Adrienne over at Wiggins World is having a multiplication linky party. I thought I would share a couple of things that I have done to help my students learn their facts.
I like to practice their facts on a mat that I made that is similar to Twister. I made my mat using a plastic tablecloth from the party store. It is a lot like my spelling kinesthetic game that I use and have blogged about before. Anyway---I have two kiddos line up facing the mat and then a third student calls out a fact using flashcards or whatever. The students try to be the first one to find the product. The first one that finds it puts their left foot on it. The game continues until one player has placed his left foot, right foot, left hand, right hand. Kind of fun. The kids like it for sure. I don't have a current picture of my mat in use, but below is an image of what it kind of looks like.
My students also like this game. 3 players. Two players have a stack of cards in front of them (No face cards). The two players each pick up a card and place it on their forehead (number out) without looking at it themselves. They can only see the other guy's card. The third player multiplies the two numbers in his head and says the product aloud. The first of the two players with the card on their head to say what number their own card must say is the winner of that round. This game is especially good as students move into division and to reinforce fact families.
On the web, my students like to use Sumdog.com to practice their facts. (It is awesome!) When they are practicing a certain family, the best place to go, they go to multiplication.com. It offers a variety of games where the kids can really focus on just one family if they wish.
Finally, my students still love good old-fashioned mad minutes. We do a lot of things to help reinforce the concept of multiplication so that they understand it, but to get them to really have rapid recall of the facts, timed tests are still the best in my book. The kids like the challenge of it, too. I structure it differently every year, and I totally differentiate by giving some students a reduced number of problems, giving some kids division facts, by giving some extension facts (40 x 60...), and whatever else it takes to challenge some and to make others feel successful.
Hope these ideas help you out! Can't wait to get some new ones!