## Thursday, 23 February 2012

### Area and Perimeter

We've been reading the book 'Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter' this week and did some exercises to go with it.

We looked at how area is measured and cut enough cm squares to cover the area of a shape, then looked at the correct way to work this out.
We looked at perimeter and then the girls designed some note booking pages to go with it.

Fingers crossed we will get to the area of circles tomorrow :)

## Tuesday, 21 February 2012

### Tangrams, Fractions and Poetry.

Rose and Tulip have been working on fractions,
greater than /less than (this was a great idea I spotted on pinterest - use a brad to make the equals sign movable),
and with tangrams.
(Sunflower and Rose decided to join in and they got a bit carried away)
Rose also explored her new sensorial tackle box that I started putting together last night (idea from here)

Sunflower and Rose worked on multiplication of the Binominal,
focused on haiku's for poetry,
and traced a world map.

## Wednesday, 15 February 2012

### Half term catch up

This week is half term in the UK - where schools close for a week. As usual we are working through but at a lighter level.

We've taken the opportunity to make a plaster triceratops fossil,
looked at the pigmentation in leaves,

and used Valentines as a good excuse for loads of math sweetie games.
(29 was the highest stack)

## Tuesday, 14 February 2012

### Aleks Review TOS

I must admit to being sceptical when we were first offered this item for review - after all we don't work to the US grade system here and math is one of Sunflowers favourite subjects while Lilly will do it without too much complaining. However their reaction to this surprised me .

Aleks - Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces - is a Web-based, intelligent assessment and learning system.

When you first log on you take an assessment of approx 30 questions. Each of the assessment questions is unique as each question is based on your previous answer. After the the assessment you are presented with a pie chart showing which areas you have mastered and which need more work.
Each session begins with a quick review followed by the Pie Chart which allows you to keep track of your progress. The darker shading shows what you have completed and the lighter shading shows more work needed. You then select what you wish to practise/study each day.
If you are tackling a subject you don't know, they provide an explanation of the topic and a series of questions to test your understanding and if you go wrong they show the correct working out.

There is also a Quicktabs screen when you can drill in the basics.

Aleks courses are available for grades 3-12 and subscriptions are available from \$19.95 a month (\$99.95 for 6 months or \$179.95 for 12 months). Discounts are available for more than one user. They do offer a 2 month free trial.

I liked the idea that I could check on my child’s progress at any time as well as having reports emailed to me (it was wonderful seeing Lilly submit 3.5 hours of additional math work in one week).

While I think Aleks is very good, I did find I often had to interpret their explanations for a new topic and a certain speed is required on the keyboard which Sunflower struggled with initially.
Some of the processes are difficult to use (like drawing points or shading a graph) but overall a pleasant experience. Lilly loved this product and would willing use it every day while Sunflower liked it but was less excited, probably more due to her lack of computer skills.

You can read what the other crew members thought over at  TOS Crew Blog

Disclaimer
I was provided with a free trail so I could give an open and honest review of the product.

## Thursday, 9 February 2012

### Tot & Pre K Fun

I've been meaning to do primary colour mixing with Rose for a while but couldn't face the mess the paint would make so I opted for an idea I'd spotted on pinterest for mess free finger painting
paint goes in a ziploc plastic bag which it tapped to the table (or board)

and they go exploring :)

Tulip has been working on her teen numbers again
and working to find the quickest way to melt ice.

The highlight of the week was purchasing a 99p bucket (for the garden) and Rose deciding it belonged to her.

## Wednesday, 8 February 2012

### Elementary Overview

Lilly and Sunflower have explored the workings of a wheel and axle using our simple machines set and an umbrella - the umbrella is the wheel and the handle is the axle, neither can turn without the other and its a great way to explore how turning the wheel or turning the axle differ.

They finished their lines work by making a reference poster using matchsticks,
and making valentines gifts (I keep insisting this cupcake should be for me ).
Used their animal research time to discover the species of snail living in our pond.
They have also used the snow as an excuse to run numerous ice experiments including - how to melt ice fastest, does coloured ice spread it colour, what supports the biggest icicle and how thick does pond ice get.

## Thursday, 2 February 2012

### Edible School Wok

I always believe that if a lesson is edible, they will remember it forever (especially as we don't often have sweets here)

This week has been a real treat for the girls - not one but two edible lessons.

First Rose and Tulip had marshmallow shapes

I was very impressed when Rose made a hexagon - I think it was because I promised them they could eat their shapes when finished : )

Second. The girls have been exploring levers and they had to identify the type of lever in each piece of equipment.

they were flummoxed by the bottle opener until they got to try it on a bottle of J2O.
They finally worked out it was a 2nd class lever :)

### KinderBach discount code

KinderBach have just contacted me with a discount code they have asked me to share with my readers

For 30% off use the Coupon Code:  TOScrew2012

## Wednesday, 1 February 2012

### Geography - Landform activities

The girls have been working on landforms today
Rose and Tulip started with the basic landforms - they made them out of clay and we discussed what each landforms was (3 part landform cards from Montessori Print Shop)

Lilly and Sunflower worked with the advanced landform cards (also from Montessori Print Shop) and made a clay diorama of the landforms.

My favourite has to be the cave :)
they also made a landform poster, wrote their definitions
and made some tactile cards of their own, using sandpaper for the land forms and shiny blue card for the water forms.

Overall they loved the day - who wouldn't enjoy a day filled with clay and water??

### TOS Review Kinderbach

KinderBach is an Internet (or DVD) piano program that uses cartoon characters to teach children. Weekly lessons are divided into 4 short sessions per week combined with activities, colouring pages, games and worksheets to provide a multi sensory approach. It's designed so that even parents with no musical abilities can teach their children.
KinderBach uses its fun characters to teach notes, rhythm, singing, theory and composition.This is designed so children can either work alongside you or independently.

Although it is recommended for ages 3 -7 Sunflower (7) didn't find it challenging enough (although I did catch her singing a few of the songs), Rose (3) and Tulip (5) loved it and wanted to do multiple lessons each day. I think for any children who haven't had an introduction to music this is a fun, interactive way to introduce musical concepts and skills, it would provide some good revision for experienced children. I loved the multi-sensory approach and found the lessons to be stimulating - the younger girls would often talk about it for days afterwards. I also like that I could use it for multiple children and not have to pay for multiple access.

Kinderbach is available for a yearly fee of \$95.88 (payable in twelve monthly instalments of  \$19.99) or you can buy day passes for \$5.95. DVDs are available from \$40.45. They offer a 2 week free trial here and they have a 30 day money back guarantee.

There is a discount code for 30% off -
Coupon Code:  TOScrew2012

You can look at some other reviews on the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer
I received free access to the online sessions so I could offer my honest opinion of the product.