Dear Teacher or Parent,
As an adjunct developmental math adjunct professor for a large urban community college for over 16 years, I experienced firsthand the deficiencies that most students have in pursuit of a college degree to better their lives and their standard of living. The problems lie as much in their level of skills as it does with their speed and ability to retrieve instinctively, or by rote memory, simple mathematically computations such as time tables and other basic arithmetic facts which are language or basic building blocks of mathematics, whether you agree or not with learning methodology. By the time a student reaches community college or even high school, for all practical purposes it is too late to address to these deficiencies. It is imperative that such deficiencies are address in elementary and/or middle school at the latest. This is the impetus for writing this book.
In 2008 final report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP), the panel included in its recommendations the use of drills and exercises to enhance skills that rely on an “automatic (i.e quick and effortless) recall of facts”. In essence, the Panel stressed the importance of mastering (speed and accuracy) multiplication which is the most fundamental building block (besides basic addition and subtraction) leading to success in mathematics, particularly algebra. Somehow, within the last generation, perhaps due to the confusion the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards, we have lost sight over the important of learning (by whatever means) multiplication tables. As a result, there a large numbers of 6th, 7th, 8th, and even 9th grade students who do not adequately know their multiplication tables.
In this package, you will find: 50-timed computational math speed drills allowing from one minute to three minutes to complete, along with an answer key and a grading rubric for each; a guide to assist you in getting the most out of the book; a complete set of outlined multiplication facts designed to copied and cut in order for each student to have a complete set of flash cards; and a progress table that can be used to track students’ progress.
Students will find these speed drills challenging and fun as they race to improve their scores each time. More importantly, as their skills improve so will their confidence and their perception regarding their ability to achieve success in mathematics. Middle school is most critical time to address math deficiencies in students. When comes to mastering basic computation skills, speed and accuracy go hand-in-hand. One, without the other, is not mastery and will impede students’ ability to achieve. It is the intent of the book and materials in the package, to assist teachers/parents in giving all students to best opportunity to succeed in future mathematics courses and beyond. Also, in using the drills, I hope you’re able naturally foster the excitement, enthusiasm, and competitiveness spirit that comes from friendly races involving skill and speed.
Tony G. Williams, Ed.D.