This math teacher & homeschooler discovers a way to use stories when teaching multiplication facts.
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!
The Memory Joggers program is designed to teach children the times tables and division facts through story-telling, so we were so excited to start reading the stories!
How Memory Joggers Work
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.
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:
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 argue 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.
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 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.
About the All-Star Blogger
I’m Krystal, and I write Healthy Happy Thrifty Family blog from beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado! Prior to raising my family, I spent several years working as math teacher in K-8 schools. I now home school my children and work part time as a college math instructor (along with blogging, social media pursuits and raising backyard chickens).