Image via WikipediaLately, I've been working with a rising 6th grader in math. Together we've been focusing on a review of 5th grade concepts as well as getting ahead on some concepts that she'll encounter during the upcoming school year. Specifically, we've been working on multiplication, fractions, and factoring. Since we're still in summer mode, I wanted to make sure I added some variety and fun in order to make the math engaging and exciting. Using the power of search, I found a lot of games for use, and here's a few that I would like to recommend for multiplication practice:
Perhaps, it's because I grew up with multiplication time tables, but I just believe that a lot of my initial success and speed with math problems relied largely on my ability to do simple math in my head confidently and consistently. Thus, I wanted a tool that would reinforce speed and accuracy in a simple to use format. Vectorkids offered several quick and easy ways to get started with multiplication and division practice. There are tons of other flashcard resources online, but I found this one to be easy to understand, simple to use, and somewhat engaging. I liked that there was a timer and a score option, though the scoring can be ignored if it distracts more than helps.
Now that my student has gotten some rote practice under her belt, it's time to have her apply the knowledge. With Math Playground's Multiplication game, the student is challenged by the computer to play a game of connect four. In order to light a square, you need to re-position a slider for a single digit to make a product. I like this game as a follow-up to the flashcards since the student needs to think backwards a bit and the game introduces a strategic element as well.
This last one's purely for fun, as the arcade classic gets a makeover in terms of "invaders" as multiplication products or division quotients. You're asked to position the cannon so that you can solve the math problem and shoot the correct answer. I like that you can choose what number you wish to focus on, and essentially, it is multiple choice as the invaders come in rows of five. This way, a student who is just starting to master some of the more challenging problems can still find a way to reach the correct answer.