my class has a wide range of ability, but i have a large group (nearly 1/3 of my students) who are seriously struggling with their numerical fluency in basic concepts... they don't know multiplication tables by memory (division therefore takes an eternity), get confused with place value very easily, and struggle with easy word problems. and that's just the tip of the iceberg. i have already started meeting with a group of them after school to reteach our 5th grade curriculum in a more concrete way for them, but i'm searching for ways to have them practice all those basics that they clearly don't have down yet. these are the kids that don't have extra time during the school day because they're slower workers, so i'm looking for homework-type practice that's a little more engaging that just worksheets and flashcards. any ideas??

Me too...but I did give them multiplication tables to use while we are working on long division, so they can focus more on the division and not get frustrated/farther behind

Have them practice at AAAMath.com It shows the correct answer and keeps a percentage of those answered correctly. I have MANY who do not know their basic facts. I have 1 who can't SUBTRACT!!!!!! 9-6=4 in her world. That's just an example! I should write a disclaimer. I tell them to practice every night, but I don't think a single one does.....

I teach 6th grade and only 4 of my 30 students were proficient or advanced on their state test last year in 5th grade. Now I am CHALLENGED to teach them 6th grade math and catch them up... I gave my students 100 multiplication test in 3 minutes. If they didn't pass with 90% or more, they made their own flashcards (6-9's only), I typed up a signature and date paper and they glued it to a manilla envelope. I check it daily and it has to be signed that they are practicing at home or else they have to study with a partner in detention at recess. They retest on the 100 facts in 3 min. every Friday. The first time I only had 2 kids pass. I made the rest make a graph and graph their weekly results. I now have 12 kids taking it still and checking daily envelopes but it helped! I was struggling teaching math because it is practically impossible when they don't know their facts in 6th grade!!! Don't know if this will help you but it has made a difference for me!! Good luck!

Some kids need to see a use for the multiplication tables: John Mighton's http://jumpmath.org might help.

I have also witnessed what you have described. I have been teaching for 27 years, most of them as a math teacher, and have seen this becoming more and more of a problem. In the "good old days" students were required to memorize their multiplication facts. To aid in this, they were given timed quizzes such as facts masters tests at least on a weekly basis. Although I've always had a few students who struggled with this, the majority of them did manage to achieve some success. In recent years I've discovered that the universities in my area have been instructing future teachers that rote memorization is a BAD thing and should never be encouraged in the classroom. These new teachers are being told that timed tests only create stress and should never be implemented. Consequently, students are never taught how to memorize which, in my opinion, explains why my fifth graders come to me not knowing their multiplication facts. They understand the concept of multiplication and can often figure out the answer by making use of their fingers, but this is handicapping them when it comes to learning more advanced concepts.