I was talking to a cousin of mine several months ago. I didn’t realize that her daughter was having trouble with math. She seemed to be excelling in math at school and then all of a sudden she went from the top to the bottom of the class. Her confidence had dropped and she had started to dread going to class.
The change was that they had moved to multiplication and she had never been exposed to it before school.
Here are two of the tools we used to improve her calculation speed:
Math Wrapups were useful in that they gave a non-threatening way to do problems. There is no time, so students can do them at their own pace. They can be purchased on Amazon. Some packages come with a book and a CD, which I found useless.
FlashMaster is a timer-based electronic handheld device. It basically asks you questions and challenges you to get a certain score. The instruction book is really confusing, but the device itself is very good for dramatically improving multiplication speed.