Quandaries
and Queries 

Name: Keisha Who is asking:
Parent Question: 

Dear Keisha, Thank you for your question. Let me begin by giving an example. The numbers 5,7, and 12 form a fact family. Notice that:
There are several ideas that we are trying to build when we introduce students to fact families. Here are some of them:
You and your child can look for more relationships together. Fact families are really about building a conceptual understanding of how addition and subtraction work. So, informally, you can think of a fact family as consisting of three numbers, two of which add up to the third. If you are given two numbers, there are two possible fact families you can build. For example, if we are given 5 and 7, we can build the family 5,7, and 12 as above, or the family 2,5, and 7 since
Hopefully there will be something in the directions of your worksheet that will tell you if you should find the third member of the family using addition (ie add the two numbers (5+7=12)) or using subtraction (ie subtract the larger from the smaller (75=2)). I hope this helps you with the worksheet your child was given, as well as gives you an idea of what sorts of relationships you and your child can observe as you look at fact families together. They're great for illustrating "patterns" in mathematics. Take care, 

