Zoey and Sassafras Book Review and Printables

Zoey and Sassafras -

{disclaimer ~ we were sent these books to review and affiliate links are used in this post}

Oh my word. I can’t say enough about Zoey and Sassafras!. When my blog friend Asia asked if I would like to review her new chapter book series, I took a look, saw a dragon and a cat and said YES! I figured with two of my daughter’s VERY favorites on the cover, it was likely she would enjoy them. Plus she LOVES to read. The photo above shows moments after she opened the package that Asia sent us with the first book, her smile says it all.

She sat down to read it after we came inside from playing that day and she finished it all at once!

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I just happened to be sitting near her as I noticed her on the last page so I started filming so I could get her live and authentic reaction. I’ll let the video speak for itself.

A post shared by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on

 

 

About the Series…

Zoey is a smart and sweet little girl with an adorable pet cat, Sassafras. Science, adventure and fantasy are woven together in the delightful tales. The books are funny, educational, and just simply enjoyable. I HIGHLY recommend them!

There are 3 books in the series {we are really hoping Asia will write more}, and they all feature larger font size, and black and white illustrations on many pages. The books are written at a 2nd grade independent reading level, but would make a great read aloud for a younger child. Honestly the stories are so well written that older kids will enjoy them too. The recommended age is 4-10, my daughter is almost 8 and these are perfect!

 

The Printables…

She also loves to color and asked me if I had any Zoey and Sassafras coloring pages! Thankfully we were given permission from the fabulous illustrator, Marion Lindsay, to use her images to create some printables! I first put together some simple coloring pages for her, which she also used as tracing sheets. She loves to practice her drawing skills.

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She is in 2nd grade, and I wanted to create a couple of activities to work on some skills also. First, I made a sheet for her to draw and write about her own magical animal. She loved this and I just love her creativity. After this she asked me if she could use one of her small notebooks to be her magical animal book. She has since written about several made-up magical animals all on her own!

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I also created a printable activity to work on some grammar skills. We came up with verbs and adjectives to describe Zoey and Sassafras!

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The words she chose to describe Zoey give a good picture into the type of main character this little girl is ~ creative, smart, and helpful. All traits I love to see in my own kids! Zoey likes to ~ investigate, explore, and play!

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She is BEGGING Asia to write more books, but she said she will reread these for now, she loves them so much!

 

You can download the free Zoey and Sassafras coloring pages and printables here!

Zoey and Sassafras Coloring Pages and Printables

 

Grab the books here on Amazon!



Exploring Area with Spielgaben

Exploring Area with Spielgaben

{We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.}

We have had our Spielgaben set for years now and have grown with it. This year for 2nd grade, we are using Spielgaben as an extension of our math curriculum.

She has been learning all about area with her core math curriculum so I went through the Spielgaben math guide and searched for activities to reinforce this concept. Adding in hands-on pieces really helps a lot and is one of the main reasons I continue to supplement her math.

First, we did an activity outlined in the Spielgaben Math Guide #2. She created fences for the “yards” I created out of cuboids.

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Then, we used the fence pieces to figure the area and write the multiplication problem.

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Next we played a game I made up, which I called “Which bedroom do you want?” I pre-measured and cut 3 different shapes and showed them to her. She guessed which had the biggest area and chose that room for herself, then gave each of her brothers the other rooms. Then we got to work figuring the area of each room!

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Surprisingly she thought the long rectangle room was bigger, but the square one was bigger! She chose the biggest correctly! I had her tell me what the multiplication problems were for the area of each room and write them.

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As usual, she asked to play freely when we were done! I am a BIG fan of this and encourage her to play! She made an alligator!

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Then she asked me to tape it together so she could play with it. I told her to give it a try, and she did! She worked for so long getting the tape pieces just right nd was so happy {as you can see} when it was done!

Spielgaben  (7 of 7)


See more math fun we have had with Spielgaben!

Exploring-3D-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3[1] Exploring-Symmetry-with-Spielgaben22 Math-Play-with-Spielgaben---ideas-fo[1] Math-with-Spielgaben122 Soma-Cube-with-Spielgaben22 

Playful-Learning-with-Spielgaben-Sep Hands-on-Math-with-Spielgaben3_thumb Hands on 1st Grade Math with Spielgaben Multiplication-with-Spielgaben246222 Create-a-Clock-with-Spielgaben101221 

Exploring-fractions-with-Spielgaben8 Exploring-Measurement-with-Spielgabe Exploring-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3322[1] Exploring-Angles-with-Spielgaben_thu 

Exploring-Addition-with-Spielgaben_t[1] Exploring-Parallel-Lines-with-Spielg Exploring-3D-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3 Graphing-with-Spielgaben4 Making-Math-Come-Alive-with-Spielgab[1]

 

See version 4.0 here!

spielgaben-complete



Making Math Come Alive with Spielgaben

Making Math Come Alive with Spielgaben

{We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.}

We have had our Spielgaben set for years now and have grown with it. This year for 2nd grade, we are using Spielgaben as an extension of our math curriculum. Spielgaben is releasing a full math program soon and we were sent a preview file of PDFs for the 2nd grade curriculum. These are the worksheets you see in this post. They are not available yet but will be soon, follow along with us and I will let you know when you can get your hands on this new math program!

She has been deep into multiplication lately with her core math curriculum so I went through the Spielgaben math files and pulled out several multiplication sheets so we could work on the same concepts in a different way! It was neat to see what she did and didn’t understand. Adding in hands-on pieces really helps a lot and is one of the main reasons I continue to supplement her math.

Spielgaben (5 of 2)

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She chose whether she wanted to use objects or just do the problem in her head. For most she chose objects, some she did on her own.

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This was another day and she chose to do this one entirely without using any objects.

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What usually happens when we pull out Spielgaben supplies for math? Her creative juices begin to flow and she often wants to play after our lesson. I am a BIG fan of this and encourage her to play! This particular day was awesome. She spontaneously set up a store for us. She made lollipops, flowers, fans and birds. Then we played store.

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Little did she know it was a sneaky way to get in a good review of counting money.

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Spontaneous, playful, fun learning. And that’s why I love Spielgaben.

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See more math fun we have had with Spielgaben!

Exploring-3D-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3[1] Exploring-Symmetry-with-Spielgaben22 Math-Play-with-Spielgaben---ideas-fo[1] Math-with-Spielgaben122 Soma-Cube-with-Spielgaben22 

Playful-Learning-with-Spielgaben-Sep Hands-on-Math-with-Spielgaben3_thumb Hands on 1st Grade Math with Spielgaben Multiplication-with-Spielgaben246222 Create-a-Clock-with-Spielgaben101221 

Exploring-fractions-with-Spielgaben8[1] Exploring-Measurement-with-Spielgabe[2] Exploring-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3322[1] Exploring-Angles-with-Spielgaben_thu[1] 

Exploring-Addition-with-Spielgaben_t Exploring-Parallel-Lines-with-Spielg[1] Exploring-3D-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3 Graphing with Spielgaben

 

See version 4.0 here!

spielgaben-complete



Mid Year Review of Teaching Textbooks Math 3

Teaching Textbooks Math 3 Review

 

{disclaimer ~ TT is a sponsor and affiliate links are in this post. We used TT long before they ever became a sponsor, we are grateful for our new partnership!}

I am simply in love with Teaching Textbooks. Using level 3 with my daughter this year has only solidified that love. My boys have been using TT for 3 years now, but this is her first year and my first year seeing it from the beginning. Now that Ladybug is over half way through I wanted to do a review and answer some questions I have gotten this year!

First, I want to take a minute and explain a bit about what makes TT different from other homeschool math programs.

Teaching Textbooks were designed specifically for independent learners. Each Teaching Textbook has approximately 700 pages of text and 120 – 160 hours of teacher instruction on CD-ROM, and is both a teacher and a textbook combined into one. There are audiovisual step-by-step explanations for every single one of the almost 3,500 problems in the book. Using a Teaching Textbook is like having a tutor available at the push of a button, which means I do NOT have to know it all!

I made a video to explain and show a few things and want to share that first. I expand on some of it in the post below, but in this video you can see a peek at the program on the computer, some ways I help her} my sticky note method}, inside of the book itself, and some of my rambling thoughts about this awesome program.

Table of Contents

You can download a PDF of the table of contents here to see it in full. Look for this graphic, you’ll also see the link for the TT 3 placement test there too!

TT3 TOC and Placement

Our Lesson Checklist

In the video I show our personal checklist and you can download a copy here if you’d like to use it.

TT3 Plan

Does she work independently?

She works by herself most of the time but I am always nearby. Sometimes she uses her headphones and just pauses if she needs me. Other times she leaves the sound so I can hear and I follow along and help as needed. Honestly after about a month she was mostly independent.

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How is the review?

I am a BIG fan of cyclical review in math, kids can’t be forgetting things! Teaching Textbooks does a great job of this in my opinion. The review is scattered in but not overwhelming.

 

How are the multiplication lessons presented?

Multiplication is introduced in level 3 and you can see the order of the lessons in the screenshot below. I talk about this a bit more in the video if you haven’t watched it yet.

TT3 TOC Multiplication Lessons

 

Do we supplement at all?

Yes! I am still a big fan of hands-on learning especially in the early math years. Adding in some fun is important to me. We mainly use Spielgaben for this, you can see our monthly posts here. We also play math games, like our printable multiplication games here. If I see her struggling to understand at all, I will pull together a hands-on lesson to reinforce and teach differently. Below you can see a photo I shared on Instagram here, showing us playing the Winter Multiplication Games and using the Skip Counting Charts from Homeschool Creations.

1.12.17 Teaching Textbooks (9)

 

How is this compared to other 2nd grade math programs we used?

We  used a more traditional homeschool math program for PacMan and for Krash we used Singapore. I have never really loved the traditional math programs, but I did really love Singapore. The problem for me was the amount of teacher involvement needed. I simply did not have that kind of time and began looking elsewhere when I finally realized Singapore wouldn’t be a good fit for our family long term. About that time PacMan was moving into Pre Algebra and I was getting a bit nervous. We started Teaching Textbooks then with him and since he was going to be using it, I decided to give Math 4 a try for Krash who was in 3rd grade at the time. We haven’t looked back! Krash is now using Math 6, and PacMan is using Geometry. We plan to use Teaching Textbooks all the way through high school!

What level should my child begin with?

Teaching Textbooks is often different than your child’s actual grade level. My daughter is in 2nd grade and using level 3 right now, it’s a perfect fit. You’ll notice when my boys used each level so far in the list below…

For Krash ~

For PacMan ~

If you are curious about Teaching Textbooks and thinking of making the switch, they have placement tests for you to use to make the process easier!

Teaching Textbooks Placement Tests

See another post about Teaching Textbooks here.

We Love Teaching Textbooks Math



Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits!

Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

{disclaimer ~ Ivy Kids is a blog sponsor and sent us a kit for this review}

Our love for Ivy Kids Kits continues! These continue to be the best monthly subscription kits I have seen.

Not familiar with Ivy Kids Kits?

Ivy Kits are a monthly educational subscription for children ages 3-8 developed by early childhood teachers with children of their own. You can tell these kits were developed by people who truly know young kids.  The activities are awesome. Not only can you subscribe to a monthly kit, you can also buy past kits.

Each Ivy Kit contains instructions with ways to modify games to best suit each individual child and provide adults with questions to structure a child’s learning. There are enough games and materials in each kit to engage and cognitively stimulate a child throughout the month and can be replayed for years to come.

We were sent Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats for this review.  Here’s ALL that was included in this kit:

Ivy Kids-

  • The humorous and heartwarming book Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. 
  • Read along Bookmark: Use to assist with reading comprehension.
  • Houseful of Cats: Paint the beautiful wooden house and use it along with the cat figures to retell the story
  • Story Re-telling: Use the board and cat figures to retell the story of Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats that have names from A to Z. 
  • Cat Puppet: Create your own cat puppet with a personalized name collar 
  • Cat Bingo: Learn about the different cat species while playing bingo. The person to get 3 cats in a row gets bingo.
  • Houseful of Pets – Roll and Stick: Roll the dice, find the number rolled, and cover the number with a colorful cat or dog sticker. Keep rolling the dice until you have found all the hidden numbers and your house is full of pets!
  • Find Your Way Home Board Game: Players take turns moving the cat pawns along the alphabetical path until each cat has reached the house at the end of the board
  • Kitty Bank: Use the paints to decorate your own cute and functional kitty bank.
  • Cat Fact Boards and Trivia: Learn fun and interesting facts about cats and solve the trivia questions
  • Cat Race – Roll and Stamp: Choose from 3 different racing sheets! Player counts the number rolled and then stamps the column displaying that numerical symbol. Continue rolling until the cats reach the top of at least one column. Whichever column has the most cats wins the race.
  • 100 Cats: What does 100 cats look like? Find out by stamping 100 cats onto the hundreds board.
  • Word Families: The first player to collect all the word cards that belong to his or her word family wins the game.  
  • Cat Alphabet: Color these uniquely formed letters. For silly fun, try to use your own body to make the different letter shapes.
    She was SO excited to open our box and see CATS! She loves cats!
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She immediately asked to go read the book and she loved it! Not so sure the dog loved a book all about cats!

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      Activities From Our Box…

      She chose to do the story-retelling activity first and loved all of the little kitties!

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      She always loves the games that are included, I think spending more time with me and playing together is a highlight!

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      She is a craft-loving girl and this one was a favorite!

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      She loved the Cat Facts game, the pictures were awesome!

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      She is a bit too old for rhyming so we just peeked at it quickly.

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      We played BINGO a few times, which she loved!

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      She loved playing “A Houseful of Cats,” and so did I! I loved that there were varying levels included, we played a few different ways.

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      Her very favorite was the kitty bank craft! She also loved the little cat house!

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      We continue to just LOVE Ivy Kids and are thankful to have these boxes! You can buy this kit here!

      We also loved our A House for Hermit Crab kit, Penguin & Pinecone kit, Gotta Go! Gotta Go! kit and Over in the Ocean!

      A-House-for-Hermit-Crab-Unit-Study-w[1] Penguin-and-Pinecone-Unit-Study-with[1] 

      Gotta-Go-Gotta-Go-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie Over in the Ocean Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits[4]

       

      20% off your first kit for NEW Subscribers to the monthly subscription kits!

      Use code: IVY20

      A huge thanks to Ivy Kids for sending us these kits to review. If you are looking for a simple way to do unit studies with your young child, I highly recommend Ivy Kids Kits!

      When you subscribe to Ivy Kids, each month you will receive a very well organized kit containing a book and ten or more activities based upon the story. Everything you need to learn and play is included in your kit. I mean EVERYthing. These kits are incredible!