If you have kids learning multiplication you have to see this.

reno_fanSeptember 7, 2007

I posted this on the Home Dec board as well, but thought it would be useful here.

Last night I didn't have time to sit down with DD to work on her multiplication flash cards. I did a quick Google search for some sort of online flash card thing that would occupy her while I cooked dinner.

I ran across this game that I downloaded, and I'm completely blown away. We used to homeschool, and I literally used to fantasize about having a game like this for my son. Usually, all of the "tutorial games" we had were just lame. Cheesy bad graphics, hard to use, not enough repetition to be effective, etc.

This game, however, is awesome. It was apparently created by some a guy who's background is in high-tech Playstation games. They have a free version that is a complete game. I downloaded it, and within 30 minutes, I saw my DD getting faster and faster, much more so than anything we've done with flash cards. The way the game is geared, they give the kids hints to understand the answers, and then the kids have to fight the bad guy by using their facts as quickly as possible. It's actually enjoyable to see my DD trying to speed up her recall to beat the bad guy. The way they work in the repetition is just brilliant.

She woke up this morning eager to play it again, and has already asked if she can play it when she gets home from school.

Worth checking out if you have kiddos in this age range.

(It also has a feature where you can jump to a level that you need work on, like the "9's". Great for focusing on those tougher problems.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Timez Attack

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That DOES look cool Reno -- And I'll definitely be looking at that more closely because learning his multiplication facts is my son's chief math goal this year. The game looks like it would be great for building speed and accuracy.

I'd like to put in a pitch for one more multiplication aid product -- though it's probably geared toward a more basic level than that game. This one is a book featuring stories that help kids learn and remember their core multiplication facts. Their approach uses a series of short stories written around number characters, and the questions and answers are imbedded in the story. For example, Seven is a fireman at the 4th St Station, who arrives too late (2,8) to put out the fire. These stories have a great track record with special needs kids and were fantastic at teaching my son his addition and subtraction facts. For some reason, John has a great recall of stories...

Here is a link that might be useful: Multiplication Stories

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:09AM
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Thanks reno, I've got one just starting multiplication so will definately try it. Also as a teacher I love having little tricks like that stored away.

Sweeby, I've used that set for tutoring and it does work great - especially with a visual learner or like your son someone who remembers stories better than numbers.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Thanks, Reno! I will check it out. My kid loves computer games and it definitely sounds like his kind of thing! He's also a math NUT, he's nearly six and he can add in his head better than I can! I can't wait to show this to him.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:11PM
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I downloaded this and tried to start playing, but I can't make anything happen!

I explored the first room, and I'm stuck.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 6:44PM
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Talley, it takes a few minutes to get the hang of it. You basically walk around the castle until you get to a set of doors. Walk right up to the doors, and a math fact will appear on them. Then little snails come out, and you catch them. Once you've caught all of them, you throw them back at the door to solve the problem. Doors open, then the monster comes out and you use your fast-facts to defeat him.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 5:24PM
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OK, I'll have to give it another try. I'll look for the doors.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 10:08AM
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Reno - Thank you for posting this! My son is going to love learning multiplication this way.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 8:27PM
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Wow, I feel really stupid. I can't figure out how to play the game. I just run around bumping into things. I managed to grab a key and a couple of snails and throw something at the door but all I got was a flashing line. I ran around some more and got nowhere. Now, I have to admit here that I've never even played a video game, but I don't think my dd would be able to do this either. What exactly are you supposed to do to get to the point of practicing times tables?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 10:34PM
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Oh, whew! I'm not as dumb as I thought. I got an email from the company explaining how to play and I managed much better. I still think it's a bit beyond my daughter's abilities (she's in 2nd grade and is 7), but it will be fun to try it together! Thanks for the link.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 12:02PM
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I'm glad to hear about the company's e-mail; I couldn't even find any keys to grab.

I won't have time until after Halloween-costume madness, but I'll try it again then.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 11:49AM
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The first time I tried it, there was nothing--I got to doors, but nothing happened. Then finally a problem came up on the door, but I had no idea what to do after throwing the snail balls (I didn't know you were supposed to type in the number answer). It's pretty simple once the stuff works--you run into the snails, which then turn into balls you can throw at the door. Then you have to type in the numeral that is the answer to the problem on the door. After that, the door opens up and an ogre comes out. The multiplication problem(s) appear on his front and you have so much time in which to type in the answer. If you answer wrong, he blasts you with his club thing. After you give the correct answer(s) several times, he goes back behind the door and a key appears, which you grab by running into it. After you do this at several doors, you go on to the next level. That's as far as I know :)

We've played this game with dd doing the keyboard and me manipulating the mouse. That has worked well so far. She's still trying to get used to pushing the right number key(s), which is hard for her to do quickly.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 2:01PM
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I tried this, and I think my DD is going to love it. She is in 5th Grade, and behind on her times table (she comes by that honestly ; ) so I think this will be just the ticket. On their website there is a demo where the creator shows the various levels in the for-purchase version, and they look pretty cool -- if this gets my DD to finally crack those times tables, it will be the best $40 we ever spent! We'll see how the free version goes first, but thanks so much for the great tip!!!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 4:14AM
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Seeking, it took me almost 1/2 hour to figure the game out. (Thankfully the dinner I was simultaneously trying to cook wasn't burned!)

Once I figured it out, I showed it to my 9yr old DD. It took her like 5 minutes to get it together, thereby leaving me chagrined at my "fogey" computer skills. Here I was trying to explain how it works, and she was like, "Mommmmm! It's easy. All you do is....."

I swear, I think the kids get the hang of that kind of stuff way quicker than we do!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 9:55AM
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I've tried unsuccessfully a few times now. Nothing happens. I go to the doors and no math fact appears. I can't see any keys or monsters or anything. It's look great being 3-D, but I can't get anything to happen. I don't want to buy until I've tried it!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:11AM
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