Anyone who knows us, knows we love living math or anything else that brings math to life and makes the girls excited to learn. When we were offered the review of Times Tales by The Trigger Memory Co. I had to jump at the chance.
Times Tales is a innovative program designed to help kids creatively memorise times tables using unique stories, funny characters and mnemonic tools to help kids remember.
I received the Digital Download for review (although there is a physical DVD available). The digital download consists of two downloaded movies and two sets of PDFs packed full of worksheets, flash cards and multiplication dice. The movies are fairly large files and did take a while to download but I thought it was worth it :)
The movies use mnemonic tools to help kids memorise, they are both about 30 mins long and are broken down smaller sections consisting of the 'stories', game shows and flash cards. You can listen to it all at once or watch a few stories at a time. During the game show sections they suggest you pause to answer the question (pause, say, play) then resume playing to check your answer, they also have a 'beat the clock' section where you try to answer before the time runs out - if you struggle with these sections they suggest you go back and re watch the stories before moving on to the flash cards.
Once you are comfortable its time to go to work on the printables, the girls started by using the printable worksheets with the characters as part of the sum before moving onto 'normal' worksheets and finishing with the test. The printable worksheets are creatively done and fun - using characters from the stories as part of the sum, working up to just number sums.
There are also crossword puzzles, flash cards (both character and number) and, my girls favourite, the multiplication dice which they roll to create a sum to solve (even playing with them first thing in the morning - before they have even dressed, hence the cow pj's)
We followed the programs advice to wait week or so between watching part 1 and part 2 while working on the printable worksheets and games inbetween.
We used this for Rose (7) and Sunflower (9) but it was interesting to see that the older two girls were keen to join in the fun and wanteda turn too. It's a very flexible product and works well for all ages (i even remembered some forgotten facts), it would also suit a number of learning styles and worked particully well for my dyslexic child who often struggles with more traditional methods.
I loved that they were having fun learning, and have remembered what they learnt (the stories have really stuck with them). I was impressed that the flash cards dealt with both multiplication and division which really cemented the facts they were learning.
The girls really enjoyed using this and I think it's a great way to get kids excited by math facts and learn their times tables. Did I mention I was impressed by their fact recall after using this??
Times Tales is available for $19.95 for the download version
You can see what my crew mates thought over at the TOS Blog