The Steps4Kids to Multiply DVD is a useful tool that
helps children memorize the multiplication facts from zero to twelve.
Recommended for second and third grade, this DVD is appropriate
for homeschool and classroom settings. (In the classroom it could
be projected onto a large screen or white board.) I personally
feel children above the recommended age (up to fourth or fifth
grade) will find this DVD helpful.
The Steps4Kids to Multiply DVD has 15 individual segments:
one segment for each number (13 segments), an informational section
for parents and teachers, and an introduction to math terms and
properties. The total running time is 80 minutes; each section
can be accessed from the main menu, allowing students to view any
segment at any time.
Steps4Kids to Multiply focuses on building rote memorization
skills. This is achieved by presenting the multiplication facts
both visually and verbally. A variety of tips and tricks help children
remember the facts quickly. Here are some examples of the tips
and methods presented throughout the DVD:
- 4 x 4 is shown in green , because 4 x 4 is 16. (My
daughter no longer forgets 4 x 4 after learning it this way!)
- "Pretzel sticks, pretzel sticks, 7 x 8 is 56."
- 3 x 5 is shown as 3 feet with 5 toes each, which equals 15.
Other quick tips and explanations are given throughout, with gentle
reminders to think about the sum in a particular way or recall
a trick that has been previously taught. The multiplication facts
are shown vertically and horizontally, enabling children to build
familiarity with both formats.
Each segment begins by displaying the times tables up to 12, with
the current section highlighted. Children are then directed to
look for a pattern (if there is one) or to simply look at the numbers
to familiarize themselves with the multiplication facts.
The practice segments end with a test; the multiplication problems
are displayed on the screen and also voiced. This is followed by
a slight pause before the answer is given. Children who are still
learning the multiplication facts may need to use the pause button
to allow enough time to answer. The voice used in this DVD is calm
and clear, enabling children to focus their attention on listening
and learning. The DVD has been described as "sensory sensitive," making
this a good choice for those with special needs.
After first watching the DVD, I felt it was good, but I didn't
believe it would dramatically improve my child's recollection of
the multiplication facts. We have used this DVD for a few months
now, and I can say that we really do like it and it actually does help.
I also love the fact that it requires no preparation!
After working on a new multiplication section in her math workbook
(a separate program), my 9-year-old (who struggles with math) puts Steps4Kids
to Multiply in the DVD player and watches the appropriate
section. Many of the memory tricks or rhymes used in the DVD have
come to mind during her math lessons, helping her recall the answers
Steps4Kids to Multiply is an effective tool that facilitates
memorization and recall of the multiplication facts. I recommended
it for any child who is learning the facts or struggling to recall