The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Times Alive APP Full Version Review by Kelly BurgessCity Creek Press, Inc.
P. O. Box 8415
Minneapolis, MN 55408
The Times Alive APP Full Version is an in-app purchase for $14.95 within the Times Alive APP Lite. The Lite version is free but only includes the first three lessons. It’s a great way to try before you buy in order to see if the program is right for your family. The Times Alive program is said to be “Times Tables the Fun Way!”
Holden is ten years old, and while he’s well beyond his grade level in math, he has still failed to memorize all of his multiplication facts. This is a common deficiency among elementary students, and it can impede their speed and progress as they move on to higher levels of math. He was excited to try this app so he could try to master those last few facts that seem to elude his memory!
Before learning the math facts from zero to nine, there is a pre-test to see what the student already knows. After completing all of the lessons, there is a post-test of all the same math facts so you can compare at the end and determine what the student has learned by completing the program. Scores throughout the program are stored in the app, and you can go back to previous lessons at any time.
Each lesson includes an animated video with a unique “story” that involves both the factors and the product to the math fact your child is trying to learn. Next is another video with a catchy tune that repeats the math fact in the way it was learned in the story. At the end of the lesson, there is a “guessing game” that has the student recall the story characters and then fill in the actual factors and product for the math fact they learned. Periodically, there is a cumulative quiz to check the student’s progress in recalling what they’ve learned so far. In all, there are eighteen lessons, including the pre- and post-tests.
I’d like to share a quick example of the clever stories and how well they help the student remember the fact. For the math fact four times four equals sixteen, it tells the story of a young boy who liked to hang-glide. He disliked carrying his equipment up the hillside so he could fly down, and he longed to save enough money so he could buy a four by four truck to drive up the hillside. When he turned sixteen, he got his license and bought his four by four, and he was so happy! Four times four is sixteen…the boy bought a four by four truck when he turned sixteen. Isn’t that clever? That’s certainly a memorable way to remember this math fact!
I’m happy to say that this app has actually helped him achieve his goal! He found the stories to be quite memorable. I watched him taking one of the cumulative quizzes, and when he came to a math fact that I knew he hadn’t previously mastered, he hesitated at first. But then he told me the story that went with it, and he successfully recalled the correct answer without any help from me! That pleased me so much. He paused, recalled what he’d learned, and applied it successfully. I know as he continues to practice with this program, his recall will only get faster, and before we know it, he will no longer be hesitating to recall the answers. That’s progress!
The videos are short, and the stories are cute and unique. The repetitive nature of the songs helps to forge the math facts into your child’s memory. I have seen how effective this program can be, and I could easily recommend it. It only takes a few minutes per day, and it’s actually fun to watch!
-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2018