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Everything posted by Clickie

  1. Commenting only on the "fun program" part, not on the "looking at the keyboard" part of your post. I'm having the same problem with my DS, new 6th grader, not much typing skill progress despite grade, but we don't stick to programs very well in the past. We've started "Typesy" this school year. It's paid, they make you buy a few licenses for homeschool, so I'm doing the lessons on my account as well: My son responds to competition. Lots of lessons, points system, lots of games that you unlock by earning points. The system tells you your typing and accuracy speed all the time. I myself sometimes skip through the little "Use your homerow keys" cutesy videos, but my son watches them, which is the main thing.... It also has lots of built in courses for Common Core grade level words, which I plan to use to improve his spelling. (His spelling really needs improvement.) Parent-administration account also has lots of reporting, which is mainly what I wanted, to make sure we keep doing it every day, and to map improvement..... we somehow stop using a free typing program way too quickly.... Anyways, just throwing it out there.
  2. This is all I've noticed recently, wrt decimal operations at the Grade 4/5 level. You could think about SplashLearn, which is iOS and Android. You can try out the games in a browser. Subscription, but a person could just buy a month. Noticed it while looking for metric conversion games.... I don't have a subscription myself, and I don't know that much per se about the program. https://www.splashlearn.com/decimal-games As a lesser option, Doodle Maths has decimal drills/questions. It's also subscription at the level where you can customize the assignment to be decimals. (Otherwise it is adaptive, and has some reduced questions available a day that the app will chose for you.) My son is currently doing a subscription to Doodle Maths. It's a fun way to improve speed and accuracy. https://doodlelearning.com/
  3. Wanted to mention that Spectrum Language Arts is a good resource to consider, if you end up needing other at grade level options. (I have a different level that we're just about to start, and we've done Grade 3 Spectrum phonics thoroughly.) Pages have color, illustrations. If challenging at grade level, you could try the level below. Grade 1 might be appropriate. https://www.amazon.com.au/Spectrum-Language-Arts-Grade-1/dp/1483812057
  4. Just a thought, I haven't bought this book yet, but will in my next order (I save up to get to free shipping). Your question reminded me of it, the sample pages look interesting: https://www.criticalthinking.com/mastering-logic-math-problem-solving-book.html
  5. Not sure about availability in Australia, but I wish I had known about Voyages in English a few years ago. To see some sample pages: https://www.rainbowresource.com/product/068322/Voyages-in-English-2018-Grade-1-Student.html? Evan Moor Language Fundamentals is also a good resource, if available. They preview all of their pages online, so you can see the fit. We're rather thoroughly doing the Grade 3 of this as well. Available as an e-book. https://www.evan-moor.com/language-fundamentals-grade-1-teacher-reproducibles-print
  6. Another thought I had was an Epsilon Math Camp recommendation (I got it from their website, we don't attend or intend to....) for Douglas Downing's book, E-Z Algebra. I bought it based on their recommendation, and it tells stories and as a part of the narrative, the characters start to solve algebraic concepts. So it's not a formal, teach you a concept, now do a bunch of questions, instead the concepts unfold. https://www.amazon.com/E-Z-Algebra-Douglas-Downing/dp/0764142577/
  7. Not sure it's a complete fit, but you could have a look at CTC's Algebra Word Problems Book 1. I own it, it concentrates on getting the student to set up the problems, it's pretty much only problem based. There's a Book 2 as well, I don't own that. https://www.criticalthinking.com/algebra-word-problems-book-1-ebook.html https://www.amazon.com/Algebra-Word-Problems-Book-1/dp/0894557998 Edit: Adding example page, Page 1. CTC's sample page not representative, IMO. All the beginning pages walk the students step by step through solving problems. Algebra Word Probs - Page 1.pdf
  8. Very, very interesting, I'd forgotten that Mark Twain publishing has interactive notebooks for upper elementary - middle school. They look very accessible. You can see part of the TOC at Rainbow Resources, so it definitely covers some chemistry: https://www.rainbowresource.com/product/004655/Interactive-Notebook-Physical-Science.html?
  9. Well, I said I "owned" it, which unfortunately doesn't mean we've done it (.... a different problem.....) My argument is that my son is a rising 6th grader, so it's part of my plan for this year. I only own the workbook, not the software package, as far as I can tell software activation had to happen by end of 2020, Dimensions Science has been discontinued. Science Fusion is what they have available now for K-8. Rainbow Resource link to Science Dimension module A where it details activation date I do have quite a substantial collection of middle school science interactive worktexts, however. HMH Science Fusion covers chemistry in the "Matter and Energy" worktext, about 3/4 of the book is chemistry, so it's a bit misnamed IMO. The Dimensions Chemistry is probably a bit clearer, photos are full color and pages are less cluttered. You made me curious, so I've been looking, and the clearest, most accessible language for middle school chemistry would seem to be in the McDougal Littell Science Interactive Reader "Focus on Physical Sciences." Font size is enlarged, the lexile rating is probably at or below a Basher book (fortunately without the humor....) I've attached a scanned sample page from McDougal Littell, but if you have a topic your son is expressly interested in, I could scan a relevant page so you could see if it would work. Here it is on Amazon, very reasonably priced: https://www.amazon.com/McDougal-Littell-Science-Physical-InterActive/dp/0618908145 McDougall Littell Chem Page sample.pdf
  10. As a suggestion, you could buy a middle school chemistry consumable and get him to cut out the interesting pictures, like this. That way he can augment his dictionary/grid book. This type of book is meant to be used up in any case, and you could just ignore the text in the places where it gets a bit at middle school grade level -- in general, it's not that challenging. I own this book. It's full color with interesting photos. Amazon link, reasonable price: Student Edition Module J Grades 6-8 2018: Chemistry (Science Dimensions): HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT: 9780544861022 Here is the (now discontinued) full package on Rainbow Resource so you can see a sample photo, last preview page. I'm just suggesting the student consumable book.... https://www.rainbowresource.com/product/045175/Science-Dimensions-Homeschool-Package-Module-J-Grades-6-8-Chemistry.html
  11. Critical Thinking sells iOS and Android apps and Windows/Mac software for their MindBenders series. Haven't tried digital versions, but really like the books. Scroll down the page. https://www.criticalthinking.com/mind-benders.html Building Thinking Skills is available on Windows/Mac, again scroll down. Haven't tried the software, really like the books. https://www.criticalthinking.com/building-thinking-skills.html
  12. You could supplement with the multi-media from the American Chemical Society's Middle School curriculum (free). (You might already know about it, I'm just mentioning it for posterity-thread-reader....) https://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/
  13. I'll throw this out as a suggestion, it's not a curriculum, but very fun, no reading. I believe the workbook shows pictures of the little block animals. My son loved this and we kept it until Grade 3 or something, I eventually gave it to a local ps Kindergarten teacher. Sold on Amazon as well, lots of reviews. Anyways, just in case you don't know about it.... https://www.fatbraintoys.com/toy_companies/fat_brain_toy_co/inchimals.cfm
  14. I have a couple of suggestions for books that could be used as spines. Background: Both my husband and I have bachelor's degrees in Computing Sciences and in my last position, I was a technical architect. My husband set up an IDE for my son last year-ish so that my son could write his first Hello World in Java, but we haven't gotten back to it in quite a while.... 2020 and 2021..... DK's Help Your Kids with Computer Coding: Scratch and Python mini-projects, true or false, data types, strings, loops. Written to be very accessible. https://www.amazon.com/Help-Computer-Coding-Step-Step/dp/1465477322/ DK's Help Your Kids with Computer Science - topics like binary, what is hardware, etc. It's written to be very accessible. https://www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Kids-Computer-Science/dp/1465473602/ I've also seen this one, but I don't own it: I think my son already understands the topics in it, he's relatively advanced in Scratch. Another DK book: https://www.amazon.com/Coding-Games-Scratch-Step-Step/dp/1465477330/
  15. I second Scott Foresman for secular and mainstream America-focused social studies. My son's private school used it, and I own a copy for home. Here is Grade 3: https://www.amazon.com/Scott-Foresman-Social-Studies-Grade/dp/0328075701/ Also secular and mainstream, and including a bit more world geography (e.g. hot springs in New Zealand) Evan-Moor has a full color workbook in their "Skill Sharpeners" series, which we also own. We do a page daily, I like the bite-sized articles. Pages are perforated. You can preview all or most of the pages online: https://www.evan-moor.com/skill-sharpeners-geography-grade-3-activity-book
  16. Evan-Moor Math Fundamentals Grade 6 has detailed math models for each teaching point (I own it). Pages have appropriate space for student to work out answers (no recopying into notebooks or scrap paper...). You can preview all of the pages on Evan-Moors website: https://www.evan-moor.com/math-fundamentals-grade-6-teacher-reproducibles-print Jump Math Grade 6 is a Canadian program, but has US editions for sale into the US. Inexpensive for how thorough it is, Note: Not "Jump Math at Home" which is the practice book that parents can buy their kids to practice at home if students are taught using the program at school. Also, books must have US flag printed on upper corner or it won't be US grade level topics, I'd say mainly because Canada does data science early and fractions later. It's very scaffolded: The program gets the student to work out pages on the math models before moving on to the math concepts. If we need to review any given topic, I rip the pages out for that section and get my son to do portions for a series of days until he retains it. They have a full website with lots of additional resources at no extra charge, I believe you have to register. Amazon doesn't carry the series right now (it did a few months ago), so I'll show a link for Rainbow Resource so you can see the table of contents: https://www.rainbowresource.com/product/062277/Jump-Math-Assessment-%26-Practice-Book-6.1-US-Edition.html?
  17. I agree, CTC's The Language Mechanic is excellent for working through all of the common English grammar "foibles" -- misplaced modifiers, irregular past tense verbs, common punctuation problems, etc. And, as Clemsondana mentioned, the Editor in Chief books are good, as they are a bit more fun than, say, fill in the blanks pages as the student gets to find the mistakes. If the OP is posting for students who really need to get back to basics, IMHO I'd say Evan Moor. If the students are pretty grounded at grade level but need to stop making common mistakes, Language Mechanic is an excellent option. Editor in Chief applies in both situations.
  18. I second the "Grammar and Punctuation" books and would additionally suggest they be paired with Evan Moor's "Language Fundamentals" (272 pages) which give a lot more practice. Language Fundamentals Grade 6 is the highest level. E-M Vocabulary Fundamentals Grade 6+ is excellent as well. I believe they are all supposed to be used together. That's what I do. Vocabulary Fundamentals teaches word structures, roots, idioms, homophones/homographs, suffixes, prefixes etc. In fact, all the levels are good. I started my son with Grade 3 because he needs a lot of repetition and we're doing all the pages. Pages are perforated. Amazon link, unusually they loaded the image upside down. I wouldn't pay the price it shows today.... Other places sell Evan-Moor as well, or digital purchase from E-M themselves so the parent can print copies for each child, or reprint if the recollection of the rules starts to fade. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FKL0954/ https://www.amazon.com/Vocabulary-Fundamentals-Grade-Evan-Moor/dp/1608236633/
  19. Sequence States and Capitals board game helps drill capitals, and you'll be familiar with the state's shapes. Overall, it's an okay game for what it does, not fascinating but you'll learn the capitals. Way better than flash cards... Link here, but we bought at a *normal* price, currently not normal.... https://www.amazon.com/Jax-Sequence-States-and-Capitals/dp/B000RZHGL4/
  20. Thought I'd throw this out there, although maybe you already know about it.... Have you considered Mosdos Press Gold, which is (gifted) Grade 8? I happen to own Gold to read myself, because I like Mosdos (I hunt around and pick things up used....). The program is considered to be "gifted" so, say, the Grade 3 level maps to typical Grade 4 student. I can vouch for that, my son is going to start reading it soon -- He's in Grade 5 and his reading for fun is a strong Grade 4. Mosdos has changed it's "About Us" page but as I understand/remember it, the program was written by a rabbi to be secular (non-religious) for an private Orthodox Jewish girls school. Repeat: It's doesn't have any religion or scripture, just stories with morally provocative contents to drive interesting discussion. It has a full teacher's version, and workbooks, but I don't own those for Gold, only for Opal (Grade 3), and Ruby (Grade 4). If you're interested you could look at Rainbow Resource or Timberdoodle for the components of the program. https://mosdospress.com/reading-programs/8th-grade-gold/gold-student-edition/
  21. Still iOS, you could have a look at "Operation Math" - but it might ramp up pretty quickly from what I remember. Publisher is "Little 10 Robot" Same publisher, another app called "YodelOh Math Mountain" - we don't own this one, but I've always thought about buying it. Carnival game style drilling. Can't speak to the world of apps, lots of development work keeping up with new iOS changes, can only assume the revenue isn't there.
  22. For drilling on iOS, some of the best apps aren't there any more. What I can see is: 1. "Quick Math - Mental Arithmetic" Publisher is Shiny Things, I think addition is free. We mainly did Quick Math Jr. back when. You can set it to four levels, from beginner onwards. Drilling, gamified. 2. Also, you could look at Addimals, published by Teachley. "Teachley - Addimal Adventure" It's more of a drilling fun app, a bit of suspense. My son did that one for a while. There's Teachley Subtractimals now as well, I see. 3. Have a look at Duck Duck Goose apps like Pet Bingo. Free. Not pure drilling, but at least a bit gamified.
  23. The Language Smarts series is open-and-go, as Sherry in OH noted, so that you can pretty much grab any page from the book, and teach/review. So I would grab say, a "Sentence Fragment" page, a "Use Quotations" page, an "Identify Adjectives " page, etc. to create a spiral program where my son was constantly being reminded of the parts of the English language. We would do about four single sided pages a day. He now creates sentences with proper quotations (comma, open quote, end punctuation, end quote), can recognize standard parts of sentences, etc - even adverbs modifying adverbs, which is saying something for him. He doesn't care for language arts. For phonics/spelling, we went back to basics with an excellent phonics book: "Basic Phonics Level D" (Grade 2-3) by Evan Moor publications. Fabulous, and I believe I paid full price (that's saying a lot....) My son's spelling jumped up a grade or two just after completing those pages. Book can be previewed at the evan moor website. That's the final book of the Basic Phonics series. Then we moved onto MCP Plaid Phonics Level C (Grade 3) (at the time best priced at Rainbow Resources), which is great value and fun. The coordinating books to MCP Plaid Phonics is Spelling Workout at the same level, which teaches spelling and cursive at the same time, which we will start soon. I would have done them together, but I didn't realize they were a coordinated series. Editor in Chief Beginning (and onwards) is excellent for sentence correction. Vocabulary Virtuoso for increasing vocabulary. Critical Thinking Company. Note: The book cover is lame IMO (author got a student to design the covers of her series...). The book is waaay better than the cover, just saying. Vocabulary Fundamentals (Grade 3) for learning how words are constructed. Evan moor, can preview book on the evan moor website. Compound words, prefixes, suffixes, root words, idioms. The end of the book has a language play page section. Very useful for learning how the English language is put together. Open-and-go. We're on Vocabulary Fundamentals Grade 4 now. It's a great series. If a student were to thoroughly learn the contents of these books, they would be at least at grade level.
  24. I don't own Level B (Grade 1). I own Level C (Gr. 2), D (Gr.3), and E (Gr.4 - final book in series). To explain, I had my language arts averse Grade 5 son go through all of Level C (maps to Advanced Grade 2) from Sept. 2020 - Feb 2021. He has a very advanced vocabulary, he just abhors language arts ("I'm going to be a Youtuber!! I'll never have to write a sentence!!") Now we're on Level D. I can't speak to Level B, but out of curiosity I just looked at the TOC at the Critical Thinking website, and it looks like it's in the same format as the rest of the series: Phonics, parts of sentence (Grade 1 level), antonyms/synonyms/homophones/homographs and lots of Editor in Chief (which is an excellent separate book, btw, we're doing that, too, at the earliest level, Beginning 1). I can review Level C. Like I mentioned above, Level C maps to advanced Grade 2 in my opinion: Lots of full sentences, paragraphs. Lots of grammar that wouldn't probably typically be done in Grade 2 (simple subject/predicate, adjectives, adverbs). Fact or opinion pages, Fairy Tales vs. Fables. Writing Detective pages (mild critical thinking). Nothing too outrageous, but definitely more thorough than standard Grade 2 workbooks. Pages have color with simplistic non-distracting drawings. Simple concepts on each page that are explained and re-explained. The bad is that the book itself is not spiral, so the front of the book is all phonics, then parts of the sentence, etc. and the pages are not perforated, so you either have to flip around the book to vary the student's assignments, or cut the pages out. I cut them out. We did the entirety of the book, excluding the pure writing pages. My son refuses at this point. (Later....) Level D (Grade 3) has a lot of the same material as Level C, just a bit more in depth and lots more of Editor in chief pages (which I am in favor of). If there's something specific that you're wondering about, let me know.
  25. A premise of Jump is that math should be taught very, very incrementally with models. The series goes up to Grade 8. Rainbow Resources is actually the easiest place to see each grade levels' Table of Contents. For some grades, incl. Grade 8, they show or allow you to download sample pages. I'm interested in the Grade 8 myself because it has linear equations. https://www.rainbowresource.com/category/13420/JUMP-Math-Assessment-and-Practice-Books.html The Jump math URL I gave you in my previous post also has samples, and a very large resource of (free) teaching materials (powerpoints, etc.) Just as a note, always buy the American versions of the books (will have a US Flag in the corner, as opposed to the Canadian flag). Canadian standards follow a different scope and sequence entirely.
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