in the game.

Benefits of XtraMath

  1. Daily Data

Students will gain motivation as the teacher receives daily data on student progress. Since many students want to make teachers proud, they will be excited when teachers praise them for logging on each day.

Teachers will receive daily reports on each student and see a complete breakdown on how well students solved their facts, such as which problems received a smiley face and which problems were hard to solve. Students will be excited to solve problems and teachers will love how thorough the data is!

  1. 5 Minutes a Day

Students will be motivated by how little time teachers request they spend practicing. It is not a 30 minute assignment or will take a lot of time to complete after dinner. Students just need to spend about 5 minutes a day in order to quickly improve math fact fluency! Due to the small amount of time requested, students will be excited to practice each day. 

  1. Class Recognition

Students love class recognition when they are doing well. It instantly makes them excited and happy to receive praise from the teacher. To add in even more motivation, add large numbers to the wall for 1 through 12. Each time a student passes a math fact, they can add their name to the number poster.

Students love being called up to do this and having their classmates see all of their hard work! Additionally, other students will be motivated to practice on XtraMath each day in order to add their name to each number. 

  1. Reports

While the fact that teachers can easily pull reports online to see who has mastered a fact may sound like teacher motivation, it can greatly motivate students as well.

Students will be so excited to have some 1 on 1 time with the teacher to check in on their mastery. Additionally, they will be so excited to show the teacher their progress.

Since teachers can quickly pull reports, students may hold themselves more accountable to truly try their best. 

  1. Incentives 

Incentives work great to motivate students. For an extra incentive, I like to get a pack of fun VSCO stickers from Amazon and I let students pick a sticker whenever they pass a fact.

If students want to put their stickers on a chart to track over time, XtraMath even has ones that can be printed. Since a teacher knows their students best, any incentive can be selected that is approved by the school. 


Learning math facts is so important. Whether students are working on fractions, algebra, or calculating the sale price for an item, math facts are involved.

As students get older and math gets even more rigorous, and having a strong math fact foundation is key. XtraMath will help ensure students know their math facts accurately and with proper speed through fun, engaging activities!

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