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Educents gave us an amazing opportunity to review the Memory Joggers Story Cards for Multiplication and Division. Being a math teacher and homeschooling mom of a boy who is learning his multiplication facts, I couldn’t wait to try these out!
When I was a kid, I remember a lot of rote learning for times tables. I used flash cards and took a bunch of timed tests in school. But, that doesn’t work for everyone. (And, it’s not much fun!) Some of my developmental college students still struggle with advanced math concepts because they haven’t mastered their multiplication facts!
Memory Joggers Story Cards
My son easily learned his 2’s and 5’s, but he was really struggling to memorize the times tables for higher numbers. So, I was really excited to get started with the Memory Joggers Story Cards!
I’m happy to report that after using these for about two weeks, my son is already learning new facts. The program recommends introducing no more than two per day. We’ve been sticking to that policy and it is working well! Memory Joggers Story Cards work by associating each number with an item or character. They use those to tell a story that is more memorable than just trying to remember a number alone. So the number four is associated with doors, the number seven is associated with a boy named Kevin and so on. My son loves stories and can remember lots of specific details when he hears a story. So, these work great for him! The division facts are built right in, and he’s learning those as we go along, too!
Here a sample card for 4 x 4. The story talks about two twin sisters who stand at their doors and argure about their Sweet 16 birthday.
The stories are printed on the backs of the cards, the picture can be seen while you’re telling the story. They also suggest having the student visualize the fact by tracing it in the air. You can also reinforce by having the students draw the picture.
Most of the stories in the Memory Joggers Story Cards are cute and fun, and some connect the answer to a similar sounding word. Here’s my son talking about what he remembers from his favorite stories:
Suggestions for use at Home
Whether you’re homeschooling or just using these for extra reinforcement, the Memory Joggers Story Cards are very flexible. I’ve asked my son to re-tell me the story at a different time during the day to check his understanding. I sometimes leave questions open-ended (tell me a porcupine story) so he has the choice of which story to tell. These would even work great as a quick addition to your bedtime routine.
Suggestions for use in the Classroom
You can easily use the Memory Joggers Story Cards in a classroom setting. They are great for a morning or circle time activity. You could assess understanding by having each student create their own picture in a journal or on this response sheet I created. I’ve been saving ours to make a multiplication book.
More Activities to Practice Multiplication:
Domino Math Games by Fun Games 4 Learning – Two to four players can use dominos to practice facts.
Early Multiplication: Grouping with Legos by School Time Snippets – Kristina and her son practice multiplication using Legos!
Multiplication Rap DVD – Kids discover what multiplication is all about and learn facts through 12.
Patterned Multiplication Circles by Lemon Lime Adventures – Dayna and her 7-year old use a crafty, visual way to learn multiplication.
Learning Wrapups – Multiplication Wrap-ups are a fun, hands-on way to combine multiplication practice with string activities!
Musical Math by Sue Dickson’s Songs that Teach – This program makes memorizing the facts fun with catchy songs!
30 Multiplication Facts Printable Worksheets by Elementary Studies – This low-cost packet includes 30 printable worksheets, 143 flash cards, six vocabulary word cards, and a multiplication chart.
Multiplication Jenga by The Organized Classroom – Download and print multiplication labels for your Jenga Pieces. Then, flex your math muscles every time you pull a block from the Jenga tower!
A+ Math Multiplication Unit – Build a strong foundation in math with A+ Interactive Math’s multiplication unit.
Multiplication Beach Ball by Lattes & Laughter – This DIY math beach ball creates an active way to practice facts!
Super Hero Multiplication and Division by Teaching Momster – If your kids like super hero movies, then try these printable math worksheets that have a fun super hero theme!
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.
Do you think the Memory Joggers Story Cards would work for your child? Have you tried any of the other resources listed here? How did you learn multiplication facts?