Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Using Multiplication To Practice Addition

We use flashcards often, when quizzing Alexis on her math facts. She is doing so well, I thought I would try out some multiplication. She caught on very quickly and can easily tell me the answers to the 0, 1, 2, 5, 10 tables.

We are still working on addition but she is now asking to do multiplication instead. I was worried that too much multiplication would only confuse her when they are only doing addition and subtraction in first grade. It was suggested to me that we give her problems such as 3*1 + 2*4 =__. This way she will still be practicing addition facts.

I grabbed up a piece of scrap paper and wrote out some problems. I was amazed when she began showing me how she got her answers.  She doesn't just have the multiplication facts memorized but she actually understands how to get the answers. I was most impressed when she stated 1*0 was the same as 0+0. 

Now I need to come up with some multiplication game ideas.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Give Save Spend Money Jars

We have implemented a meager allowance for Alexis. She loves to go shopping and if given the chance will spend all of her money at once. Since we are beginning a new year, I thought this would be a good opportunity to begin teaching about budgets and the importance of saving. 

Spend Save Give Money Jars

Dividing The Money Between Jars
Now, I will teach Alexis how to divide up her money.  I'm thinking 50% spend 40% save 10% give. 
Spend Jar - Spending money can be used on anything her heart desires. However, if her heart desires a high dollar item she will have to save her spending money to reach her goal.
Save Jar - Save money can not be spent. This is strictly for long term savings such as college or a car. Each month the money in the save jar will be put into a savings account.
Give Jar - At the end of the year, this money will go to a charity of Alexis's choice.

How I Made My Money Jars
These money jars were a cinch to make. I bought 3 very inexpensive glass jars at my local Dollar Tree. Then I  used some pretty pink scrapbook paper I had on hands, to wrap around the jars. After creating my own labels, my money jars were complete and they only cost me a total of $3.00. Easy Peasy!

Teaching Money Terms and Budgeting
ING DIRECT has a kids savings account with a .85% APY. So far this is a higher interest rate than what I have found locally. I'll have to give that some more thought before I decide. ING DIRECT also has a really neat online game called Planet Orange. This is an interactive game where kids can learn about saving and investing. Alexis visited Planet Orange and learned lots of new terms. She also learned that you can grow your money by using a savings account or buying bonds and cd's. 

 Inquiring minds want to know! What are your methods for spending, saving, and giving?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

K5 Learning Review

K5 learning - Main Logo - 200 px

Recently, I was given the opportunity of a 6 week trial period to use K5 Learning, an online reading and math program for kids from kindergarten through grade 5.  I have made a list of pros and cons based on my 6 week trial. I do recommend that you try K5 learning for yourself.  You can get a free 14 day trial by visiting K5 Learning.

  • Free online assessment. The assessment is used to determine your child's skill level. I found this to be a useful tool.
  • The lessons were adequate and challenging.
  • Parents can decide which grade level is appropriate for their child.
  • Parents can choose which assignments are to be completed. 
  • Math Facts are timed but you can adjust the time limit to fit your child's needs. 
  • Reports are available to parents, which chart your child's progress.
  • The tutorials are a little slow. My daughter reads faster than the automated prompter speaks. The program will not allow answers to be selected until it finishes with the prompt. She would get frustrated waiting for the prompter to finish a sentence, in order to answer the questions.
  • The prompts are too repetitive. If my daughter was taking her time to make her selected answer, the prompt would repeat itself. The program continued this until an answer was selected. It was very distracting, when my daughter was trying to concentrate on the selections.
  • The price of $25/month  or $199/yr is too steep for our needs. If I was a home schooling mom, I might feel differently but I have used at least one other similar program that is less than half the cost of K5 Learning.
If you try the free 14 day trial, leave me a comment to let me know what you think.

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