I’ll be honest and say my girls were less than thrilled when I brought out Times Tales for review. The Trigger Memory Co. has this neat little product that we have been using for the past month or so and it has been such a good thing.
I had wanted to try out Times Tales for a while. I even tried to get it through the library. Somehow, it had never worked out until now. And, as so many things seem to be, it was perfect timing. Everyone’s brains were ready to absorb this information.
All three of the girls – Miss E (age 11), Miss L (age 9), and Miss J (age 7) – were a part of this process. I did not really expect Miss J to learn a lot but I figured exposure is fantastic and if she picks anything up, it’s all bonus. Miss L has been working on multiplication for a bit now and Miss E understands the concept well but struggled with the memorization of the facts.
Times Tales is a downloadable product. We received a download file that contained two mp4 video files and three PDF files. The mp4 video files were Part 1 and Part 2 of the video. The three PDF files were flashcards, game cubes, crossword puzzles, and tests. These materials cover the following multiplication facts: 3×6,3×7,3×8,3×9,4×6,4×7,4×8,4×9,6×6,
So, as the program recommends, we put on the video for Part 1 and watched it. We watched it several times during the first week. We also printed out the game cubes and Miss E and Miss J played. We used the crossword puzzle. And we worked through the challenges on the video several times. Then, we let that marinate for a week before diving into Part 2. Part 2 worked the same way as Part 1. We watched it some on the computer and sometimes we used ChromeCast to send it over to the television for watching.
By the end of the Part 2 week, the girls knew their multiplication facts. It worked that well for them. Why you ask? Well, let’s take a look at that.
Times Tales is a video format that uses fun stories and visual aids to enhance memory. By putting together a story in an exact order, they have recreated the multiplication fact. When it came time for the girls to recall those facts, they just had to recreate that story in their heads and then translate it to numbers. Which was actually pretty easy because of the way Times Tales handles it. The Trigger Memory Co. refers to these image stories as a mnemonic-process.
Take a look at the Times Tales website and spend a few minutes viewing their sample video. It is in the lower left corner of their homepage. You really do need to view the sample in order to fully appreciate this product. They also have a video of a young student going through the process that you can see on their website.
But wait – there is one more thing. In addition to the multiplication facts, this visual story setup does something else. It teaches division facts with no trouble at all. Miss L has not worked with division at all yet. But after going through Times Tales, she knows her division facts. We are now working on teaching the concept to go with the facts that she knows.
Miss E has struggled for a few years to memorize the multiplication facts. They are now memorized along with the division counterparts. Miss L knows them all, as well. Miss J knows most of the upper times tables thanks to Times Tales. I am very pleased with this product and more than happy to recommend it.
Three notes –
- We had a little bit of problem with the printing of the files from the download. The videos were absolutely no problem. It was a simple enough fix and I just had to take one of the pages and print it as an image from the PDF file.
- It did take a long time to download. Be prepared to just sit and let it download. The first time I downloaded, I tried to multitask on the computer. Well, it rebelled and the computer crashed. The second time, I just let it do its thing and sat here with a book. No problems that time.
- The first time the older two girls saw the video, they thought it was way to cheesy for them to have to sit through. I told them they didn’t have a choice. After the first few minutes, they enjoyed the older style of animation a lot. And they definitely benefitted from my insistence. Truly, though, they came to enjoy it a lot. So much that Miss E created another character that she thought needed to be in the tales. Meet Mrs. Milk, a character for the numeral 1.
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