MY THIRD GRADER DIDN’T GET INVITED TO A PARTY
What does memorizing multiplication facts have to do with getting invited to parties? It can have an unexpected influence when you are in the third grade.
During the first week of school, my third grader came home with a slew of paperwork. This paperwork included the expected emergency contact forms, list of classroom expectations, overview of curriculum and a variety of other forms including a half sheet of purple paper with a policy about party invites. The policy clearly stated (next to an image of balloons and a birthday cake) that if party invitations were distributed at school, EVERY student in the third grade must be invited. I didn’t think much of this policy at the time. The purple half sheet went into the pile of other paperwork that didn’t require my signature, and eventually, it made its way into the recycle bin. However, several months later, when my third grader came home in tears because she wasn’t invited to a Root Beer Float party and ALL of her friends were, this little purple half sheet popped into my mind.
As I consoled my daughter, my first thought was to contact the teacher and let her know that someone had broken the rule about passing out invitations without inviting the whole class. It wasn’t until my daughter explained the situation that I realized it was her teacher who had broken her own rule.
SO MANY THINGS! – Memorizing The Multiplication Facts Is One More
My daughter’s third grade class was memorizing their multiplication facts. As an incentive, the teacher had planned a Root Beer Float party for anyone who was able to pass a timed multiplication test for the 8’s. My daughter understood multiplication, but she wasn’t super quick with her facts. Was I supposed to help her memorize the multiplication facts at home? Did I miss another half sheet memo that the Root Beer Float party was coming up? There are just SO MANY THINGS (and so many little half sheet memos floating around!).
Disclosure: This post was written by a member of the Trigger Memory team – founders of Times Tales, Pet Math and the Kids Chore Chart.
When my daughter was done crying on my shoulder, I cried on my friend’s shoulder. I felt like I hadn’t prepared my daughter, and my lack of preparedness had excluded her from being invited to the coveted Root Beer Float party. That was when my friend told me about Times Tales.
Times Tales Gave Me Hope
Times Tales is an innovative story-based program that makes memorizing the upper multiplication facts fast, easy and fun. The visual, simple stories provide students with a “memory peg” that allows quick and effortless recall of the upper multiplication facts. Times Tales provides a multisensory approach to memorizing 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 and 9×9.
Times Tales is available as a video (DVD/USB or streaming with printable reinforcements) or a workbook (with an online Game Show Quiz). For most children, just one of these individual programs is enough to have all the upper multiplication facts memorized in as little as two weeks.
My friend had used Times Tales with both of her children and was blown away with the results. My daughter had four weeks to memorize the multiplication facts before the next “invite only party” (this time an ice cream sundae party for passing a timed test on the 9’s), so I purchased the Times Tales DVD and we got to work.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn’t feel like work to either myself or my daughter. It felt like a mix between watching a movie together and playing a game. I was even more pleasantly surprised to find out how quickly we were able to move through the program.
Times Tales Worked!
Times Tales is broken down into two parts with each part taking approximately one week to complete. Each part contains a 30 minute video (that should probably be watched a couple of times) and printable reinforcements that can be completed following the video. I watched the video with my daughter (because I’m just that kind of overinvolved parent), but you don’t have to. I did find it helpful to have watched it myself so I understood the reinforcement activities as she completed them.
During the first week, we watched Part 1 of the video twice, and I had her spend about 10 minutes three separate times completing reinforcements. During the second week, we repeated the process with Part 2. During the third week, I had her watch Part 1 and Part 2 one more time (this was probably overkill, but I just really wanted to be sure those facts stuck) and I had her complete a couple more reinforcements. That was all it took. She had memorized ALL her multiplication facts!
The timed test for the Ice Cream Sundae party was the following week. I was nervous, but my daughter wasn’t. She was prepared and confident and ready to rock it – and, she did rock it! She was so excited when she came home from school with 100% on her paper and an invitation to the party in her hand.
I’m still a little bitter about her teacher breaking the party invite rule, but I feel a whole lot better now that my daughter is on the guest list. I also feel better knowing that my daughter has mastered her multiplication facts and is prepared for more math success in the future.
Have you used Times Tales with your child? Share your experience in the comments.