Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Teaching Times Tables

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We've been using the Times Tales program from Trigger Memory Systems the last few weeks and I'm not kidding you when I tell you it is AMAZING!! Both girls (age 7 and 6) have picked up the tricky multiplication and division facts in less than an hour and a half.

Times Tales uses simple pictures and stories to help kids remember the times tables (and also division facts). The tables it covers are the more difficult ones that kids tend to get stuck on: 3x6, 3x7, 3x8, 3x9, 4x6, 4x7, 4x8, 4x9, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, 7x7, 7x8, 7x9, 8x8, 8x9, 9x9.

We did part one of the program and the girls learned the simple stories in just a little more than 30 minutes. We reviewed the stories each day (for about 5-10 minutes) and then I pulled out some of the flash cards that were provided in the teacher's guide and they answered the questions in no time flat. Here's a little sample of what one of the stories looks like:

We spent about 45 minutes learning the second part of the program (again in 10 and 15 minute spurts) and again the girls are able to recall the facts quickly. Once they have the multiplication mastered, the facts just get turned around to division and they see how multiplication and division relate to each other.

The program we have is $29.95 and includes the following:

  • 2 Part Story Flipchart (double-sided with story on one side and just picture prompt on other)

  • Trigger Memory and regular flashcards (both multiplication and division)

  • Roll 'Em Cube Game

  • Instruction Manual and Memory Story Discussion Guide

  • Various Tests & Challenges

Trigger Memory also has some great clean and flip charts for kids: zone cleaning (whole house), bedroom cleaning, and laundry. They each are spiral bound and walk kids through the targeted cleaning areas step-by-step (see below for some examples). They are fully illustrated so if you have children that cannot read, they can still follow along and work on their own.

Hope some of this helps you out! Just wanted to share some things that are working for us!


  1. This looks really interesting Jo. I always have students struggling with their facts every year. I teach songs and raps that seem to help - but I'd love to take a look at this some more as well. You find such neat things!

  2. Oh - good stuff - I'll have to remember it when we hit times tables.

    Our whole family enjoyed the Star Wars video!


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