Where do I start?
One of the things that is often hard for children is to understand WHY we need to learn this anyway? Isn’t that why they invented calculators? Here are some tips we have found helpful: Where do I start with my child?
Why not just memorize the tables like we did when we were growing up?
If that works well for your child you can do that, and only use the Funtimes Tables! to work on speed. However, the multiplication tables are such an important part of beginning math skills that if they are not learned well with fast recall it will set your child back in other areas of math.
How is this Fun Times Tables! different than some books and DVD’s we have seen that use mnemonics?
This isn’t to say other systems are bad, they have worked for many people, so pick what you feel most comfortable with. But from our perspective:
It covers ALL the tables from 0-12. Not just key portions.
It doesn’t just come up with ways of remembering that ONLY apply to the times tables. If you are going to learn a memory method, why not make it a skill that can be used throughout their education in other areas?
It actually TEACHES the concepts, discusses why it is important to learn the tables, and THEN drills the times tables. Other apps focus on just drilling. The third flag of the progress bar is where the student is learning rules for some times tables like the 10’s instead of mnemonics, so speed comes more quickly.
It helps parents tell at a glance how their child is doing, you do not need to just have a hunch of how your child is doing. You can see quickly by checking what “belt” they have earned in the different tables, and even drill down to which specific questions are giving them the most trouble if you want.
No complicated stories or songs to learn, short quick cartoons with memorable actions allow faster recall for speed drilling.
Uses multiple learning styles.
Far less expensive than purchasing a book/DVD system on the times tables.
How much parent involvement is required?
This is up to you. A child can completely go through and learn the times tables by themselves or side by side with the parent. It is nice to see your child learn and can help them understand something perhaps a little faster. However, it REQUIRES FAR LESS involvement than other books/DVDs.
What is the most efficient way to learn the multiplication tables?
Well, of course every child is different. However, here are some tips that have worked well for us. Keep in mind repetition is still key. If you only practice in random spurts it will be hard to retain the multiplication facts. A big part once the multiplication tables are learned, is repetition– so they are not forgotten. Funtimes Tables work best with a focused effort to finally learn the tables. Yes, they really can learn them over a weekend! They will need to continue to review to keep them fresh and get faster and faster.
First, try to set aside some time to learn the first 10 characters/sounds. That will take you to the first flag of the progress bar. You could suggest a small reward for reaching the first flag. You can decide what would best motivate your child. Ideally, this would be done in one sitting. As they move on to the remaining characters (2nd flag), it is a longer goal so they can break that into more sessions. So, if you want to give a reward for that one, you may want to consider a bigger one than for the first flag. The third flag can be completed fairly quickly, it is middle difficulty between the first two flags. Here the 0/1’s, 9, 10 and 11’s tables are covered.
Once they have completed the 3 flags, they have completed the instructional portion of the app in teaching the times tables. Then a new progress bar will be shown where they are tested on how well they know the multiplication tables. The app will pay attention to accuracy, but ALSO how long they took to enter a correct answer. Slow responses will be practiced more frequently once the initial assessment is done.
Once they complete the final progress bar, now as a parent you can take a look and quickly see how well they did. Hit the home button to get to the welcome back screen. There you can click on belts and see how well they have done in each of the times tables. The belt range (white to black, is listed on the top of the screen. Black being master.) If a kid wants to just test/practice the 9’s for example, they can make sure all the belts are UNchecked except the 9’s. Don’t forget to check them again so that they are drilled on other belts later.
Until your child approaches brown belts in each of the multiplication tables, I would suggest revisiting daily to get faster. Once they get to brown you can spread out the review sessions to longer and longer periods of time.
Where did these crazy cartoons ideas come from?
If you are interested in memory methods, it is based on the Major Memory System combined with memory pegs, which has many uses beyond multiplication tables. It is far more powerful, so we wanted to provide more than just learning times tables, but ability to use in other areas of learning as well. By using the system and coming up with key words based on the numbers we tried to come up with silly characters and actions that were easy to remember and did not require a long wordy story to memorize so that it would not hinder speed of recall. Guess we had to be a little crazy too….
How are the belts determined?
The app takes into account how many hints a student has used as well as their accuracy and the time it takes for them to answer.
Will the app re-test questions they got right the first time?
Yes, the app more heavily tests weakness, but keeps testing all of the times tables to make sure things are not forgotten. If you feel questions are being to heavily weighted and want to start fresh, just create a new name and skip to the final exam using the backdoor code mentioned in the “note to parents” section of app.
Why do you not just retest all the times tables each time?
Most children struggle with a small subset of the large number of times tables. By focusing on your child’s weaker areas, less time is spent on times tables she already knows and less time passes before she sees the ones she is struggling with. This allows better, more frequent reinforcement with less overall study time required.
How old should child be and how long should this take?
The app is meant for children who are looking for another way to learn the multiplication tables / times tables because traditional methods are not working. That being said each child is different, and as long as the child can sound out simple words and under stands basic addition/subtraction this should work very well.
Some people take a very slow approach with only a little bit of time each day, and others challenge the child to try to accomplish more in one sitting and get through teaching portion of app quickly, it can be finished in a few hours of focused time. However, drilling the times tables should continue afterwards a little each day with longer and longer intervals between once you are satisfied with the speed of recall. You have to balance what is right for your child, but please make sure too much time does not pass between attempts in the beginning learning phase of the app, especially the first lessons that covers the basic number/sounds for characters 0-9, (the first flag on the progress bar.)
Good points for rewards for your child might be reaching each flag, and then completing the final progress bar which they do after they have answered all of the times tables at least once. Then looking at your child belts determine an appropriate “belt level” to reach before the next reward. BLACK is very hard to reach, most adults who know the times tables are between brown and black belts with a few times tables that take a little longer than they should. Key to rewards is do not make them too easy, or too hard. Make them relevant to your child, something they would appreciate it. Some of our younger kids just like showing off the belts.
We found a bug!
If you come across something, please let us know the type of device and IOS version you are using as we try to test this on as many as possible to limit any problems and it is helpful to know so we can continue to improve the stability on more devices. Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If the app hangs, just quitting the app and restarting will often work. Alternatively reboot your device as all the videos take up a large amount of memory and if you have not rebooted in awhile it will lead to more instability.
Yes, we really would love to see how your children do!
Please send us screen shots (hold home and power buttons at same time quickly to take a screen shot) of your childs times table performance and any comments. We would also love hear any helpful tips and tricks you have for teaching the multiplication table. If you enjoy the app please post a review in the app store and send us an email to us and we will forward some coloring pages to help reinforce and allow practicing without a device.
Do you really have 10 children?
Yes! And we do know where they come from and how this happens, we had 7 boys in a row, no we weren’t trying for a girl, no we never planned or dreamed we would have so many, lol. We do believe children are a blessing and we couldn’t imagine it any other way.