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City Creek Press Times and Division Classroom Kit Review by Jacquelin Caffey

Times Alive! Multiplication Software
Judy LiautaudCity Creek Press, Inc.
P- 800-585-6059
PO Box 8415
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Math facts . . . your child either loves them or dreads them. In fact, I don’t know many children who love them other than my math-loving daughter. However, I am here to tell you that learning and grasping the multiplication skills that encompass all areas of higher-level learning is possible with the help of Times Alive!

I am a firm believer in the fact that things will fall into place at just the right times. This review is such the case. You see, my 4th grader has been struggling to master her multiplication facts, and I was searching the Internet for a program to use. The very next day I was offered the City Creek Press Times and Division Classroom kit with Times Alive! Multiplication Software, and I couldn’t be happier with this set.

We received a big box of goodies to help my 4th grader learn her multiplication facts. The package included:

The Times and Division Classroom set is perfect for a homeschool setting or traditional classroom. This kit includes stories, manipulative play pieces, poster pictures, activity sheets, and music to help you teach.

  • Times Tables the Fun Way Book for Kids~ This is the main book of the program and is also available as a PDF download. The spiral-bound book is printed in full color and includes 88 pages. This book teaches the zeros through nines and includes pictures and stories for each of the more difficult facts, 3’s, 4’s, 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s, while helpful tricks are used to teach the rest of the easier facts through 9. The spiral binding helps keep the book flat for easy teaching.
  • Times Tables the Fun Way Clue Cards ($10.95) ~ Two sets of these cards are included, and they are intended to be used after you have taught the story. Each full set includes forty-five 3” x 5/5” cards and includes the answers on the back. For ease of use, the cards are numbered on the bottom with the lesson numbers.
  • Times Tables the Fun Way Student Workbook($12.95) ~ This student workbook is used after teaching the children the stories to reinforce learning. The workbook includes 60 pages of reproducible practice sheets, quizzes, activities, and pre-and post-tests to monitor progress. Your student will need to know the stories in the Times Book to utilize the workbook pages.
  • Division Flash Cards ($10.95) ~ After mastering the times facts and stories, you are ready to move on to division facts. Once the students know the times story, they can begin to guess who has been left out with the 64 flash cards in this set. The missing character is the answer to the division fact. This set includes the reversals like 72 divided by 8 and 72 divided by 9.
  • Times Tables the Fun Way Teacher’s Manual($24.95) ~ The teacher’s manual includes everything you need to cover lesson plans in a multisensory approach to learning the 0-12 facts, double digits, and simple division problems. It is 122 pages long and includes 12 games for extra practice and a card pack with game cards and grading templates.
  • Times Tables the Fun Way Posters ($44.95) ~ A 15-poster set that represents each story in the Book for Kids. The 13x20 posters are perfect for the visual learner and enhance retention. 
  • Songs to Remember the Times Tables ($17.95) ~ Help kids remember math facts even more with the help of 15 fabulous theme songs that correlate with the stories found in the Times Table Book. Each story is represented, and you will be tapping your feet and singing along with these catchy lyrics.
  • Times Tables the Fun Way Magnetic Story Board ($28.95) ~ This is a magnetic math board that is color-coded with the characters from the story. It includes over 75 magnetic pieces to give hands-on fun while re-creating the fact stories.
  • Times Tables the Fun WayAudio Book on CD ($12.95) ~ An audio book that has separate tracks for each chapter. This works as a great travel aid as students can work independently while reading and memorizing the Times Book for Kids.
  • Times Tables the Fun Way Activity Book($11.95) ~ An economical black-and-white version of The Times Tables the Fun Way stories that let students have their own take-home copy of the color edition. These books are 98 pages of fun activities and are not sold separately.

The Times Alive! Software CD is a fun, engaging, supplementary math program founded by former Sylvan Learning Center owner Judy Liautaud that has been “Helping Kids Get a Kick Out of Learning since 1992.” Times Alive! is an interactive game that uses stories, songs, and quizzes to help teach children multiplication facts from zeros through the nines times tables. By viewing short animated video clips with catchy lyrics, my students were eager for math all day. It retails for $44.95 for a physical CD or $48.95 for a download. PC and Mac versions are both available.

Some features of the program include:

~ the ability for the student to read along while they hear the storyteller

~ fun and lively game animation that makes the number characters come alive on screen

~ Each story is followed by a music video and a catchy song that you will find yourself singing throughout the day.

~ Interactive games and quizzes keep the student engaged while testing recall. 

~ Helpful progress reports track the dates that lessons are completed, quizzes taken, and time using the program.

~ One of our favorite features is that you can stop anywhere within the lesson and resume later because the program remembers where you left off.

Getting started using this complete program is as simple as opening the book and jumping right into the lesson plans. Over the course of our review period, we used this program 5 days a week. Typically, on Mondays, we would do a little review session, and on Fridays, we would play lots of games and make it fun for her. She loved the computer time and watching the stories. They always drew a crowd while they were on, and I even caught my older girls sneaking a peak and singing the tunes here and there. My rising 2nd grader is excited to learn her multiplication facts and to use the program in a few years too.

With so many goodies at our disposal, Montana has had a blast learning her multiplication facts. It no longer feels like a chore to her or me! That in and of itself is priceless!

-Product review by Jacquelin Caffey, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017