We recently that the opportunity to review Times Tales from The Trigger Memory Co. I was really excited to give it a try because I have heard so much about it for quite some time.
We received the Times Tales digital download so we were able to get started right away. The digital download came in 2 mp4 files for the Times Tale videos Part 1 and Part 2. The digital download also inlucded 3 PDF files that had worksheet including practice test, tests, and games as well as an answer key. Times Tales also has DVDs available if you prefer.
Times Tales is designed to test multiplication facts 3×6, 3×7, 3×8, 3×9, 4×6, 4×7, 4×8, 4×9, 6×6, 6×7, 6×8, 6×9, 7×7, 7×8, 7×9, 8×8, 8×9, and 9×9. The videos are animated which my son liked and my daughter, 11, was fine with, though she first said they were a little “young” for her, but she certainly didn’t look away!
The videos are set up in 6 steps
Step 1– Learn the characters.
Step 2– Learn the story.
Step 3– Quiz on the story.
Step 4- Child tell the story.
Step 5– Practice the flashcards.
Step 6– Practice flashcards with only numbers.
Step 1 introduces the “stories” that are associated with the characters that are introduced to help the student learn the multiplication facts. Each number has a corresponding character and this is introduced first. For instance, the number 3 is a butterfly (with a 3 in the wings) and the number 8 is a snowman (kinda get that one, right?)
Step 2 introduces the story is told. It’s a short story. For example, “After the warm weather melted Mrs. Snowman,2 Butterflies took her arms and 4 flew away with her apron.” The videos have visual reminders and the characters are the numbers. Do you see it? A snowman (8), a butterfly (3), 2 arms and 4 apron (24) so 8×3=24. Crazy, right? But the kids remember.
Step 3 has a quiz of the story, helping the kids remember the story. It is in a game show fashion and is “Beat the Clock” which gives the kids about 3 minutes to remember the story and do it quickly. My daughter loves this and likes the challenge, my son, who is a little younger, didn’t like it and got frustrated if he couldn’t beat the clock.
Step 4 allows the student to tell the story back. The video emphasizes the importance of saying the story in the right order which both the kids did fine with. This is important because then it will correspond with the multiplication fact correctly. For instance, with my sample of 8X3=24 if the student needs to remember Mrs. Snowman (8) and the butterflies(3) first and then the 2 arms and 4 butterflies carrying her apron (24).
Step 5 practices the flashcards with the pictures as the reminder of the numbers but the corresponding multiplication problems are introduced.
Step 6 practices the flashcards with the regular numbers (no characters). There is a “Beat the Clock” segment here too and there is a division challenge introduced showing the child a division problem and asking what number is missing.
My daughter already had a decent grasp on her multiplication but my son hadn’t even started to learn multiplication, other than skip counting. I wanted to use the program to help my daughter have quicker recall on her multiplication times tables. My son was just along for the ride.
The program is about 30 minutes long and then, after watching for a week, you take a week off and practice the multiplication worksheets and then move on to Part 2 if you feel your student has good recall from Part 1. We did the program for 3 days the first week and 2 days the second week, practicing with the games and worksheets in between and then took a week off, working through the multiplication worksheets that were included in the download. Then we moved on to Part 2 of the videos and repeated the same schedule.
My daughter absolutely is faster at reciting her times tables after watching Times Tales. My son has some multiplication facts memorized for sure, as he was just along for the ride and not doing it as fully as my daughter. I was very impressed on how well she increased her times tables recall and how well my son has started to grasp multiplication facts.
Overall, we felt that the Times Tales from The Trigger Memory Co. was awesome. I thought the videos were a little hokey at first but, honestly, they seemed to work. The kids liked them. They were a little long at 30 minutes for my 6 year old and he seemed to lose interest but he got it the next time around. My daughter didn’t mind the length, though, with her short attention span, I’m sure she was zoned out for a little while.
I would love to have this in the van for viewing on the go or be able to watch on our smart tv but since it was a download that was not possible. I’m considering purchasing the DVDs to be able to view on the go.
However, overall, we were impressed and I’m glad that we were given the opportunity to check out this product. Check out the sample lessons on the Times Tales websites and be sure to see what the rest of the TOS Review Crew has to say about Times Tales from The Trigger Memory Co.
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