So what to do? I can't take out gobs and gobs of time to work on the tables. We simply don't have gobs and gobs of time. However, I do one thing that seems to have worked for my students over the past 14 years....timed tests.
here. I have all of these copied, placed in a file, and ready to go.
Here are both the multiplication and division sheets for you.
So here is how I set it up.
The Lightning Rod box is in the back of the room, along with a record chart. During Math Rotations, the students check the chart and gather their own Lightning Rod test. When Rotations are over, I ask everyone to take out their test (which they have had face down on their desks) They circle their time limit (everyone starts on 2 minutes until they make their way through the entire series...which takes the proficient kids about a semester to do) I then time them for 2 minutes...giving a warning at 1 minute left and 30 seconds left. When time is up, Table Captains collect the tests and get them into the inbox.
Then, during lunch or some other time, I correct these tests. (this really is the hardest part on me, but I have managed to make it a priority so it gets done) When papers are getting passed back for homework, the students who get a Lightning Rod know to go to the Multiplication/Division test box, grab a drill sheet, and do it for homework. As the year progresses, there really are less and less kids who need to visit the drill box.
So there you have it. What do you do to help your upper grade students become proficient in multiplication and division tables?