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Have you used Great Science Adventures by Dinah Zike


moosemomma
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I am thinking about using them with DS5 and DS7 next year as a daily combined curriculum. There are 24 lessons in each book, but how many days does it take to complete each lesson? Could you give me a basic idea how the program works and what you think of the program?

 

My DS7 loves hands on science (he is currently saving money to buy a microscope). I think he would like creating the graphic organizers. I am just wondering how people implement the program. I do not mind tracking down books at the library to supplement. I just want a jump off point for organizing a science curriculum.

 

Jill

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At those ages it took us about a week to complete a lesson. There is much cutting,pasting, coloring and folding. A lot of the folding fell on me to do because it was hard for their little hands to get the folds right. There are also mini books that come out and have to be cut,folded and put in order(this always frustrated me). That being said I love the information in all of her books and I still use, but more of and extra activity. I wish she had more on animals other than spiders and insects. I would still recommend them to anyone, and I would also suggest you use a very heavy weighted paper as some of the stuff gets very full and heavy. I would send you some expamles but my scanner decided it no longer wanted to work.:glare: You can view samples from the different books here http://www.commonsensepress.com/GSA-sample_lesson/gs-lesson.htm

 

 

 

Forgot to add that if you are going to make copies of the mini books they will NEVER line up on front and back so don't try to hard, or go to kinko's and they will get it as close as possible

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then these can work great. My oldest dd wasn't much into a lot of cutting and pasting, so I ended up doing most of the work which defeated the point. (And also took out other great supplements like History Pockets.)

 

The info in them however is great. With the right kids I could see it being very much enjoyed!

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I like the content and the lessons and her little pneumonic for memorizing the planets. It's very creative and yet meaty enough. But I have to say the little books were cute, full of info and my son loved reading them - but I pulled my hair out and spent 4 hours or more copying them and putting them together and all the pages still didn't line up right. Then it has additional paper projects you have to put together from scratch. Again, I thought they were very creative and cute, but just far too time-consuming and frustrating for me. I didn't even considering having my son put the stuff together!

 

So I love the idea of those books, but in practice it was too difficult and time-consuming for me. So I'd only recommend it if you're a natural at all that paper folding and putting books together. It seemed very difficult for me.

 

Sherri

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Thank you for responding so quickly.

 

I would have problems lining up booklets from enchanted learning. I just made copies on two sheets of paper (sometimes different colors) and cut the outline of one and line it up with the other and pasted them together. Would that work with the mini-books in this series?

 

I think my 7yo would get into the making of the booklets because he is currently working through an animal origami. After a few months of making origami, he should be able to make the folded booklets in a snap (and me too since he is coming to me to help him through the directions).

 

I was thinking about spending 30-45 minutes after lunch doing science together Tuesday-Friday. Can I finish one lesson? Do I need to get some library books to beef up a unit?

 

Jill

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I think Science Adventures is better for upper elementary, and pretty dependent on research and investigation. There are not many demonstrations or experiments.

 

For the ages you have, I would look at ScienceWorks by Evan-Moor. You can still make the little books, but the curriculum is more age appropriate. It has fun experiments and hands-on. The ScienceWorks series is really excellent for the grades 1-4 crowd!!!

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I don't think you would get a lesson done using 30-45 twice a week. If you meant Tuesday through Friday then yes, you should get it done; something that really helped us but will be time consuming for you is to have all the cutting done. Become friends with your local scrapbook store you can get good deals on paper there. Have fun with it :001_smile:.

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Well, it depends on what your DS like about science. If it is activities and exploration, this may not be the right program.

 

We used this at co-op 2 years ago and it was a bit of a bust. Much of the program involves copying pages from the teacher book and cutting and assembling into little booklets which students can read. The info in the booklets isn't bad, but the cutting/pasting certainly wasn't "science." There is also a rather boring timeline, again more focused on cutting and assembling. There are a few hands-on demonstrations, but by and large the program involved a lot of "busywork." In the end, the teacher for the class did all the cutting/assembling at home, then we researched to add "meat" to the class with a lot more hand-on science.

 

There are much better science programs for that age. We're using REAL Science from Pandia Press right now and loving it - lots of activities. My World Science is also very good.

 

And I highly recommend the microscope idea - my DS7 is always running into the house with a new find saying, "Let's check it out with the microscope."

 

Best wishes choosing!

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