What is Times Tales? It’s an amazingly quirky way to learn multiplication. It covers the multiplication facts 3X6 all the way to 9X9. Each number is represented by a character, and stories are used to act out the multiplication problem. For example, 9 is a treehouse and 3 is a butterfly who finds 27 cents. The way the stories are done is memorable and fun!
The program comes with two videos that are about 30 minutes long each. The videos are done very well – they are simple enough for a child like Boobear to not become distracted or irritated by flashing lights or other overly bright things, but are engaging enough that he pays attention. Even I was watching along with him, simply because the videos are that amusing! Plus, it was fun to watch Boobear enjoying them.
Printable pdfs are also included. These include things like crossword puzzles, tests and pre-tests, and even foldable dice so you can play a game. There are also flashcards that you can cut apart. Some of them have the story characters on them. Others have the actual problem. For example, the flashcard might show a butterfly and the treehouse and the other version will show 3×9.
I think the videos are extremely well done. They don’t move too quickly but aren’t so slow that boredom is a risk. Things are repeated enough times that they start to stick very quickly. Boobear was picking up on some of the facts the first time we watched the video! The stories really help make multiplication fun and really help with memorization.
Each video has parts. You’re introduced to the characters, then you have a “game show” where you’re quizzed about the characters. You simply have to answer before they show you the answer. Then you learn the stories and are quizzed on them. And so on. There is no pressure. Everything is nice and relaxed, and the child is even told to go back and re-watch a section if they weren’t able to answer the questions.
Boobear is only 7 and we’re still working on addition. But he likes to play games with his great-grandfather in math, including multiplication games. So I grabbed the chance to review this, as I thought it might be both enjoyable and would help him when he decides to play his math games with his great-grandfather.
The verdict? Boobear adores it! He asks to watch the videos, even when it’s not time for math. He loves stories and will happily recite the stories along with the video. He got frustrated a bit when he was supposed to pause, retell the story, and then see if he got it right because he messed up. That’s his perfectionist tendencies coming out, and I’m honestly surprised at how little trouble his perfectionism has caused.
I think it’s one of the most clever ways to teach multiplication I’ve ever seen. Now if only there was one for addition.
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