Times Tales (Crew Review)
About Time Tales
The crazy thing about Times Tales is that they’re not really about numbers. Well, they are, but they aren’t. Really, they are a series of stories about characters that represent numbers, and as children learn the stories, they also learn multiplication facts. The video is divided into two parts (covering two different sets of facts), each leading students through a series of steps to mastering the more difficult upper times tables. (The videos teach 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.)
Here are the steps through which each video takes you:
Meet the Characters (Introduces the characters that represent different numbers–only in Part 1)
You’re the Story Teller (They show the picture for each story. The student pauses the video to test themselves and then checks their answer.)
In addition to the videos (which are available as downloads or in DVD format), there are PDF files included with the purchase of Times Tales. Each of the two parts has it own set of printables which include the following:
- crossword puzzle
- flashcards using the character-symbols
- flashcards using numerals
- practice test (using character-symbols)
- test (using numbers)
- division flashcards using character-symbols
- division flashcards using numerals
- pattern for a paper cube and instructions for a game to help practice facts
I think Times Tales are great for both visual and auditory learners, especially those who like to think “out of the box.” I liked the way they showed the words of the story, showed an animated version of the story, plus told the story out loud AND repeatedly emphasized the key elements of the stories both visually and verbally so that it could really get into the kids’ brains. I thought the printable materials were also really helpful for reinforcing what the kids had seen in the videos.
The only thing I felt was missing was a sort of “cheat sheet” for myself with all the stories written out. Whenever the boys ask me, say, “What’s 6X3?” I turn it around and say, “Well, what was the story about the 6th grade class and butterflies?” They usually remember immediately, “At 1 o’clock, they let 8 butterflies go. Eighteen!” Occasionally though, none of us quite remember the story, and I’d love to have a quick way to look it up.
Overall, Times Tales were a big hit in our house, and I know we’ll be reviewing them periodically as the kids move further into multiplication. This is a great supplement for any math curriculum, and there’s a 15-minute sample video available for FREE (teaching the upper 9’s) so if you have kids working on learning the times tables, be sure to check them out!