When I was in third and fourth grades, multiplying was my greatest enemy. I didn't understand it conceptually, and I shed many, many tears while working with my flash cards. I just could not outguess the flash cards.
I have always figured that the struggle in my own fourth grade class to finally learn it was an advantage in teaching it to my students. I've tried rapping the facts. I've tried drawing them while telling stories. I've tried making rhymes. And I've tried knocking students over their heads with flash cards like my parents and my fourth grade teacher did with me.
The struggle is real, people!
And sometimes it is painful.
And sometimes it creates tears.
In fact, sometimes those kids just get mad.
That's definitely not what we want, so let's think smart. Right before the EF5 tornado carved a path across Joplin, I received a visit from a man with a multiplication program. He visited our classroom and took one hour to teach students. The thing is, he did not teach them the times tables; he taught them how to properly use flash cards. After the tornado, the same gentleman donated some materials to our class. Since then, he has developed some apps for your electronic device to help with operation fluency.
Here is a copy of part of his program:
Stepping Up to Multiplication