Holey Cards? More like Fail Cards


"Fast Facts" my foot.

Ah, Holey Cards, the biggest pile of rubbish in math class as far as I was concerned. Used as busywork at best, or punishment at worst (the latter by short-tempered substitutes that should know better), they eventually settled into their place on Fridays in the afternoons before the loathsome “Student of the Week” event (or, gag me, the monthly assembly).

Unfortunately, as I have long learned, the fail that was the Holey Card was not unique to West Heritage. For the uninitiated, Holey Cards were meant to teach you how to add/subtract/multiply/divide 100 numbers per computation type… in under two minutes.


Their use as stated lasted… as long as the first successful completion. Because the cards themselves were not randomized, they were useless¬† after the first completion.¬† After you cleared them for the first time it was merely a method of memorizing a huge string of numbers. Eventually the actual problem prompts themselves became irrelevant, it became a rat race as to who could write down those number strings, without error, the fastest. Some of us even came up with a number song to aid in memorizing these number strings.

And West Heritage, bless its inclination towards the weird, actually had an achievement for getting 100% on all 4 of these. What? WHAT?! Why on earth was there an award for that? I know we kids were lazy and had to be lured along by a carrot, but… that’s just absurd! (I will, however, give them credit for not going along with the official “terrificates” that the site now distributes. West Heritage instead opted to print their own achievements, which were only slightly less cheesy.)

Thankfully, I believe they’ve fallen out of favor among many elementary school teachers, who no doubt recall these horrible cards from their own childhoods and knew better than to even think about using them.

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