For as long as I've taught 3rd grade, our kids have had difficulty memorizing their math facts. Each year we have an incentive to give them a little boost. We build a "Gingerbread House" for addition facts (look for my previous post in December for this) the first part of the year, and we do what we call the "Multiplication Sundae" the second half of the year.
We start on the x 0's and x 1's and work our way up to the x 12's. Our students earn a piece of the sundae for every multiplication fact set that they make a 90% or better on. For example, they earn a bowl if they make a 90% or better on their 0's & 1's, a spoon for their 2's, a scoop of ice cream for their 3's, a cherry for 10's, and so on. If they earn ALL of them, they get EVERYTHING on their sundae. And we ALWAYS have a SURPRISE (usually for the 12's). It could be Magic Shell, or a "waffle cone bowl", or anything else we can think of that would be SuPeR yummy!
I have created this monster of a unit called Monstering Multiplication Facts to help make these timed tests and memorizing these facts a little less scary. The monsters give tricks for memorizing multiplication facts from 0 to 12. This unit also includes timed tests for facts from 0-12, as well as answer keys. There are 30 problems for each fact and we usually give them 2 minutes to complete the page.
This unit is available for $6.00 at either my TpT or TN store.
We have tried other activities as well. There are an abundance of CD's with rock and rap songs about multiplication facts, flash cards, "around the world", and fortune tellers, to name a few. Whatever it takes to get them motivated to memorize! I hope this gives you some ideas on what you can do to help motivate your kiddos!