Every beginning cuneiform student sets out on the seemingly impossible task of learning the hundreds of signs that make up the syllabaries. There are many different ways in which people try to do this but lately I came across an interview that might be of help. In the newsletter, “Damqatum,” Father Marcel Sigrist, who has done more than anyone else in the last quarter century to further the study of Neo-Sumerian, describes how he learned the signs:
Many people, when they start Assyriology, have a great problem with the signs. And to recognize the signs, to learn the signs, you have people who have a lot of little flashcards with the signs. I must say I had really very few problems to memorize the signs, and even to recognize the various shapes. Nothing is printed, but it is handwritten, it changes from one tablet to the other. The way to learn the signs was to put the signs as they are classified on one sheet of paper, and then to draw the sign and write the basic phonetic. So when you do this, and then you take a book -The Letters of Mari, which are very easy to read-you compare all the time the transliteration of the tablet with your chart. And when you have seen twenty times the same sign in a day, you know it. So there are easy ways to learn the signs.
This is pretty close to the way that I learned the signs as well. However, I did start with flashcards to give myself a little foothold while reading.
Lastly, the Knowledge and Power website has a section that helps you learn 100 signs.