Wednesday, January 27, 2016

AFFILIATE – 8 Resources for Learning the Times Tables

Times Tables Resources

Multiplication: it's a math skill we ALL use in daily life. I point this out because there is actually math I do NOT use in my daily life. My teens have just started those word problems that say things like, "Plane A left the airport going this fast, and Plane B left at the same time going this fast. How long will it be before they are x number of miles apart?" Do we actually have to do that, ever? Maybe air traffic controllers need to know that kind of thing...

Anyway - I DO use multiplication! I use it when I'm cooking; I double recipes quite often. I use it when I'm shopping, and for "fast counting" when I have a certain number of people and need supplies, for example.

It's important for children to memorize their multiplication tables. It truly does make math work SO much faster for them! Are you an educator or parent with a frustrated child who is attempting to memorize the multiplication tables? Read on.

Hundreds of kids have learned their times tables in an hour using a very fun & easy to understand animated video. The Times Tales DVD is a two-part video series that uses stories to teach multiplication to kids. The videos use cute, simple stories that provide students with a "memory peg," allowing them to quickly recall otherwise abstract multiplication facts. As students progress through the video, they'll learn multiplication without even knowing it! It's that easy!

About the Times Tales DVD - What is included?

  • Animated video comes on a DVD
  • CD includes printable worksheets and flashcards

What Educents customers are saying about Times Tales:

"Fun and effective! Did in 2 weeks what other curriculum didn't do in a year!"

"My kids did NOT want to like this when I first opened it up, but they ended up liking it a LOT! They kept trying to "figure it out" so it took a while for my 2nd and 4th grader to just relax and watch the stories. We followed the recommended pace, and in 2 weeks this DVD solidified what other methods could not do for them in a year! Even my 3 yr old shouts out the answers to some of the quiz questions! Of course she doesn't understand what she's learning yet, but when her time comes, learning her multiplication facts will be painless and easy :) Definitely recommend this program to anyone who has stressed over drilling boring multiplication facts into their kids! You WILL Love it! :)" -ML
"I can’t even imagine how many less papers my 5th grade teacher would have had to grade if we had this in my elementary school! We did multiplication drills every single day during our 2nd semester! Using this DVD really beats that." - Celena J.

Times Tales Animated DVD & Printable Worksheets


Times Tales teaches kids the upper times tables without rote memorization. Students can simply follow along with the entertaining story. As they progress, they'll be guided into associating the stories they've learned with real math. You can always find the Times Tales DVD at a discount on!

More Activities to Practice Multiplication:

This hands-on activity uses legos to reinforce multiplication facts. Source: SchoolTimesSnippet

This hands-on activity uses legos to reinforce multiplication facts. 

Early Multiplication: Grouping with Legos by School Time Snippets - Kristina and her son practice multiplications using Legos!

Multiplication Rap DVD - Kids discover what multiplication is all about, learn facts through 12, and practice skip counting.

Superhero Flash Cards - A series of self-checking multiplication and division flash cards with a fun superhero theme.

Visual way to teach multiplication to your student. Source: Lemon Lime Adventures Visual way to teach multiplication to your student. 

Patterned Multiplication Circles by Lemon Lime Adventures - Dayna and her 7-year old use this visual way to learn multiplication. This math craftivity is fun for all ages!

Musical Math with Sue Dickson’s Songs that Teach - This program makes memorizing the facts easy, sure, and fun with catchy songs that allow students to master the facts in no time!

30 Multiplication Facts Printable Worksheets - This low-cost packet includes 30 printable worksheets, 143 flash cards, six vocabulary word cards, and a multiplication chart.

A+ Math Multiplication Unit - Build a strong foundation in math with A+ Interactive Math’s multiplication unit.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Reading List

Do you make a reading list for yourself at the beginning of the new year? I have seen several people do this, and there are always reading challenges floating around in the blogosphere. Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy put up her 2016 Reading Challenge, which involves reading twelve different books in twelve different categories over twelve months. That sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

My issue is this: I have a reading list aversion. If I make a reading list, I no longer want to read the books on it. It's fairly ridiculous, actually. I have no idea why this is.

This year, though. I've done it. I've made a list, and have hopefully left some room on it for books I haven't met yet. In fact, I've already gone on a rabbit trail and checked out five books from the library.

I was having a hard time deciding if I wanted to focus on C.S. Lewis or Shakespeare. Someone shared a challenge on Facebook to read all of Shakespeare's works in a year. I was tempted; I've been enjoying Shakespeare with my girls, but I haven't read lots of what he wrote. However - that's a LOT of Shakespeare. I'm not sure I'd have time to read much else. Honestly, I know myself. There is no way I would read only Shakespeare for an entire year.

I'm part of a Facebook group of passionate book people, and they have reading events all the time. This year, I signed up for four year-long events in which we will explore different authors, genres, or concepts.

The first group is a C.S. Lewis group. C.S. Lewis wrote so many more books than I ever knew! He wrote fantasy, science fiction, Christian books, scholarly books, poetry... it boggles the mind. In my group we are planning to read the following:
I'm also planning to re-read the Chronicles of Narnia, because it's been a while, and I love them.

The second group is a Shakespeare group. We will read the following:
As it turns out, I haven't read any of those yet. I'm excited to explore some new-to-me Shakespeare and not feel overwhelmed by the selections.

The third group is a survey of American Character. We were originally going to start with a biography of Abigail Adams (wife of John Adams, 2nd U.S. President), but it seems the group didn't like some of the assumptions made by the author. Instead, they decided to read John Adams by David McCullough. 

Have you seen that book? It is 752 pages long.


Do you know what my response has been to this book, every single time I've considered reading it? "Why? Why would someone write a book that long? And why would anyone want to read it?" Don't I sound scholarly and well-read? Ha.

It's actually on the Ambleside Online list for the year my girls are in, but I didn't assign it. They wouldn't have had time for much else, even had I broken it out over the whole year. It's supposed to be an excellent book. Here's hoping it is, because I will never finish it if it isn't a rip-roaring good read. 

Thanks for letting me get that out. 

The list of books for the American Character group is:
The last group is a Science Fiction/Fantasy group, and I'm most excited about this one. Fantasy is my favorite genre. I'm learning, thanks to Charlotte Mason, how important it is to read other things, but if I had my druthers, I'd read fantasy all the time. In this group, I'm only re-reading one book, which is pretty exciting to me. Here's our list:
I'm hoping to read both selections each time, since I haven't read any of them before (except A Wrinkle in Time).  Although I've read it more than once, it feels like a new experience in many ways, even as it feels like returning to an old friend.

I confess, I'm feeling a bit trepidatious about this reading list thing. I'm excited, though, because I'm reading most of the books on my list with other people. I love to talk to other people who love books like I do!

In addition to the books for the events in my Facebook group, I have been eyeballing books on the lists of last year's reading from a couple of my favorite people: Liz Cottrill at Living Books Library, and Nancy Kelly at Sage Parnassus. If you're looking for possible reading selections, check out their lists.