I'll be the first to admit, I never really memorized my multiplication tables. As much as it was drilled into me, I never could get them stuck in my head for quick recall. Years later, it does appear that my kids are falling to a similar fate. However, for the past few weeks, we have been using Online Times Alive , an online, browser based program from City Creek Press, Inc. that teaches students their multiplication tables in a fun way.
Based on the popular book by the same name, Times Alive Online teaches students all the multiplication tables started with the 0's on to the 9s using animated stories, songs, matching games and speed drills. As the student learns the story associated with the visual representation of the multiplication fact, they then have a brain-picture that will help them to remember the multiplication fact. The stories use characters that look like the number they represent, while the story helps the create the association of that number with the picture. In theory, when the student then sees the numbers on their homework, they will remember the visual picture from the story and then come to the correct answer for the problem.
The program keeps track of your student's progress as they work thru each lesson. Once the student logs into the website, the lesson list is visible and shows which lessons have been completed and which ones are still needing to be done. Lessons utilize the animated stories and songs that reinforce the multiplication fact story as well as painting activities and repetitive activities to help the student to remember each fact.
Times Alive also provides a Student Progress Report that tracks when the student has completed each lesson, and how they did on the practice quizzes/speed drills.
The kids have worked their way thru the Times Alive program and are both nearly thru with it, with only a few lessons left to go. And it does seem as if it has helped significantly with their memorization of their multiplication tables. However, I would not say full retention has happened from just one time thru the lessons. While they do remember the stories, they often need a verbal clue to remind them of which story they need to remember when doing their multiplication work away from the Times Tables program. For example, they have done the lesson that covers 6x8, however, when they come to that problem on their math homework, they usually draw a blank. However, when I say something like "birthday cake", they remember the "Cake is Four the Eight" and come up with the correct answer.
I don't think this is a problem with the program, I think this just shows why the program's lessons should be repeated more than one time with the student.
Online Times Alive has been received quite well with the kids in our house. While it's been a slow process for them, it has been making a difference, but I think we will continue to take advantage of the full 6 months of the subscription that we were given to allow the kids to continuously review the stories and multiplication facts to really cement it into their head.
For more information about Online Times Alive and City Creek Press, Inc., be sure to visit their website. You can also find more in formation on the following social media platforms:
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