Monday, March 30, 2020

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- March 31, 2020

Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

Featured Giveaway

Featured Reviews

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife .

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Learning About History with a Fun, Hands-On Lapbook from Home School in the Woods {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We again had the opportunity to supplement our history lessons with a great resource from Home School in the Woods. We have been learning about colonial times in America, working out way up to the American Revolution, so when we had the chance to use the Benjamin Franklin K-2 Lap-Pak, I was quite excited. It sounded like a fun way to learn more about one of our founding fathers.

I'm always amazed at the perfect timing of these reviews for Home School in the Woods resources. When we were learning about Ancient Egypt, we were able to review the Ancient Egypt Timeline and the Tomb Dash File Folder game.  And then, several months later, when we were focused on Ancient Greece, we had a chance to put together the Ancient Greece Timeline. A year later, we were given the opportunity to review people and events that we had learned about, plus learned new information from the same time periods, with the Timeline Collection. Home School in the Woods has such awesome products, and I was so thrilled that we were able to try something a bit different this time, one of their Lap-Paks, which we used to make an awesome lapbook all about Benjamin Franklin.

What did we receive?

We received a digital download of this Lap-Pak. Once I downloaded it to my computer, I just needed to open the files and get started. There is an Images file, an MP3 file, and a collection of PDF files. Of course, in order to use the Lap-Pak, I needed to print out the files, so a printer and printer ink is needed. I am so glad that everything is able to be printed out with black ink. In order to add color, some of the files get printed out on colored paper or card stock. And of course, there are plenty of pictures that the children can color. In addition to normal school supplies, you may also want to purchase a 6"x9" manila envelope, double-sided sticky tape, Velcro, and ribbon. We actually got by by using glue in place of the sticky tape, yarn in place of the ribbon, and chose to print out the binder-sized story instead of the booklet, so we didn't need the manila envelope. A gallon-sized zippy bag is great for storing the different projects in until they are all complete and the lapbook is ready to be assembled. The one thing you won't be able to get by without is the file folder, if you plan to make an actual lapbook project.

The main portion of the download is the collection of PDF files. These are broken into three sections: Introduction, Lapbook Projects, and Reading Text.

In the Introduction you will find:

  • Booklet Directions (for putting together the Ben Franklin story in booklet form)
  • Ben Franklin Introduction and Directions
  • Ben Franklin Lapbook Assembly
  • Ben Franklin Project Directions
You could choose to print out the directions, though I prefer to keep the directions up on the computer screen to save ink. 

The Lapbook Projects file contains the bulk of the Lap-Pak. There are 12 projects:
  • The Franklin Family
  • Leather Apron Trades
  • Ben Franklin, the Printer
  • Printer's Type 
  • Ben, the Good Citizen
  • Poor Richard's Almanack
  • Franklin's Inventions
  • Benjamin Flies a Kite
  • Documents
  • Vocabulary 
  • Pocket of Virtues
  • A Timeline of Ben Franklin's Life
Also included in the Projects file is the Lapbook cover, which is a picture of Benjamin Franklin.

The Reading Text file contains the Benjamin Franklin story is three formats, allowing you to print it in the way that works best for you. 
  • Individual files of each page so you can print them off one at a time
  • Full booklet text file for those with the ability to print duplex
  • Full-size text file for printing on normal sized paper and placing in a folder or binder
I chose to print it out on normal sized paper, because knowing me, I would have messed up the booklet printing, printing pages upside down or something and would have had to start again. Yes, been there done that. 

So, how did we use the Ben Franklin Lap-Pak?

I chose to use this resource with both Hannah and Harold, even though it states it is for children in K-2nd grade. Personally, I think it is very much appropriate for children up to 4th grade. Children in the lower end of the grade range will still need a parent to read most, if not all, of the text. Older children, like Harold and Hannah, are able to read the information for themselves. All children in this age range should be able to work on the projects independently, as long as they can cut, glue, and color. 

I started out by printing the story pages and the first project, The Franklin Family. The children colored the family picture while I read, and then we worked on filling in the blanks on the informational sheet.

The remainder of the projects were given to the children to work on independently throughout the review period.

I would usually print out one or two projects at a time and explain what needed to be done. They colored, cut, and/or glued to finish the individual projects, then we stored them in a zippy bag to keep everything together.

There was a lot of information for the children to read, and sometimes we read it together. There were some projects where I had a choice whether to have them write the information themselves or print out the pre-printed information. Families with younger children could definitely benefit from being able to use the pre-printed pages, but at 8 and 10 years old, I figured Harold and Hannah were definitely capable of writing the information themselves. As an added benefit, they got to work on their penmanship. Plus, the process of physically writing does help get that information into the brain. 

They were able to write the vocabulary words and are working on writing some of Benjamin Franklin's saying in the Poor Richard's Almanack booklet.

There was so much information to learn, both about Benjamin Franklin and colonial times. 

We learned about different trades:

We learned about Benjamin Franklin's job as a printer and a bit about how printing worked.

We learned about his inventions and his work in the community.

And of course, who hasn't heard of Ben's experiment with the key, the kite, and lightning?

We put together a Pocket of Virtues. There was a short explanation of each virtue and the children had to write the virtue and draw a picture to represent each one.

And, of course, Ben Franklin played important rolls in political endeavors, leading to the drafting of important documents in the founding of our country.

Then they read through the Timeline of Ben Franklin's Life and added in the pictures for certain events.

Once all the projects were complete, it was time to assemble the lapbook:

Hannah says the lapbook was fun and a fun way for people to learn about Benjamin Franklin. She loved that there were pop-ups (Benjamin Flies a Kite and Ben Franklin, the Printer).

I really appreciated this lapbook and how much information about Benjamin Franklin is provided. There is so much I didn't know, and I was learning right alongside the children. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. I love that written directions were provided as well as pictures of the projects and completed parts of the lapbook, showing us exactly how to put it together. 

If you are learning about colonial America or the time of the American Revolution, this would be a great supplement to enhance your child's knowledge of an important figure in our country's history. Of course, I've always been a fan of hands-on learning, and this lapbook didn't disappoint.

You can find Home School in the Woods on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

They even have a blog! As we are focusing on American History, maybe you would be interested in reading about Using Time Travelers to Teach American History. Not exactly sure what a "Time Traveler" is? You could check out their What is a Time Traveler post. There are seven different Time Travelers available for American history. Starting with New World Explorers and extending through World War II.

Being an election year, you may even want to check out the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak.

These Time Travelers are some of the products we could have chosen to review, as are Project Passport studies and other Lap-Paks and Activity Paks. You can read reviews for all of these different products by clicking on the link below.

Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Math Fun with Riddle eBooks from Math Galaxy {A Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We had the opportunity to review some fun math ebooks from Math Galaxy. These ebooks allowed the children to practice different math skills as a supplement to their regular math curriculum. 

We received an email with links to five different zip files. Four of these were the bundles of PDF ebooks for the following topics:
  • Whole Numbers
  • Fractions
  • Prealgebra (Decimals, Proportions, Percents)
  • Algebra
The final file was a bundle of Google Slides files for different topics. 

While we received these as bundles, you can purchase each eBook separately from the Math Galaxy Website. Here's a look at the list of eBooks available for each topic:

Whole Numbers:
  • 1 & 2 Digit Multiplication
  • 1-3 Digit Addition & Subtraction
  • 3 & 4 Digit Multiplication
  • Expanded Notation, Order of Operations & Number Patterns
  • Multi-Digit Addition & Subtraction
  • Time and Money
  • Whole Number Division
  • Whole Number Word Problems
  • Length & Area
  • Rounding & Estimating Whole Numbers
  • plus Spelling Word Jumbles Grades 3-5
  • Add & Subtract Fractions
  • Equivalent Fractions
  • Fraction Word Problems
  • Identifying Fractions
  • Length & Area
  • Multiply & divide Fractions
  • Reducing & Improper Fractions
  • Volume, Capacity, Weight & Angles
Prealgebra (Decimals, Proportions, Percents):
  • Decimal Operations
  • Decimal Word Problems
  • Length & Area
  • Percents
  • Ratios & Proportions
  • Understanding Decimals
  • Volume, Capacity, Weight & Angles
  • Algebra Properties & Operations
  • Algebra Solving Equations
  • Algebra Word Problems
  • Exponents, Scientific & Metric Notation & Operations
  • Algebra Linear Equations
These eBooks vary in length from as few as 43 pages, up to 164 pages. There are usually at least 2 sections in each eBook, though most that we have used have had more than two. Additionally, some have extra worksheets for more practice.

Just to be clear, these worksheets are strictly for practicing math skills. There are no lessons to go with them, so your child will already have to know the skills you want them to work on, or you have to be ready to teach it to them. For instance, I didn't realize Amelia didn't understand factoring, so when I printed out some worksheets from the "Reducing & Improper Fractions" eBook that focused on Prime Factors, I found myself trying to explain factors and factor trees to her. I ended up finding a video online that explained it, because I realized my understanding of the topic has disappeared over the years (at least to be able to explain it to someone else).

Though the eBooks don't provide lessons, I was pleased to see that books that required the students to have knowledge of formulas (such as the "Volume, Capacity, Weight & Angles" eBook) provided the formulas at the beginning of the book.

So, how did we use these fun math eBooks?

When I received my email, I downloaded these files with a simple click on the link. To use them, I just have to click on the PDF file and it will open in Adobe Reader, then I print the pages I want the children to work on each day. 

I chose to skip around, letting the children work on different topics throughout the week. We worked mainly from the Whole Numbers Bundle and the Fractions Bundle, though just this week I decided to choose some Decimal Operations sheets from the Prealgebra Bundle as Tabitha had been asking to work with decimals. 

What makes these worksheets fun, is that each page has a riddle that needs to be solved. This is done by answering a handful of math questions and matching the answer with the letter and then entering that letter into the corresponding space in the answer box at the top of the page. 

Each question page has an answer page directly after it, which has its advantages and disadvantages. It is helpful that we don't have to search for the answers in the back of the book. However, as I scroll through, I have to make sure the children aren't looking at the screen otherwise they will see the answers. Also, there are times I would like to try figuring out the riddle, but I scroll and lose the opportunity because I see the answer. Oops.

I started out having the younger children work on simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

The older girls worked on fractions because I know they struggle with them. I wanted them to get more practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions, which also meant they would get practice reducing the fractions.  I definitely appreciated the extra worksheets for this topic.

Then I discovered one of the eBooks had pages I could use with all the children, Identifying Fractions. I had Harold and Hannah work on simple fraction identification with pie charts:

While Tabitha and Amelia worked on identifying fractions using a number line:

I've had Harold and Hannah work on some Expanded Notation sheets:

While Tabitha and Amelia have started working with decimals, just some simple addition and multiplication for now.

You may have noticed that the sides of the paper appear folded on some of these worksheets. Tabitha likes to keep all the answers hidden until she has her work done. She started doing this when we realized sometimes the answers can easily be determined for each question by looking at the answer column. Actually, one of the first worksheets the older girls worked on had this issue because each denominator was only used once:

Though I haven't come across any other sheets that are quite that much of a giveaway, I understand Tabitha not wanting to see any of the answers until she has completed all the questions. 

Other than that little concern, and some of the riddles not making sense to the children, I think these Math Galaxy Riddle eBooks are a great way for students to practice their math facts. 

You can find Math Galaxy on Pinterest.

Math Galaxy also has iOS Apps available from the App Store for multiple grades. As we have Android phones, this wasn't an option for us; however, you can see reviews of these apps along with my fellow Crew Mates' thoughts on the eBooks by clicking on the banner below:

3rd Grade -Algebra Fundametals Math Apps {Math Galaxy Reviews}
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