Thursday, June 27, 2019

Matific Galaxy ~ A Review

Matific Galaxy is an online learning program for grades K-6 that will engage children with math games. Children will learn at their own pace while problem solving through games. 

My incoming 6th grader has been enjoying playing Matific Galaxy on her iPad over the past weeks. She does NOT LIKE MATH and has surprisingly enjoyed playing the various math games as she has leveled up on Matific Galaxy. There are ten levels in the 6th grade pack. Within each level there are levels. You must complete games (lessons) within each section in order to unlock and advance to the next level. Each game earns the student pixels which helps to fill in the character. For example,

Dusty is the first character. 

This is Kai, the second character, in it pixilated form.

Here are more of the characters as the student levels up. 

Math skills taught in the 6th grade level. 
I was impressed with the amount of concepts covered. 
There are 46 skills in total that encompass the 6th grade level.

In this particular game students get to design their own cell phone case. 

They have to mix colors by dividing the various colors using fractions. 

Students are rewarded with a screen full of stars for correct answers. 

Here my daughter is working out the problems on paper.
In the end they have designed their own cell phone case.

Here is another another game example. 

All of the games are very engaging. Students are rewarded visually as well as in written form with words such as, "You can do it my friend." Students can earn trophies and metals for their achievements. Within the Parent Zone you can keep track of your students progress and see exactly how they are performing along the way. The report will give you an Overall Learning Progression where it will show your child's strong skills as well as the skills that they need practice in. It will also show how many activities you child has completed. 

I most definitely would recommend this app. This would be an AWESOME app to download this summer. This is a great way to keep up math skills over the summer. Chances are you children will not even realize that they are doing math. I have been very impressed with the app and will continue to use this app with my daughter throughout the summer and into the upcoming school year. 

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To read more reviews click here.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Jump In, 2nd Edition ~ A Review

Over the past weeks my daughter has been writing with Jump In, 2nd Edition from Writing with Sharon Watson. This Middle School Composition course is a two semester course. This course is specifically written for 5-8 grade. There are 98 lessons in the Student Workbook. 

Throughout the year students will learn to write in the following modes:
  1. persuasion
  2. exposition
  3. description
  4. narration
To break it down a bit further students will write:
  • Opinion
  • Persuasion
  • Cause and Effect
  • A Newspaper Article
  • A How-to
  • A Report
  • A Biography
  • Compare and Contrast
  • A Book Report
  • A Book Response
  • Description
  • Narration
  • Poetry
Many students are overwhelmed when they hear the work WRITING. They assume that it is too hard or that they are just not good at writing. From several of my children having previously worked through the 1st Edition of Jump In, I know that this program works. I was eager to see the changes implemented in the 2nd Edition as well as having my 6th and final kiddo work her way through this edition of Jump In. Some of the changes to the 2nd Edition of Jump In are:
  • Students begin writing a persuasive paragraph first
  • More practice in writing paragraphs before essays are introduced
  • Lessons on writing paragraphs
  • For compare and contrast young students will be introduced to Venn diagrams and more advanced students charts
  • Student Checklists
  • Writing Schedules
  • Mistake Medic
  • Digital Lessons on how to write work cited pages
  • Teacher grading grids
  • Writing Prompt Program for Teachers

My daughter will be going into the 6th grade this Fall. Jump In was the perfect fit for her. She was able to do most of the work on her own. She was quit reluctant as writing is not something she is very confident in yet. My hope it that by the time she completes the program she will feel much more confident in her writing abilities. I love that the 2nd edition starts out with an opinion paragraph first. Kids definitely have opinions! "Jump In, 2nd Edition begins with persuasion instead of exposition essays because wary students more likely will write to convince someone of something than they will write a report. The research report now comes in the middle of the year." 

Rough Draft/Supporting Sentences for an Opinion Paragraph

What I really liked about the curriculum is that the lessons are broken down into manageable chunks. Lessons are not intimidating for students and do not take more than about 20 minutes a day. The material is written in age appropriate language so that students are able to work independently. Students thoroughly interact within the workbook before they are asked to write a paragraph or essay.  

I had my daughter jump forward to writing a book report after she worked on her opinion section. I thought that over the summer it would be a good idea to write a few book reports after reading some of her summer books. My daughter also loved working on the topic of persuasion, lol. I am sure like most it isn't hard for most kiddos to come up with ideas and words to persuade others. 

The Teacher Guide has schedules for a one-year, two-year, and a three-year plan for maximum flexibility. 

I would definitely recommend Jump In, 2nd Edition to others. 

To read more reviews click here. 

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Dallas Holocaust Museum

Last week my kiddos and I had the privilege of visiting the Dallas Holocaust Museum
for their Homeschool Day. We were treated to a very informative
 guided tour of the main exhibits. 
After lunch we participated in a group activity which was a wonderful
complement to the mornings tour. 

This Anne Frank exhibit was so very informative. They had Anne's whole life displayed. 

One of the most humbling aspects of our visit to the museum
was our time with Max. The Dallas Holocaust Museum is implementing
a new addition to their museum called Dimensions 
in Testimony. What is this? Well, it is interviews that the museum
has had with actual Holocaust survivors. They spent about a week
with each survivor asking them thousands of questions. They
 then went into a database. We were able to ask Max,
who was then in holograph, questions. The museum said that over
time the more questions that are asked the greater accuracy the
 answers will become. It really was awesome. It was like actually
sitting with Max. One question that I asked Max was,
"Max, how were you treated in the concentration camp?"
He told of a story of a fellow concentration camp gentleman who was
being punished. He was made to take his belt off. The officers put the belt
around his neck, made him get on all fours like a dog and made him
 go down rows of fellow inmates. As he crawled by fellow inmates
had to kick and slap him. Max said that he was bloody and beat up and
was practically unable to crawl by the time it was over.
As he was telling the story I grew increasingly nauseous. Collectively, we
were able to ask Max about a dozen questions. It was truly
humbling and eye-opening. I think that they said that there were
about 5 or 6 survivors that they had as a part of the Dimensions in Testimony. 

Confetti Eggs