I love, love, love the way I use flash cards for multiplication facts in my classroom. I was using it in 7th grade, now I'm using it on my adult students in a Women's Prison.
Yes, these are just flash cards, and you can make everything that I have here yourself, but who has the time to find everything you need.... You can download the flashcards, the answer key, and the student tracking sheet (along with an example of a completed tracking sheet) for only $1.50.
It only takes about 3-5 minutes at the beginning of each class. I used this instead of a problem of the day at the beginning of the year.
Here's more about it:
Students will use self-monitoring and peer-tutoring to learn their multiplication facts. To begin, the students will take a timed 1 minute test on a specific set of multiplication facts (i.e. 6 multiplication facts). Students will check their answers and record their results on their graph (this is their baseline data). Students will then pair off and hold up the multiplication facts cards to each other for 3 to 4 minutes. Another timed test will be given to see their improvement. The students will record their results on their graph. They will continue this procedure for 3 to 4 days (even if they have mastered it - you want it to be automatic).
Multiplication facts fluency is vital in our Common Core mathematics. Today’s mathematics education is requiring students to think deeper, ask more questions, analyze, and evaluate. Common Core stresses the students understanding why and how not merely solving the problems. However, we must not overlook the simple process of fluently recalling math facts. Several studies support the fact that fluent retrieval is vital in order to develop higher-order mathematics skills (Resnick, 1983). Studies have found that a lack of math fact retrieval can hinder some students from participating in classroom discussions (Woodward & Baxter, 1997).