Saturday, May 21, 2011

Times Alive!

Another way we've been working on our times tables around here is via the programme Times Alive! The programme teaches multiplication facts with song & story and the boys really love it.

I usually require Morgan to work on one lesson each day before doing his math lesson, but he often asks for at least two lessons because he enjoys it so much. Each lesson teaches you a single math fact.

Except for 0, 1, 2, 5, & 10 family which are taught all at one time with counting or skip counting the rest of the facts are taught one at a time.

Some of the stories are better then others, but all have picture clues as to the numbers and answers. In the picture above the math fact was 6x4=24. There was a story about a little snail who always wanted to fly like a beautiful swan. So he went into a magic pond that was shaped like a 4 and was transformed into a beautiful swan. Not one of the better stories, but it works for the kids! I think one of the better stories is the one for 6x6 where two sixes go walking in the desert and become very thirsty, thirsty sixes.

After the story there's a song that helps cement the fact in your memory. Then the ask you to review what you learned by looking at the picture and writing down the answer.  I will admit that the pictures all do wonders for a visual learner, and the songs are quite catchy. Both of these are a huge plus in this house because my boys are very intune with music and can quickly learn just about anything if we set it to music.

They also ask them the problem again without the picture clues. There's also a section where they review many of the previous learned facts. Each of those areas is timed, but they do seem to focus more on having the child get all of the facts right rather then how long it takes them to accomplish this feat.

A couple of the lessons have a "coloring" or "painting" section to it. Honestly, the first time one of these popped up Morgan could have cared less about it. I'm not sure he cared much more about it the second time either, but because Jayden was hanging out with him at the table he fully enjoyed making the picture super crazy just to entertain his brother. Jayden actually enjoys the coloring more then Morgan, but i haven't had Jayden using the programme, all though he gleefully sits in on the lessons and has even requested Morgan wait on that part of his math until Jayden was available.

We figure it was worth the money we spent on it because Morgan has very quickly picked up on an entire stack of his multiplication facts that would have most likely taken us longer to help him remember. Though I will admit that after a week's worth of using the programme and working on his math he reached a moment of overload and sat there staring at a few of his review problems. When I asked what was wrong he gave me a blank look and said that he had all the numbers jumbled together. Poor fellow! With story clues he was able to finish his work on a high note and we skipped math on Friday.

1 comment:

Butterfly said...

What a great resource! Thanks for the screen shots, it's really helpful to see examples.