Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Times Tales ~ A Review

For the past few weeks we've been enjoying a highly entertaining way to help learn multiplication with this fun program called Times Tales from The Trigger Memory Co.

We were provided with a complete copy of times tales in order for my child to use and review.

What Is Times Tales.

Times Tables is a fun, creative way to aid in learning the upper times tables. The times tables are introduced via quirky simple little animated mnemonics to aid in learning. The program also includes printable practice worksheets to use as re-enforcement.

How We Used The Program

Times Tales is a breeze to use. The program is broken into two parts. It is recommended that the child watches part one, learns the mnemonics and practices with the supplemental worksheets and flashcards for at least a week before moving on to part two.

Although we received this product primarily for my daughter who is currently in the land of multiplication right now, we all watched the animations. The animations used are simple line drawings that have been brought to life. They are not boring by any means though, each character has a little personality of its own.

Each character, represents a number. In the very early stage of the program you are first introduced to the individual characters. For example, the number 3 can be seen in the wings of the butterfly, the number 7 is known as Mrs Week, the number 8 can easily be seen in Mrs Snowman and so on.

How the characters interact with each other in each of their simple stories is how they relate to multiplication. For example, here Mrs Snowman (the number 8) stands on a chair (the number) to reach her 3 buttons and 2 mittens. The mnemonic is first introduced as page in a story, from there it opens out into a short animation to help the child learn the story related to each character.

In the very early stages the program simply has the child learning the stories. After they have worked through several the program comes to a game and quiz area so the children can check how they are going. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only my daughter but also my youngest memorised the stories quite easily and relatively accurately from the very first viewing.

Only after the stories have been learned does the program then introduce the actual times table. So the example I used above of Mrs Snowman, once the child learns the story they use the numbers in the story. Therefore 8 x 4 = 32.

It's really quite a simple premise but one that for us so far us been effective. If we ever forget a times table we can use the characters as a prompt to remind us until they become automatic.

The easiest way to understand this is to see it in action, this short clip will give you a brief overview of the program.

To see more simply visit the times tales website where you can download for free a small component of the entire program. That way you can see for yourself how simple this really is.

What We Didn't Like About This Program

This is such a simple concept and such an easy program to add into your day, there really isn't anything I can find about it that I don't like.

If you choose to order the download the files are really quite large so just be aware if your internet connection isn't all that great.

The only other point I would raise is that of double learning, which I do suppose Times Tales does fit under. There are some education experts that dispute double learning because the child actually needs to learn the item twice. So here in this example, the child learns the story and then needs to relate that story to a number and eventually learns the actual times tables using numbers only.

Whilst I understand the premise behind double learning, in this particular instance, for us, it has been in no way a hindrance. In fact it has helped in many ways. The visual component has really helped the kids see the times tables as they are shown right before their eyes with moving pictures and sound.

What We Did Like About Times Tales

The ease of use is hands down the winning point for me here. Honestly it doesn't get much easier for the parent or the student than this. Watch the animations, play along with the quizzes, and then practice.

Of course, it goes without saying that price is also a huge plus, making it something that's very easily added into a regular math program. In fact if this opportunity to review Times Tales didn't arise I would have bought the program anyway and have been equally as happy with it!

Looking Ahead

Times Tales has absolutely become a part of our multiplication learning regime and it will continue to be so.

Pricing & Details

Visit the Times Tales website to download a free trial version and to see more details of the program.

To see from Times Tales visit them via their Facebook page

I hope you found this review helpful. If you would like to see further reviews of the Times Tales program from members of The Schoolhouse Review Crew, please visit this link.

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