Right now, you can take $10 off the the Times Tales multiplication and division learning system with code SCHOOLYEAR, valid through August 8th, 2012! Times Tales is a mnemonic system that helps kids memorize their multiplication and division facts by learning stories and pictures that are associated with each fact.
I ordered the Times Tales DVD earlier this year and I really liked it. It seemed to help my 6-now-7-year-old learn his times tables, though to be honest, I think it would be more effective if this was the first thing you did. He’d already started memorizing some of the times tables and it almost seemed like he struggled between knowing whether to try to do the math in his head or remember the story to recall the fact.
The DVD starts out by introducing you to each of the characters that represent the characters 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. (They don’t cover the 2s, 3s, or 5s times tables, or anything above nine, and I do feel it would be a more complete program if they did.) For example, the character that stands for the number 7 is “Mrs. Week” (a week is seven days, get it?) and the character that stands for the number 8 is “Mrs. Snowman” (looks like an 8, of course).
The story that represents the fact 7×8 is this, with accompanying pictures:
Mrs. Week (7) and Mrs. Snowman (8) were driving down the road, going one mile an hour over the speed limit. What is one mile over 55?
The answer is 56, of course, because 7×8 is 56. So, when you are trying to remember what 7×8 is, you remember the story about Mrs. Week and Mrs. Snowman going one mile an hour over the 55 mph speed limit sign. Ultimately, of course, you just know the fact and don’t have to remember the story.
You can watch a sample here:
(A lot of the reviews I read mentioned the narrator’s voice as being annoying, but my kids haven’t mentioned it and I don’t find it annoying. Older kids might, I suppose.)
My husband thinks this is a really weird way to learn your times tables, and I sort of agree, but for a kid – or teacher – who gets tired of going over flashcards over and over, or really benefits from visual aids, I think this is a great resource. My little girls have enjoyed watching the DVD and have most of the stories memorized, too, so I’m hoping that it makes teaching them their multiplication tables a cinch. :)
The DVD comes with printable flashcards (featuring the characters that represent the numbers in the story) and some other worksheets as well, on a separate DVD. We only have the DVD and I won’t be ordering the book or the flipbook, but I’ve been pleased with my purchase of the DVD.
Use coupon code SCHOOLYEAR through August 8th to take $10 off any of the Times Tales products and product packages!