Schools are trying a whole new, out-of-the-box, totally crazy way to teach the times tables – and it works like MAGIC!
When it comes to learning the multiplication chart, the standard way of teaching this subject is to utilize rote memorization for fast recall of the math facts. While this tedious process to memorize the times tables may work for many children, there are many more that struggle to recall the answer through this repetitive method of learning. For these children, the facts fall into the short-term memory category – they have their times tables mastered one day, and totally forget the next. The answer to getting out of this endless flashcard, repetitive loop (that never seems to stick!) is to turn the upper, most difficult multiplication facts into visual pictures that incorporate right-brain modalities of learning. This memorization system works so effectively that many children as young as 5 years old can effortlessly recite the upper times tables…even BEFORE they’ve learned the concept of multiplication.
Disclosure: This post was written by a member of the Trigger Sisters’ team – founders of Times Tales, Pet Math and the Kids Chore Chart.
How Pictures, Emotions and Imagination Can Make a Child Master the Multiplication Tables
When we normally think of multiplication, we visualize a set of numbers on a grid. Through rote memorization (coupled with time…lots of time!) children eventually are able to fill out the multiplication tables’ grid as the numbers magically appear in their memory. But what if the memory fails to spit out the number? Unless the student can revert back to addition (try that with 7×8!) they won’t be able to quickly recall the answer. This is what makes memorization a key to mastering the multiplication chart.
A mnemonic is simply something that is used to trigger the memory by association.
The Power of Mnemonics!
There’s a new way to memorize the upper multiplication facts through a system that utilizes mnemonics for memorization. For those that aren’t familiar with mnemonics, in the most simple of terms, it’s a memory “peg” that triggers the brain to remember something. For example, when you meet someone new, you associate their name with someone with that name you already know, like your neighbor Joe. When you see new Joe, you have pictured old neighbor Joe in association with him. This in turn, triggers the name. Voila! Joe and Joe are now combined and won’t be forgotten very easily.
So what does old neighbor Joe have to do with the multiplications tables?
Both Joes can be saved in a memory bank that isn’t set to be deleted right after the information is stored. Once you incorporate the math facts with right-brain, visuals and attach a story to the numbers (mixed with a little emotion about the story), that math fact is stored indefinitely within the memory. It’s like multiplication magic!
Multiplication Through Rote Memorization vs. Multiplication Through Mnemonic Memorization
Times Tales® is one of the new ways that schools are teaching the multiplication tables through a mnemonic memorization system. Many teachers that have switched from rote memorization to mnemonic memorization have discovered that classroom time traditionally spent on students learning the times tables is cut down to a fraction. Another wonderful benefit to teaching children how to use this powerful memorization technique is that it’s a tool they can use for a lifetime. Many children that learned to utilize this memory tool at a young age (such as memorizing the times tables) have reported using it throughout their high school and college education. Mnemonics work for all types of learners and has been proven successful for children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dyscalculia. (see statistical report on Times Tales effectiveness with learning disabilities)
Learning multiplication tables has for years been what we would consider left-brain learning such as: processing numbers, analytical thinking and language. However, once a student learns the concept of multiplication, the fastest and most effective ways for students to memorize the math facts is by incorporating the right-brain through visuals, imagination and emotions….yes, multiplication and emotions are a very good thing!
5 Reasons Children Should Use Times Tales to Master the Times Tables
- FAST – Total learning times is only an hour, and most kids have their upper times tables mastered in as little as two weeks!
- EASY- After completing the Times Tales program, kids as young as 5 years old can recite their upper times tables without even understanding multiplication!
- FUN – Kids love this learning method and ask for more!
- RELEVANT – Covers the most difficult to memorize times tables-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, 9×9
- EFFECTIVE- Great for kids with learning disabilities. Works for many kids when other programs have failed.
This mnemonic method for learning multiplication tables has proven so effective that many schools within the US are switching to this way to teach their classroom the multiplication tables. See more of Times Tales School Editions.