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Monday, April 4, 2016

Times Tales Digital Download Review

Times Tales is something I've been debating trying for many years.  I was excited to be offered an opportunity to review it.

The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW

What is Times Tales?

Times Tales is made by The Trigger Memory Co.  It is a video that helps make the upper multiplication facts easier to remember.  This means the 6, 7, 8, and 9 facts.   We received the digital download which includes 2 video files to watch on the computer, and 3 files of printables.  The files downloaded easily, though they took a little while.  They are big, somewhere around 2 GB total!
 The videos teach the multiplication facts through stories.  The stories have numbers as characters and objects.  The stories incorporate the numbers so children can easily recall which ones go together to make up a multiplication problem.  I suggest watching the sample video (it says "Watch this 90 second video...") or free download (it says "Try It Now.. learn the upper 9s") on the Times Tales website to see how simple yet effective this is.  The first video teaches groups of 3 and 4 with the upper numbers, 6, 7, 8, and 9.  The second video teaches 6, 7, 8, and 9 in combinations with each other, the hard facts to remember!  The videos are MP4 files, so they play on any computer.

Practice test and test
 The printables come in PDF files corresponding to video 1 or video 2.   The third file contains the answers.  These printables contain a crossword puzzle to help recall the stories, flash cards for the facts, 2 dice to assemble and practice facts with, and practice tests.  The flash cards and practice tests have some pages with the characters and some with only numbers, allowing children to progress as they better understand the stories and memorize the facts.  Some of the flash cards reverse the problem, making it a division problem and asking what or who is missing from the story.
memorize times tables


How did we use it?

Be sure to watch the video with your children, there are instructions in the first video, plus it will be helpful if you know the stories.  There are multiple parts to each video - it tells the stories, it quizzes on parts of the story, it asks to retell the stories, and it quizzes on the multiplication problems.  I like the verbal prompts, this helps children store information.   We watched the video again a couple of days later.

Next I had the children do the crossword puzzle.  They did really well!  My older kids remembered every story, and only helped my 2nd grader once.  Even the preschooler was chiming in.  The next day I had them do a practice test.  We watched the video a third time after this, then did the test with only numbers pictured.

About a week and a half later we began again with part 2 of the video and repeated everything.  My 2nd grader got all but one correct, and that was because she misunderstood one item in the story (a spider with 8 legs was supposed to count for 8 legs, not 1 spider).  I had they practice with the dice.

memorize times tables

Will we continue to use it?

In the past my older kids have complained that they don't know the upper multiplication facts very well.  Apparently their daily practice has helped because they told me they already knew them rather well before we began this video.  However, they did say that the stories help them remember the facts better.  All of my children enjoyed using these videos.  It's a fun way to learn math!

My 2nd grader can already count by 6, 7, and 8.  She knows the 7 multiplication facts well, but we haven't even started anything with 9 yet.  I was surprised to see how fast she picked up on the facts after watching these videos.  They really do work!  It took her a little longer than the older kids to be able to retell the stories.  We'll continue practice with skip counting and learning math facts in the same way we already do, with Times Tales as reinforcement.

I was quite surprised to see how much my preschooler learned.  She was shouting out answers when I said multiplication facts out loud!  One day my printer went crazy and printed extra copies of the practice test.  So just for fun, and because preschoolers want to do everything the big kids do, I gave my youngest a copy.  She sat alone and didn't have help for most of it.  She did ask the big kids for just a few of them.  She says "I remembered a ton!  I was thinking, some of this I know and remember!"  Consider that I haven't taught her anything about writing multiple digit numbers, so some digits are reversed and some numbers are written backwards, but WOAH, can you believe this?!

memorize times tables
Practice test by a 4 year old
So, that's a big yes, we'll keep using this!  These videos are fun and I'm going to have my younger children continue using the dice to practice, as well as the flashcards and tests.

I would prefer a DVD to watch on any computer or TV.  It would be easier for the kids to start a DVD as well.  But not keeping track of a disc is a bonus!

Where to find it:

 The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW

Times Tales Digital Download

Times Tales by the The Trigger Memory Co REVIEW
Crew Disclaimer


  1. Sounds interesting! I looked for the sample video but only saw something that had to be downloaded.

  2. Thanks, I updated the post to make that more clear!

  3. LOL I couldn't find the 90 second video either. I can see that text on the site but there's no link! And the video above it is 2 min long and doesn't explain anything. Am I just blind? :)

  4. The 90 second one is the very beginning of the videos, so that may be the one you're seeing. The one to download is the 9s, on the bottom left corner of the Home page. :)