Math U See AIM 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.

If you have a child working on Addition and Subtraction, you will want to be sure to check out Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction from Math-U-See.  Even if you already use Math-U-See you can still benefit from using the AIM program.

What is AIM:

The AIM program is a program to help your child master addition and subtraction facts.  The program comes with the Math-U-See manipulative blocks, colored pencils, a resource guide, Math Fact Strategy Posters, addition and subtraction fact check cards, and year-long access to the AIM program instructional videos and guides.

If you use Math-U-See, you will already be familiar with some aspects of the AIM program. The integer blocks will be familiar and the video lessons with Mr. Demme will also be familiar since they are the same as in the Alpha and Beta programs.  We have been using Math-U-See with all our kids, but I had not seen the AIM program before though.  When I looked at the program, I thought it would benefit my son since we can always improve math facts.

The program includes 12-month online access to Lesson videos, Instructions, Solutions, and printable resources.  The online videos and website work both on a computer and with the iPad.  You can download the pdf of each lesson, activities and resources.

The online instructional videos show

  • Instructions on How to administer the assessment
  • Instructions on how to use The Build, Write, Say method
  • Instructions on how to Fade from the Manipulatives
  • Instructions on how to perform the Mastery check
  • 22 lessons for all the addition and subtraction lessons from Mr. Demme

Who is AIM for?

AIM is for children who struggle with math addition and subtraction facts and have not mastered those facts.  To see where to start or where your child has problems there is a before AIM Assessment. When I gave my son the before assessment I was surprised how he didn’t know his facts like I thought he would.  The assessment says that if it takes more than three seconds for the answer, then they do not have the fact mastered.  If you already use the Math U See program you can use AIM to help ensure your child has a mastery of his addition and/or subtraction facts.

How we used AIM

The instructional videos for the lessons were the same as the Math U See Alpha and Beta math programs but they are online.  The difference with AIM is the concepts used to practice the math facts.  My kids always like playing with the Math U See blocks.  It helps visualize the concepts of math with a base 10 system.  The AIM program uses the manipulative blocks along with the colored pencils which stand for each block color.  There are also fact check cards to check their knowledge. The fact check cards are basically flashcards with three stars on each one.  If the child knows the fact, you color in one of the stars.  When all three stars are colored in then you consider the fact known.  If there are math facts they still have not mastered then they can work on activities suggested in the AIM program until they have mastered the particular math facts. When they have mastered all the facts for the lesson then you can move on to the next lesson.  Since my son needed to improve his addition facts, we decided to use the AIM program and hold off on working more on his Math-U-See Alpha math book.

What we thought of AIM

My son enjoyed working with the manipulative blocks.  The AIM program has many different activities using manipulatives to practice math facts. He really enjoyed the many manipulative block AIM activities like The Train Hitch, Building a Wall of Tens, Addend Sleuth, and many others.  My son also liked using colored pencils but I don’t know if they really helped all that much.  It is probably helpful if you are very visual.  Overall we liked using the AIM program and I plan on using it instead of our math program until my son has mastered the addition facts up to where he is at with his Math-U-See math book.

Want to hear more about Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction? Click below to read what other members of the Review Crew thought.

Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction {Math-U-See Reviews}

Math Galaxy app and ebook 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.

Math Galaxy provides math games and math worksheets such as the Whole Numbers Balloon Pop app and the Math Galaxy Time and Money Riddles eBook.

Apps:

I had the opportunity to review several apps.  Most of the apps I reviewed, 3rd Grade Math, 4th Grade Math, 6th Grade Mathwere similar but just for different grade levels.  The other app I reviewed was the Times Tables Balloon Pop app about multiplication.

The Times Tables Balloon Pop app starts out with you first select the Times table you would like to work on.  Then the app is a simple app that displays a multiplication fact with several balloons with numbers on it.  When you tap on the right answer the balloon pops and another multiplication question comes up.  This was a fun way for my children to practice multiplication facts.

The other Apps I reviewed were comprehensive math apps that were 3rd Grade Math, 4th Grade Math, 6th Grade Math.  The apps are pretty much the same except the concepts are more difficult for the higher grades. The 6th Grade Math app only has one game but that’s understandable since its for older kids.  I was pleasantly surprised by my son picking up the app and playing it on his own without my prompting.  Many times, I like to download an app and see how long it is before they start using it.

His favorite game to play was the Labyrinth game.  I suspect this is since he really likes mazes.  To play the game you must earn a robot by working on other math facts.

 

Even though my son hasn’t worked a lot on fractions, he really liked the game for fraction addition.

Along with interactive games, there are also videos

Lastly you can even save your progress.

ebooks:

We were also provided ebooks which provided riddles that you solve by answering all the math problems.  I received Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, Proportions, Percents, and Algebra ebooks.

The ebooks provide plenty of fun practice for all the math problems.  The solutions are well worked out like the Fraction addition shown below.

Overall my son really enjoyed the apps and I found him numerous times playing them for fun.  The ebooks provide a great supplement for any math program you use for your homeschool.

Please click on the picture below to see other reviews form Homeschool Review Crew members.

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

Using Kenote as a remote

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Apple Keynote can control Keynote. I gave a talk this weekend and I thought it might be nice to have a remote for my Keynote presentation.  A quick internet search revealed that the latest version of Keynote for iOS includes a remote control mode.

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When you open the Keynote app, there is a small icon up top that looks like a remote symbol.  If the icon is not available then you may need to update the Keynote iOS app.  Make sure both devices you want to use either have bluetooth enabled, or they are on the same wifi network.  I used Bluetooth since I didn’t know if wifi was available when I needed to give my presentation.  You must also link the two devices before you can use the iPhone as a remote for Keynote.

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Keynote will start looking for another apple device with Keynote open.  Once it connects, there are various remote layouts you can use on the iOS device.  If you are using an iPhone as the remote, then it can be difficult to read some of the layouts because of the screen size.  All the more reason to use large fonts and few words for your slides.

To advance to the next slide, you just swipe in the direction you want to go.  The swiping to advance is my main compliant for the remote feature.  I wish there was an option for a simple next button.  Maybe I just need more practice but I kept messing up causing the slide to go backwards when I wanted to go forward.

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Here is a picture of the “current and next slide” layout.  You can see that a marker symbol in the upper right hand side of the screen.  This allows you to write on you slide or use a virtual pointer.  Again a small screen may not be optimal for this function.

20140520-075139.jpgOverall it worked pretty well when using an iPhone.  You can also use an iOS device with a Mac.  On the Mac you must go to the preferences and turn on the Keynote remote feature.  You also must link the two devices together for the remote app to work.

 

 

Reading Raven 2 Phonics app review

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One of my favorite Phonics apps is the Reading Raven app.  Now that my son has progressed in his reading and phonics skills I was thrilled to find the Reading Raven Vol 2 HD app.  This extends the Reading Raven path to a higher level that is a little more advanced than the first Reading Raven app.

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Reading Raven Volume 2 HD continues the Reading Raven series of superbly engaging learn-to-read games. Your child is ready to move on to Volume 2, if he or she can read or sound out simple words that follow the consonant-vowel-consonant pattern.  If you are familiar with the first Reading Raven App then you will notice that the games and formats are similar but  harder then the original reading raven app.

If you are looking for an App that  is not just a games but also enforces Phonics then consider the Reading Raven apps.

10 Tablet-Friendly Educational Resources for Homeschooling

Photo courtesy of Honza Soukup via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Honza Soukup via Flickr Creative Commons

 

With the proliferation of technology, the traditional learning landscapes have been transformed into virtual experiences. Today, we’re experiencing the rise of the educational applications, web 2.0 tools, and cloud-based eLearning platforms. Even in the K-12 scene, there are various private vendors that are now offering the lower level MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which used to be for higher education only. In fact, the total number of homeschooled students has reached over 1.5 million in 2013; thanks to the successful usage of iPad and other mobile devices.

Below, we’ll give you the 10 tablet-ready learning apps and educational online resources you can use while homeschooling your kids.

1. Conversation Builder Teen

Most homeschooled students have limited contact with their fellow students, as opposed to those who attends school regularly. With ConversatonBuilder. You can teach them how to engage and confidently converse with other people around. To make it more engaging, the app provides a virtual image and a speech balloon of the person whom they will practice speaking to. With its full audio and text support, tapping the speech balloon will let them hear the natural response to a situational conversation. Your kid can also participate in its preprogrammed, guided conversations that are designed to take place between two to three people. Discovery K-12 As mentioned above, there are private vendors that offer MOOC-type of classes to interested K-12 students; and one of which is Discovery K-12. It is an iPad platform that offers online curriculum in STEM for K-12. It contains over 16,000 lessons, classic literature eBooks, and a weekly spelling program. New assignments are sent daily for your kids to work on. Similar to the traditional school experience, they will be graded and evaluated for progress tracking.

3. Timeline

Featured as one of Verizon’s growing number of Thinkfinity resources, The Timeline App for Android and iOS helps you create a graphical representation of an event by displaying items (texts, images, and website links) sequentially along a line. Read Write Think said that the Timeline entries can be organized by date, time of the day, or an event. For story writing exercises, your kid can maximize the tool when creating plot sequences. It’s also very interactive. You can access it on other devices (using a common user account) to add text annotations when checking their work.

4. Theatre In The Homeschool

Who says that you can’t expose your kids to the performing arts? Theatre in the Homeschool is a web-based learning resource powered by Learnist. It is optimized to work for the mobile web and desktop browsers. Curated by Kimberly Charron of Homeschooling in Nova Scotia, its virtual books will help you mount a drama class in the comfort of your living room. One of its virtual curricula called “Bring Books To Life With Drama,” shows you how to teach them about improvising a role, basic playwriting, costuming and makeup, and puppetry. The instructions presented online require you to be a hands-on parent in this lesson.

5. Hands-On Equations 1 Lite

Elementary Algebra should also be a part of your home school tablet. Designed for kids aged 8 onwards, the application will help you mount a math class with lessons that are right for their age. Edudemic reiterated that it doesn’t even require the user to have a strong background in algebra to learn the concepts presented. Each lesson comes with an introductory three-to-four minute video followed by two examples, and ten exercises. The lite version only comes with three lessons. The succeeding modules are available through in-app purchases.

6. LanguageBuilder for iPad

Teaching your kids how to properly construct sentences is one of the major lessons that you should integrate into your homeschooling curriculum. LanguageBuilder for iPad is all about improving kids sentence ideation, improve their receptive and expressive language inputs, and improve their word formation. Each exercise is fill in the blanks, where they need to complete the thought of a sentence. It offers distinct images as hint. The app also allows students to record the sentences using their own vocals.

7. Free Geography Resources for Kids

This is another e-Learning resource powered by Learnist, which teaches your kids about basic World Geography. All its virtual textbooks are curated from websites such as National Geographic and Knowledge Quest Maps. In here they will learn about the different countries of the world, its inhabitants, ecology, and climate. It also comes with an impressive feature: a printable giant-sized blank map that you can use to administer tests and activities. You can ask them to color and highlight a particular spot on the map or identify geographical borders of a continent.

8. DK The Human Body App

Recommended by Apps For Homeschooling, the DK The Human Body App is an intuitive scientific tool that will enable you to teach your kids about the basics of anatomy. The digital render of the human body is presented in a child-friendly manner and with excellent 3D animations and vector graphics. All the facets of the Scientific Branch are covered by the app: muscular, skeletal, integrated body, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. All of them have separate chapters that contain detailed stories and close examinations of certain functions and structures.

9. The Common Core Standards App

This is a useful resource that collates all the teaching standards approved by the Department of Education. Most teachers in K-12 institutions are designing their lesson plans based on the Common Core Standards. We browsed the “Number and Operations-Fractions” standard for Grade 3. It states that each student at this level should only be limited to fractions with denominators 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8. So, if your child belongs to the said grade levels, you can you use this as a guide. This allows the parent to see how your kid’s lessons are aligned to what is prescribed by the Department of Education.

 

10. This Day in History for iPad

We recommend the This Day in History, with its a rich and interactive multimedia calendar that displays significant historical event/s for a given date. The data presented on its calendar interface are a combination of illustrations, photos, and audio speeches. All of its data are synced over the internet. Another interesting feature of the app is the ability to learn other nation’s National Anthem. But, to access them, you need to search for the day they became a nation and manually scroll through the app.

 

These are just some of the curated educational iPad learning resources that you can use when homeschooling your child. For more suggestions, subscribe to our blog.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Birch is proud to be of help with the homeschooling of her niece. She believes that today’s technology makes homeschooling a more viable option for learning, especially with devices’ abilities to pick up information and files. For more insights, message her on Google +.

 

Reading raven app review

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As a firm believer in phonics for reading I am always looking for good phonics Apps.  The Reading Raven HD iPad app is one of the few apps that start with a phonics based approach to reading.  20140314-221822.jpg

Reading Raven Features

  • Step-by-step curriculum lets kids learn at their own pace.
  • Multi-sensory reading games that children find engaging.
  • Based on proven phonics-based approach.
  • Customizable for children ages 3 to 7.

Reasons why I recommend the Reading Raven App

What I appreciate most about the app is that in the beginning lessons, Reading Raven introduces very few sight words.   I also like  that Reading Raven has an emphasis on the letter sounds not the letter names.  In the early lessons most of the games are based on sounds.  Sounds are introduced a few at a time.

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You can configure different users and different levels for each user.

Ages 3 and Up
– Letter matching
– Letter tracing
– Letter recognition
– Word matching

Ages 4 and Up
– Vocabulary
– Word beginnings
– Word building (spelling)
– Word spotting

Ages 5 and Up
– Reading aloud using voice recording
– Word tracing
– Word groups (rhyming and beginning sounds)

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Be sure to check out Reading Raven.