Yesterday, I finally found a, free, effective tool for helping my 12 yr. old with learning issues learn his times tables. It’s a game called Dynamite Multiplication on the site Multiplication.com.

It uses an image memory technique I’ve been using with him, effectively, for other things. But it adds rhyme and stories to make it even more effective.

The one I’ve been using involves creating images, no matter how outlandish, to link ideas you’re trying to remember. One way involves imagining walking through your house. So if you’re trying to remember, say, the names of all the continents, you imagine yourself walking through your front door and are greeted by a penguin (Antarctica), in your kitchen you find a lion enjoying a meal at your kitchen table (Africa), and in your bathroom you surprise a kangaroo in the shower (Australia)…and so on.

Dynamite Multiplication covers the 2-9 times tables and assigns an image to each number.  Two is shoe, three is tree, four is door, eight is skate, nine is sign and so on. So to remember that 8 x 4 = 32 the site provides the image of a door wearing skates who makes himself a big U to skate on, which he makes from some dirty wood he finds. So SKATE x DOOR = DIRTY U or 8×4=32. The site then provides a short story about the image to help lock it in the brain. Here’s what it looks like:

Dirty U

 

The result for my kid, who’s a visual learner, was learning his 7 times table in one night after having tried to master them many other ways.

But this great tool is buried among some 30 games on Multiplicationn.com’s game section with no indication of its unique, powerful use of images.  So please share it!

I had found a paid service providing a similar image technique for times tables but why pay for something you can get for free? 😉

On to the next challenge…..

**** UPDATE  Dec. 12, 2013 ****

After digging deeper in to the site, it turns out it’s built around the images and stories for learning times tables created by Washington educator Alan Walker and captured in his book Memorize in Minutes: The Times Tables.

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