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Review of Memory Joggers: Addition & Subtraction Learning System

by: Donnalyn Yates, M.Ed.

Summary:

Memorization of math facts can be challenging, but with specific strategies, recalling them can be an efficient and enjoyable process. We recently had the pleasure of reviewing Donnalyn Yates’ Memory Joggers: Addition & Subtraction Learning System.These resources provide a fun and effective process for memorizing the math fact families.

The Challenge of Math Skills

The ability to carry out many math functions comes easier with the speed and accuracy of knowing the math facts. As math becomes more challenging with each grade level, it is important to have a deep understanding of the why behind math skills in addition to efficient execution of the math facts. The trouble for many is the daunting task of remembering all of the math facts! First and foremost, it is vital to understand the meaning of math concepts. For example, it is important to lay the foundation for students to understand what addition is, and what the process of subtraction means. Remembering 2+2=4 is nothing unless a student comprehends the concrete processes. While speed isn’t the most important thing, as math gets more complex, recalling their math facts to a certain degree of speed will aide them as they tackle higher level problems. The question is once students understand the processes, how do we take them to the next step of memorizing their facts quickly without it being so overwhelming? Donnalyn Yates solves this problem by utilizing brain-based research on memory and learning to make memorizing math facts efficient, successful, and enjoyable! Her math discoveries resulted in two resources: Memory Joggers: Addition & Subtraction Learning System and Memory Joggers: Multiplication & Division Learning System. I will describe our experience with the Deluxe Addition & Subtraction Learning System.

What It Comes With:

Memory Joggers: Deluxe Addition & Subtraction Learning System comes with:

• a Parent/Teacher Guide
• Rhyming Cards
• Activity Book
• Add - Subtract Rhyming CD
• Memory Tips for Math (chock-full of strategies to memorize many other math concepts)

Method of Teaching and Learning

Memory Joggers’ effective teaching methods include the use of:

• rhymes
• stories
• and visualization through pictures

Associating context with the fact families allows students to recall them much more quickly, to retain them longer, while having a fun time learning math. It is a contrast to rote memorization by repeating numbers in your head or out loud until it is learned. The use of rhyme and stories help to solidify the information because it is made more meaningful to the student.

As a former classroom teacher and a current homeschool parent to early elementary students, I see the success firsthand of tying stories and rhyme to learning. Yates created a thorough step-by-step program to support students with varying multiple intelligences. Each system is clear to understand and execute. It is simple enough implement in the classroom and at home with minimal prep, making it very convenient for busy educators and parents.

The Addition & Subtraction Learning System focus on the rhythm and rhyme of stories paired with visuals. Associations and rhymes are effective ways for the brain to remember information.

How We Used it

My children and I worked with two rhymes each week, as recommended. To memorize the addition and subtraction fact families, we first listened to the rhyme on the provided CD. Then the kids say it out loud while clapping the pattern. Finally, we flip the Rhyming Card to show the image corresponding to the fact family. The process was repeated a few times to practice. My kids were enthralled with this system, that they wanted to push forward to hear more fact families in one sitting! It was wonderful to see their motivation. It was advised to make it fun and silly. We did just that to keep the kids engaged. To reinforce the facts, the students then write the corresponding rhyme in the Activity Book.

Where This Can Be Used

Both Addition & Subtraction and Multiplication & Division Learning Systems are flexible for classroom, homeschool, and individual student’s use. The Activity Book, Rhyming Cards, Story Cards, and CD are portable to take on the go as well. My kids and I listen to the Addition & Subtraction Rhyming CD in the car or we can even review the rhymes while folding laundry together.

Overall Feedback

I like how Memory Joggers targets different learning modalities: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. It uses techniques based on brain-research and proven successful learning strategies. It also blends math with language arts skills. In addition, I appreciate its user-friendliness and implementation of strategies that are engaging for learners.

For more Memory Joggers fun:

Memory Joggers also has a product to help students learn multiplication and division facts.

The Multiplication & Division Learning System focus on storytelling and visuals using a “Peg System.” Each digit is given a visual for the person to make an association with.

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Author Bio:

Michele is a wife, mommy of 3, and educator. When she’s not homeschooling and chasing a baby around the house, she likes to bake, read, and blog. You can find her blogging adventures at Work From Home Mommy of 3 (www.workfromhomemommyof3.com).

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