Unfortunately for those with limited attention spans, the only way to learn some things is through memorization. Multiplication is one of them, which is why the folks at Trigger Memory Systems have developed a mnemonic-based learning method to help kids learn and retain the most difficult multiplication problems through stories and images. (This program does NOT cover the entire times table.)
The entire course is contained in a flipchart with accompanying Instruction Manual. Teachers read the Instruction Manual before guiding kids through the lessons in the flipchart. Students should be able to learn the material in a matter of 2-3 hours (the authors recommend 45 minutes per part, with two parts total), though it's a good idea to wait a week between the completion of Part 1 and the beginning of Part 2. (An available DVD will also do this for you.)
There are 6 steps to each part. First, students are introduced to a variety of characters shaped like and representing numerical digits. These characters are used to tell picture-based stories which kids learn and study, and in which are embedded answers to multiplication problems. The student is then required to repeat the story in his or her own words.
Once the stories have been mastered, flashcards are used to make the explicit connection between the multiplication problems "hidden" in each story, and the multiplication problems and answers themselves. Students then move to traditional flashcard drill and tests designed to cement what they've learned.
Each stage is clearly presented, colorful and fun (especially for early elementary students). The Instruction Manual includes reproducible tests, games, crossword puzzles, and flashcards means multiple kids can benefit from this course, and kids who've used it and need some review can come back without having to repeat your initial investment.
Times Tales is one of the most innovative multiplication drill programs we've seen. It won't work for everyone—some students are able to memorize without the use of mnemonic devices, which can even impede the progress of some learners. Many students, however, are visual learners, and are able to retain information best when there are images to represent facts.
Whether your kids need help learning multiplication in the first place, are stuck in a rut they can't get out of, or simply need to reinforce their skills, this is an excellent resource. Parents will like the accessible format, and kids will love the fun characters and stories. Programs like this are what helps make math fun!
- Covers 3x6, 3x7, 3x8, 3x9, 4x6, 4x7, 4x8, 4x9, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, 7x7, 7x8, 7x9, 8x8, 8x9, 9x9.
- Game show quiz: Students play a fun, beat-the-clock game to challenge their newly-learned skills!
- Non-consumable: Can be used by the entire family.
- Great for special needs students.
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