We all have students on campus who struggle learning their multiplication facts. I'm all about teaching it with hands-on and engaging ways. However, when we get down to it, students need to know their basic facts with automaticity. This happens as a result of learning, repetition and practice.
By the time students reach fourth grade, it is expected that they have a fluent recall of basic facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. This gives them the foundation to proceed to higher-level math computation and problem solving. Students might know the strategy to determine the answer but lack the automaticity and fluency of the facts.
Mastering the basic skills is necessary in order to advance in math. Please do not think I want students to be drilled. Drilling without understanding is harmful. We all know that math facts are best learned when we understand them and use them in different situations.
How can we make learning our math facts fun?
Note:*There are many controversial studies regarding the topic of timing math facts. Automaticity mentioned above is about practice and repetition- not memorization. How you determine a student has reached mastery of each set is up to you and your school's expectations.