TimesX Multiplication Tester (Times Table Trainer)
This is a times tables app that lets children concentrate on practising the tables that they are currently learning. With excellent reporting features and a facility to target questions that are causing problems, it could support a child in achieving proficiency in multiplication.
TimesX is an app type that most teachers will have already encountered - a multiple-choice times table quiz. In the main exercise, a question appears and children must tap one of the four numbers presented as possible answers. The selection of 'possibles' are sensible and don't leave a single number standing out as the correct answer.
The app's presentation is driven by a skeuomorphic theme of chalk numbers on a chalkboard. It looks attractive and the methods of interactions are easy to work out and use. The sound effects are limited to a few confirmation effects but the questions are read out loud by the app.
There is not a huge amount of options to shape the user's experience but the ones there are show an awareness of what children need to learn and where they might need to use the app.
Sound can be toggled on and off from within the game itself. This is a welcome feature for any teacher who has had to wait while a class of children finish their current exercise before they can mute the sounds in an options screen. The exact times tables to cover can be selected, as can whether they go up to 10x or 12x. Finally, it is optional whether the exercise is timed by the app. This isn't a countdown, however, but purely a reporting feature of how long it took to complete the exercise.
An option that is missing that can be a little frustrating is the ability to quit an exercise without finishing it. There any number of reasons why a player might not want to complete the exercise and to deny the option does not prevent the quitting of a game. It just makes it a frustrating exercise in clicking through questions.
Teachers get a better report of a child's performance than with many apps of this type. Each attempt at the exercise has every single question recorded and whether it was answered correctly or not. A historic record of the attempts is maintained by the app. Once enough attempts have been made to make it worthwhile, a new option appears in the app. This 'Error Counts' option tailors a challenge to a child's performance and exposes them to more of the questions they get wrong than ones they get right.
This is a useful function and one that the app could do with making more explicit within itself. How it works is only made clear on the app purchase page. In the app, it is just greyed out until it has enough data to activate. The ability to allow multiple users would also make this more useful for teachers as, at the moment, only a single child per device can be supported.
As a teacher, you do face a choice of apps that work in a similar way to this one. Aside from the fact that a few different apps avoid student boredom, the straightforward nature of this app and its excellent reporting and ability to account for a student's performance make it well worth considering.
From the Developer
The BEST and FASTEST way to IMPROVE your child's multiplication test scores! After your child gets the same question wrong on 2 or more tests, the app will list them in the Error Counts screen. Once there are 10 or more error counts, your child can test specifically on those difficult questions. Regular testing can be customized for specific times tables, as children in grades 2 and 3 typically practice one or a few tables at a time. This also lets you make tests harder or easier based on their results.
- Tests are saved on your device with all the results and details for you to review them
- With more use, 'Error Counts' shows you where your child needs help
- An 'Error Counts' test lets your child test on their most challenging questions
- Random Tests can be customized by times tables you choose, from 1 to 12
- Optional Live timer for speed testing
- Optional Sound feedback includes spoken questions, correct, and wrong feedback. You can "listen to" your child's test from across the room
This project was a personal endeavor to boost my son's multiplication skills in grades 2 and 3. Every feature was built with his learning in mind. From doing homework with him, I designed this app with these goals:
1) give him lots of practice
2) keep all his tests and grades from testing
3) identify the questions he gets wrong the most often and focus on them
4) customize testing for strengths and weaknesses
App preview music by Nicolai Heidlas.
See the full video on the DEVELOPER WEBSITE link.