Did you know that January is a BIG month for children, teachers, and moms, when it comes to learning the times tables? What is so special about January? It’s the midway point for most school years, which also means kids SHOULD have their times tables mastered and are ready to APPLY their new skills to bigger and better math!
What you Need if your Children are still Struggling to Master the Times Tables?
For many children, mastering the times tables can be a breeze with traditional rote memorization methods. But what about the student that just can’t seem to make those facts stick – they remember them one day, and forget the next? There is a solution that will catch students up fast – and I mean lightening speed fast – MNEMONICS!
Mnemonics are a PROVEN Method of Memorization
How can THIS work so well when other methods fail? Because learning by rote memorization incorporates the left brain, which is more logical and analytical. You can think of the “lefty side” as more of the “processing center” for math. However, MEMORIZING is NOT PROCESSING or COMPUTING MATH – it is the process of retaining information (ie: math facts). This is the very reason so many children struggle with mastering their times tables – they are using the WRONG SIDE OF THEIR BRAINS!
The Right Side vs. Left Side to Master the Times Tables
The right-side of the brain is where imagination, creative thought, and emotions reside. This is how we decide which information to “record” and which to delete, based upon our connection of feelings of relevance to that information. For example, we can remember an event or even specific words that were said to us from years ago, based upon the connection to our emotions. You could call these emotions a “trigger” that communicated to the brain that the information was relevant to our life, and thereby worthy to be retained.
Disclosure: This post was written by a member of the Trigger Memory team – founders of Times Tales, Pet Math and the Kids Chore Chart.
How to Trick the Brain to Remember Math Facts
Using mnemonics to memorize information, such as math facts, works in much the same way. It is a type of “trigger” (either from emotion or visualization) that tells the brain to retain the information. In the example of the Times Tales program, the memory triggers are stories (or events) that involve characters that are representations of the numbers.
For example, the number seven is represented by Mrs. Week and the number nine is represented by the Treehouse. The Times Tales story is that Mrs. Week went to the Treehouse and raked 6 bags of leaves by 3 o’clock. The narrative expands the initial story by showing that Mrs. Week is getting hot when the sun is out at 3 o’clock and she is raking the 6 bags of leaves. These are all emotional and/or visual “triggers” to the brain to remember the information.
A statistical analysis report focusing on students with learning disabilities showed INCREASED TEST SCORES of 70%-84% when using the Times Tales® program.
How Times Tales Converts a Story into the Answer to a Multiplication Fact
When the student sees the multiplication fact for 7 x 9 and gets stuck, they can then revert to looking at those numbers as characters in a story. They see the number 7 as Mrs. Week and the 9 as the Treehouse. Those characters then trigger the story, which then reveals the answer to the math fact- “.…6 bags of leaves at 3 o’clock.”
Many Students Still Remember the Times Tales Stories…EVEN YEARS LATER!
Once the student has the answers to the math facts retained through the right-brain, they can utilize that information to jump over to the left side to compute answers to multiplication problems. For most children, memorizing the times tables with this right-brain method not only cuts down the time it takes to master the upper times tables, but is also a lot of FUN!!
Learning the times tables doesn’t have to be painstaking or time consuming….IF it is taught in a different way. SWITCH OVER to the RIGHT-BRAIN way to memorize with Times Tales!
If you feel like you’re stuck in the times tables rote memorization loop (ie: know them one day, forget the next) – the Times Tales Multiplication Mastery Bundle will help you move on to BIGGER and BETTER math. The Times Tales Multiplication Mastery Bundle is everything you need in one kit! We offer a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied. 🙂
I have not read through as yet but I’m sure whatever suggestions you have are far better than what I’m doing currently.
Hi Simone, thank you for your comment. Here is a link to our free sample that you can try with your students: https://www.timestales.com/pages/free-sample
In my (decades!) of teaching basic math, here’s something I’ve learned that helps. I think that instant recall of the multiplication tables is one of the keys to enjoying math. Or at least not being intimidated.
Thinking back to when I was learning them, I was overwhelmed by how many there are! Just up through 12×12 there’s 144! That’s WRONG!
I teach it this way. Half of the 144 are reciprocals: 4×5 is 5×4. OK, now we need to learn only 72.
But wait. The ones, twos, tens, and elevens are trivial (except for 11×11 and 11×12). The fives are easy ’cause we count by fives in games.
So that leaves 3s, 4s, 6s,7s, 8s, 9s, and 12s. But five of each kind are removed (1,2,5,10,11), so we are left with a few that have to be “memorized.” How many? Just 30!
3×3, 3×4, 3×6, 3×7, 3×8, 3×9, 3×12
4×4, 4×6, 4×7, 4×8, 4×9, 4×12
6×6, 6×7, 6×8, 6×9, 6×12
7×7, 7×8, 7×9, 7×12
8×8, 8×9, 8×12
My first experience was teaching remedial math to Army troops in Korea in 1975. The average guy could “memorize” these 30 in an hour! (Using flash cards.) Repeat for a week and they had it! They were so pleased, and then could do long division for the first time!!
Keep up the good work Jennie!
Math is so amazing how there are patterns within the answers. After many years of request by parents and teachers, we have launched Times After the Tales workbook- which uses mnemonics and tricks to compute the answer for the 11s and 12’s times tables. Here is a link: https://www.timestales.com/products/times-after-the-tales-multiplication-for-the-11s-12s-application-printable-workbook