Hello Everyone... I had a quick question and wanted to get some ideas... Recently, Colorado adopted the Common Core Standards and integrated to be apart of our State Standards. Eventually, these standards will be tested. In the new standards it says, "Recall from memory all products of two one-digit numbers." The last few years, I have started out the year with Addition Rocket Math. When we get closer to our state assessment, then we would practice the 0,1, 2, 5, 10, and 3 facts on top of still doing Rocket Math Addition. I love Rocket Math but, with the new standards I feel like I need to focus more on the multiplication facts. I was thinking of having students still do Rocket Math or some sort of other fact practice for Multiplication... Any thoughts? Thank you!!!!

I start multiplication in mid January. We play math games, make flashcards, learn songs for most of the times tables...by March I can do Mad Minutes for multiplication and by testing in April, my kids pretty much have mastered their facts...and those who don't know them with automaticity can get the answer by other means (tallies, arrays, repeated addition, etc). I taught the 0, 1,2, 5, 9, and 10 facts when I taught second...those come most easily.

I agree with czacza. I would really focus hard on the multiplication times facts. Addition facts should be mastered in second grade or younger, but your students may need to practice these as well.

I started the year with subtraction Rocket Math (or addition for those who really needed the review), and then switched over to multiplication second trimester.

I decided to stop doing timed tests. I felt like they put a lot of pressure on some of the kids- with poor results. So instead, I have a daily "solve before lunch" sheet. It's set up in a folder, and each day they do it before lunch. I use it as a dismissal slip. They can do it in the minute or two before recess, during snack, or if they finish another assignment and have time. Most students did it first thing in the morning. Everyone was very fluent this year, and I only did a timed test a few times a year, right before reports were due. I did +, -, x and / each week. I also usually did one page of mixed + and - with regrouping. I printed the 100 problem sheets from mathdrills.com and cut them into 4 small sheets. I started the year only doing + and -, then added the x starting with 2, 5, 10, and then the other facts. Finally, I added / through 25, then 49, then 144. (I had to make the sheets that only went to 25, because they didn't have it on mathdrills.

I love this do before lunch idea with facts. They are practicing and trying to get them done quickly as they don't have a lot of time, but they don't have the pressure to finish in under a minute.

My kids do as many as they can in a minute, then I give them all the time they need to complete the page. The kids are excited to see each week that because of classroom activities and at home reinforcement, the number completed in a minute increases, their accuracy improves, and their overall time to complete decreases. Learning to 'live with the clock' is a skill that's important for students to master. While I appreciate that a one-minute drill can cause students some degree of concern, my kids are comfortable knowing that they will be able to complete their work after the minute and that they can be confident that they will improve.

That is an excellent solution, czacza. They still learn the importance of finishing quickly, but without the pressure of not being able to complete the entire worksheet. My 5th grade math teacher did a couple of games that made a big impression on me, but I'm not sure they are the most effective. In the first game, he divided the room into two teams and drew bases on the floor with his chalk (we had the green concrete floors). We then played a game of "baseball", with each person having to solve a math problem when they came up to "bat". This worked well, because he was able to adjust the type of problem to the level of each "batter". The second game was just a straight-up, head-to-head competition. Two students went to the board, he gave us two numbers to multiply and the one who finished first was the winner. I had actually been very weak in multiplication the year before and my mom made me do multiplication drills every afternoon after school. I HATED it, BUT I learned my multiplication tables inside out and when we had the head-to-head competition, I smoked the rest of the class....even the "smart girls" in the class couldn't keep up with me. The only disadvantage to this game is that those weak in multiplication will not want to participate because they will feel they don't have a chance to win anyway. So it isn't the best solution, but it IS a way to make drill and practice a little more entertaining and engaging. I'm not familiar with Rocket Math, but I'm a big believer that practice, practice, practice is still one of the most effective learning tools. The more you practice, the better you get.

I do something similar to czacza--after one minute, I have my kids switch to a crayon or colored pencil to finish the page. Also, with the rocket math, every student has an individual goal and is always working to beat their personal best. I like to play SWAT with math facts--having the numbers scattered around on the board evens the playing field a little. Even if a kid can recall the answer faster, they still have to search for it on the board.