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5-Minute Math Drills

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Math drills are great for filling in extra bits of time in the classroom. They provide great practice for students, increasing their speed and accuracy. Take a look at some of these ideas for math drills that fit well into a spare five minutes.

What Are Math Drills?

Math drills are sets of math questions that help students improve their accuracy and speed. Usually a math drill is on a particular topic, though it's possible to create math drills with a mixture of topics. Very often math drills are timed, or even if they aren't, the goal is to complete it quickly and accurately.

Math drills also tend to be quite short - this can be useful, because they can be fit into a class whenever there is spare time. Let's take a look at a few ideas for math drills that work whenever you have five minutes to spare.

Rapid Random Roll Drill

For whatever reason, students seem more invested in math drills when they have some part in creating them. Give students a couple of dice, and allow them to pick their own numbers for the math problems they need to solve. This can work with many different types of questions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Anything that involves two numbers.

Have your students complete as many randomly chosen questions as they can in five minutes, writing their questions and answers on a piece of paper. You could even provide a prize (or just a sticker) for the student who completes the most correctly.

Fractions Review Drill

While students may find fractions difficult, one good thing about fractions is that the questions have a lot of variety. You can add fractions, subtract fractions, multiply fractions, divide fractions, simplify fractions, order fractions, and draw and shade fractions. Fractions questions can have the same denominator, different denominators, be top-heavy, or written as mixed numbers. This can make what might otherwise be a boring drill into a quick review of weeks or months of material. To create this drill, simply write two to five questions of every type, depending on how quick your students are.

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