Archive for the ‘Third Grade’ Category

A Plus Interactive Math Review

05
May

Finding the right math curriculum can be quite a challenge.  There are so many different learning styles and teaching styles for math.  For kindergarten and first grade, Hailey went to public school.  I started homeschooling her in second grade and I used the math curriculum that was recommended with the boxed curriculum we bought.  It wasn’t a bad math program, it just didn’t work for us.  For third grade I found a math curriculum that is working well for us.  The problem is that over the lasts few years Hailey has used several different math programs.  I have been worrying that with all of the switching around there must be gaps in what she has learned.

A+ Interactive Math Review

I was given the chance to review the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan from A+ Interactive Math.  The Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan is a program that is meant to identify and close the gaps in learning math.  This is exactly what I believe Hailey needs to make sure she isn’t missing anything after all the switching around we have done.

A+ Interactive Math Review

So, how does the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan work?  It is an online program, so you will need to have internet access in order to  use it. You will be able to use the program on a PC or a MAC.  Your child can use the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan for up to 3 months to work towards closing the learning gaps in their math knowledge.

When you first sign up you pick a grade level for your child.  Then there will be several different math topics to pick from.  Your child will take a quiz on which ever topic you want to start with.  You do not have to go in any particular order but I noticed that the first topics were the easiest and it got harder as we went along. After the quiz your child will get immediate results- either to say that he or she needs to work on that topic or that he or she is at grade level and doesn’t need anymore work.

If your child needs more work to be at grade level there will be individualized lesson plans for your child to use.  There is a lesson and after the lesson there are interactive questions to make sure your child understands what was covered.  Once all of the lessons in a topic are completed your child can go back and retake the quiz.  If you don’t think your child needs to go over all of the lessons you are able to skip them or just have your child do the interactive questions at the end.

If your child doesn’t have any gaps in their math learning, A+ Interactive Math also has an option for a Family Math Package that might be a better fit for you.

So, how did we use the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan?  I signed Hailey up for the third grade level and had her start taking the quizzes.

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After the quiz is over the student sees a screen like this to show how he or she did.  This particular quiz showed that Hailey got 15 questions correct, she missed 5 questions, and she skipped 3 questions.  This was one where she did not score at a third grade level, so an individualized lesson plan was created for her to cover the concept that the quiz covered.

The online lesson plans are pretty short and the concept is covered very well in the short time.  After Hailey watched her lesson plan she would complete the interactive questions.  There were a few times that Hailey insisted she knew the material being covered in the lesson plan, so I let her skip the lesson and go right to the interactive questions.  If she missed any of the interactive questions then I had her go back and watch the lesson.

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As a parent, this is the dashboard that I see when I log in.  I have the choices to review the placement tests, view Hailey’s reports, look at the lesson plans, or watch a tutorial.  When I click on the student reports I can look at a progress report or a summary report.

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This is Hailey’s progress report.  It shows where the goal is for a third grader to score and then it shows where she scored on her quizzes.  Right now she has surpassed the goal in all but measurements.  She did not originally pass the goals though- this is what her progress looks like after she watched the lesson plans and the gaps she had were covered.

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This is Hailey’s summary report.  I can see how many times each quiz was taken and whether or not she is at grade level for each concept.  We have not covered some concepts yet, so those still say NA.

The Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan from A+ Interactive Math is a great program, which I would recommend.  Hailey enjoyed using it- her review of the program is, “I liked taking the quizzes and doing the lessons with the questions.”  If Hailey says she likes something related to math, then it must be doing a good job of making it interesting.  Not only did she enjoy it, but she improved her math skills- and definitely closed some of the gaps she had.

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A+ Interactive Math Review
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Rainforest Unit

28
Mar

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We recently finished up a really fun rainforest unit. We both had a lot of fun and learned so much!

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Of course, we read lots of books about the rainforest.

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These are some of our favorite books that we read about the rainforest.  We learned a lot from both fiction and non fiction books.

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Hailey made this rainforest layer craftivity from The Razzle Dazzle Classroom.

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The outside shows and labels the different layers of the rainforest.

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The flaps open up and on the inside there is information about each layer of the rainforest.

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One day I put all of this food out- cinnamon, coffee, bananas, tea, pineapple, nuts, sugar, coconut, and chocolate.  I asked Hailey if she knew what they all had in common.  She was surprised to learn that they all come from the rainforest.  Of course, we did a little sampling of the food :-)

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She made a little poster about the different foods that come from the rainforest.

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We also made this fantastic diorama of the rainforest.

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Closer look at the emergent layer.

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Closer look at the canopy.

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Closer look at the understory.

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Closer look at the forest floor.

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Hailey made this great display to show what she learned about the rainforest.  She included plants, food, and animals from the rainforest.  She also colored a map to show where the rainforests are located.  She added some information about camouflage, how important the rainforest is for the world’s oxygen, and some fun facts.

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Hailey and her rainforest display at our educational fair with our homeschool co-op group.

Hailey worked really hard on this unit and she had a great time!  It made me so happy to hear her ask if she could learn more about the rainforest!

In Freedom’s Cause Review

26
Feb

It’s that time of year, for us anyway, when it’s nice to take a little break from our regular curriculum and change things up a bit.  We have been using an online history program this year and Hailey was starting to get a little bit tired of it.  So, when I was given the chance to review In Freedom’s Cause Single Package  from Heirloom Audio Productions I thought it would be a nice break from our regular curriculum.

Sometimes history can get a little bit dry and boring, but the goal of Heirloom Audio Productions is to bring real history to life.  As they researched and prepared to make this production, they actually traveled to Scotland and walked where the main characters of this story had once walked.  So you know they are serious about making the story exciting!

In Freedom's Cause Audio CD Review
We received In Freedom’s Cause on CD- there were two CDs, with over 2 hours of entertainment to cover the entire story.  The story is about William Wallace and Robert Bruce and how they fought to try to gain Scotland’s freedom.  Scotland was suffering due to cruelty of their English leader.  Even though it seemed impossible, William Wallace took a stand and struggled to gain freedom and inspired many others.  Even though he would not live to see Scotland gain freedom he was the inspiration for Robert the Bruce, who later defeated the English.

This audio CD is more than just a reading of the story- it is like you are listening to a movie.  There are all sorts of sound effects and great music.  There are some pretty big name stars among the cast including Joanne Froggatt (from Downtown Abbey), Billy Boyd (from Lord of the Rings), Skandar Keynes (from Chronicles of Narnia), James Cosmo (from Braveheart), plus more.

We also received the In Freedom’s Cause Study Guide (Digital Download) to go along with the CD.  There is a set of questions to go along with each track on the CD.  In each set of questions there are three parts- a Listening Well section, Thinking Further questions, and a Defining Words section.  The Listening Well section is basically questions that you will find the answers to by listening to the story.  The Thinking Further section is just what it sounds like- it makes you think about what you heard by asking deeper questions.  Lastly the Defining Words section goes over new words that your child heard in the story.

In addition we received In Freedom’s Cause Soundtrack (MP3 download) which has all of the original music, and the Printable copy of the Prayer of William Wallace. (digital download)

So, how did we use this?  We took a break from our regular history curriculum and listened to part of the CD each day for history.  After we listened to part of the CD we would stop and go over the questions in the study guide.  Hailey enjoyed listening to the story and there were even parts that made her laugh.  She decided it would be fun to talk like the characters and she developed an accent after listening each day :-) .  She did enjoy the story but also said that sometimes she was a little confused about who was talking.  We used the study guide for the beginning tracks but found that most of it was too difficult for Hailey (age 8, in 3rd grade). Although it is recommended for ages 6 and up, I think the study guide would be more for a middle school aged child.  I think it would have been nice to have included an answer key with the study guide because there were a couple of questions where I was unsure of the answer.

Overall, it was a good story.  I would recommend listening to it all at once, rather than a little at a time as we did.  When we listen to it again we will do it in the car on a trip.  I think it would be easier to follow along listening to it all at one time. I would recommend it for older children- probably middle school and up. It would be a fun addition to your history curriculum and Heirloom Audio Productions definitely knows how to bring history to life.

In Freedom's Cause Review
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Third Grade Update

12
Feb

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Wondering what we’ve doing in third grade lately?  Here’s a little look:

Language Arts:

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We are still using Daily 6-Trait Writing.  Hailey is working on organizing thoughts, and how to group similar ideas and details together.

Bible:

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I ordered the next Old Testament Overview from Grapevine because Hailey has enjoyed it so much.  We are now working on Part 2- Joseph to the Promised Land.

Geography:

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We use Daily Geography Practice.  It is supposed to be done every day, but we only do it once a week and get everything done in one day because it’s pretty simple.  It’s been great for learning how to read maps, but we definitely need to add some more.

Health:

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Hailey learned in health how nutrients travel through your body.  We used red water and a celery stick to show how nutrients can travel.

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The leaves turned all red even though they were never in the water.

Science:

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Hailey has been learning about the scientific method, why science is important, and why we do experiments.  I’m using this Intro to Science Unit.

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Hailey has been practicing using the scientific method by doing some experiments.  In this experiment she put 4 different colored M&Ms into a bowl of lukewarm water.

Then we observed:

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It’s nice to do some fun, simple experiments while learning the scientific method!

So, there is a little look at just a few of the things Hailey has been working on.  I need to remember to take more pictures of what Hailey is working on so I can do third grade posts more often.

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