Life at Warp Speed

life, faith, food, parenting, homeschooling and just about anything else that is on my mind

Duck Duck Moose Apps – free today! August 26, 2016

Duck Duck Moose

It’s been awhile. Our summer has been PACKED with activities. I’m looking forward to the fall when things slow down, and we are back into our homeschooling rhythm and routine.

I saw this fabulous deal today…seriously DO NOT miss out on this freebie deal. Duck Duck Moose made all their apps free today. I simply love their learning apps for kids. They develop wonderfully interactive and engaging apps. I haven’t ventured over to check out their offerings in a while since we are well past early learning apps. Some of our all time faves: Old MacDonald, Wheels on the Bus, Fish School, Moose Math, Park Math and Word Wagon….plus a lot of others.

I am excited to get out Pet Bingo, Chatterpix and Wizard School which are targeted towards older elementary kids.

Ages: 2 to 12 (depending on the app)

L@WS

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WeDo 2.0 Curriculum Pack – One cent sale! (regular $289.95) February 13, 2016

Filed under: STEM,Upper Elementary — lifeatwarpspeed @ 6:43 pm
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Built on Next Generation Science Standards, the WeDo 2.0 Curriculum Pack aids second through fourth grade educators in delivering key science content.

If you have the Lego WeDo kits which introduce robotics to 2nd to 4th graders…this upgrade kit (targeted to teachers) is only ONE PENNY right now.  Quick jump on this here:  WeDo 2.0. It’s legit…I just got this for my Jr. First Lego League team. We will now be able to get to interface with our iPads. Learn more about WeDo here: WeDo

L@WS

 

Educational Tech Picks March 6, 2015

This is the October 2014 column that I wrote for my co-op’s newsletter. I realized that I should share these gems with all of you as well! So, I will be posting up my other past columns when I have some more time. I just love finding interesting and sometimes unusual educational resources online that can be leveraged for homeschooling. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily Christian resources and as always please preview and decide for yourself if a particular resource is appropriate for you and your family to use. These resources may be of interest to families that supplement on the weekends, after school, or summer vacation.

ABC Jesus Love Me: Free                                                                                             Grades: Toddler to Pre-K
If you have littles in the house that are chomping at the bit to do “school” just like their older siblings and have no time to pull something together, then abcjesusloveme.com (AJLM) is my solution for you! AJLM is a great free biblically based, play based curriculum designed to take you from ages 2 to 5. Each year has a 36 week plan covering literature, music, character, Scripture, pre-math, pre-reading, and age-appropriate concepts and skills. This is a well-laid out curriculum with an intentional progression leading you to being ready for formal schooling at school age.

I really appreciate the way the AJLM lays out each week beginning with the supplies that you need to have on hand. Then you are given a good overview of learning objectives for the week. This is followed by a list of all the different activities and links to all the printable resources. If you scroll all the way to the bottom you will find a schedule grid with everything scheduled over 4 days.

I must say that you should not to feel compelled to use everything which might be challenging for those who are compulsive box checkers. Depending on your situation, this might feel overwhelming to you. Feel free to pick and choose what is most important to you or even slow this down and work over a whole year rather than 36 weeks schedule.

Magic School Bus Science Lesson Plans: Free                                                                                       Grades: K-3

Homeschoolbelle has made her Magic School Bus DVD series lesson plans for the primary grades. She has pulled together a schedule that takes you through each episode with suggested books to read, a project or experiment that you can do, related Brain Pop videos, and writing assignments  from about the topic. This is such a fun way to do make science interesting and accessible for younger children.

http://homeschoolbelle.blogspot.com/2013/08/free-science-plans-using-magic-school.html

VocabularySpellingCity: Free. ($29.99 for premium access for full features. ).

Spelling City is available as an app for Apple, Droid, and Kindle users. It is also available online as well. This is a pretty fun way to practice and test spelling words though various games and activities. The premium membership does give you many more features that expand this to be a good vocabulary resource as well. The annual family premium access is for up to five students.

There are literally thousands of user created spelling lists in their database. Their spelling list search function is rather underwhelming though and not that effective to narrowing down what you are looking for. The trick though is that you either have to know the user’s account name or the list name. I have been able to find lists for most common homeschool spelling curricula (SWR, on Spelling City with a little key word searching of the Spelling City forums (forum, spelling city, ). Sometimes, when my hands are busy with making lunch or dinner, I will run the practice test and have my son write out his spelling on paper the SWR way…cursive with all the markings. It does free up some time as I can have him work on spelling and vocabulary while we are en route somewhere on our iPad. We really enjoy using it.

I was able to organize a way for our co-op to take advantage of the special pricing by having parents share access to a teacher account. If you can get enough people together and organize it, it is a great deal at about $2 per student for 12 months.

http://www.spellingcity.com/

The Online Engineering Academy: ($400-$550)                                                                       Grade: High School
I just love this concept that meets a real felt need for high school students that are interested in engineering. This is something that is very challenging to provide to students without going with a college level course which usually requires calculus as a prerequisite. This is a great resource for families seeking to provide their high school students a good bridge and solid foundation for future collegiate level study in engineering.

The Excellence in Engineering Education Initiative Foundation in partnership with Auburn University has made this elective credit, four-year engineering curriculum available as an online course. These courses are taught by an engineer that is also a high school teacher and has teaching assistants who are graduate engineering students who worked through this curriculum as high school students.

The pacing and design of these on-demand courses reflects math skills that follow a traditional college preparatory progression of math that culminates with Calculus in their senior year. So, students, on a progression ending with pre-Calculus, should consider starting this series a year behind so that they are able to work successfully through the course.

http://www.theonlineengineeringacademy.com/ 

L@WS

 

Mystery Math Museum – free for a limited time December 26, 2014

Filed under: Homeschooling Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 4:51 pm
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Mystery Math Museum on the App Store on iTunes.

I had to break away from my Christmas holiday to post about this awesome app deal. Artgig makes some really cool math app for kids that are engaging without being tedious and involve interactive game play that just happens to include math practice. Mystery Math Museum is normally $2.99, but you can grab it absolutely free right now.

This is an award winning app that is a sequel to Mystery Math Town. The goal is the find the dragonflies while exploring the various museums which are maze-like. The app is quirky and visually engaging. I also like the fact that it can be used for multiple players with different skill levels which works great for families with multiple children. You can work on all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).

Recommended for students working at grade 1 to 6 level of mathematics.

L@WS

L@

 

Chess Academy for Kids by Geek Kids – currently free for limited time! September 12, 2014

Filed under: Homeschooling Apps,Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 1:30 am
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App Store – Chess Academy for Kids by Geek Kids.

This is a fabulous app that I have been meaning to post about for the last two years! I am motivated now because I just noticed it is being offered for free right now! This is normally a $4.99 app. This is an award-winning app that made Apple’s New and Noteworthy shout out. This is a great app for kids (or even adults) who want to learn to play chess. There are great tutorials to help demonstate and practice tasks each piece can do. The app does a great job of teaching about special moves, how pieces move, rules of the game, strategies of play, and even the relative value of pieces.

I really like the freature where you can have a special two player game mode for beginner players. The app helps players by showing all the possible moves that can be made. The game  can automatically reorient the screen for each player’s turn so you don’t have to keep flipping the iPad around. There’s a undo and redo feature as well plus the game can be set to not allow you to move the king into harm’s way.

The app is designed for multi player play as well as play against the computer. It also can track each player’s progress and achievement with the tutorials, tasks and games and shows progress on an achievement bar.

This is such a great addition to your app collection and will help your child develop great higher order thinking skills, strategic thinking and analytical skills which are all excellent foundational math skills.

Recommended for ages 5 and up.

L@WS

ave

 

Mathsterious Mansion App gone free today! April 17, 2014

Filed under: Apps,Early Elementary,Homeschooling Apps,Kids,Upper Elementary — lifeatwarpspeed @ 8:40 pm
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Mathsterious Mansion on the App Store on iTunes.

3P Learning is offering this adventure and mystery app for the iPad for free download right now. (normally $1.99). Any parent knows that addition and subtraction practice of math facts and mental math practice can often be deadly dull for both parent and child. This app is an interesting offering in the educational math app market. There have been a lot of offerings trying to re-frame math practice in a more engaging platform than strict drills.

There are several levels of play for this app that build your child’s skill level to math his abilities. Explore each room in the mansion and discover the 15 characters that you collect as you master various skills. This app works on addition and subtraction within 100 using various techniques like counting on a hundred board, adding/subtracting without renaming, and regrouping. Be aware that this app uses British English, so the spelling and vocabulary of math terms may be unfamiliar. I like that the game offers tutorials as to how to play for each level which is helpful as it does not assume you just intuitively know how to play the game.

This is an interesting and good offering on the market. I actually like that it frames this sort of math practice that would appeal to an older elementary child that needs practice without appearing too cute or infantile. It best appeals to those students that enjoy adventure or story based game play. For sensitive kids, the graphic design is a bit Gothic in feel and has a bit of that spooky, mysterious Victorian mansion flavor and likely will not appeal to them. It is friendly to girls since it is more story based rather than an arcade style game platform.

Recommended for ages 7 to 11. For younger students, use your discretion since the artistic style and the story are not intended for them. There are other apps more suitable and appealing for them.

L@WS

 

Free Stanford online class to help parents with their kids’ math! June 21, 2013

Filed under: Education,Homeschooling — lifeatwarpspeed @ 6:16 pm
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Stanford Online. (scroll down to How to Learn Math)

Obviously, I am all about the free on this blog, and this is the age of free online education. There is a vast array of free on-line classes for just about anything you can think of and from premier universities in our country.

If you are parent that works or one that homeschools, I frequently hear a lot about struggling with mathematics. Even though our household is a “math-y” family, I am signed up right away for this free on-line offering from Dr. Jo Boaler. This course aims to help any one working with a student in math rethink your approach and how to effectively help your child.

Given the dismal state of math education in the US, all parents are right to be concerned about how they can help their students be successful in their studies. I totally get that the majority of parents (unless they have STEM backgrounds) may feel uncomfortable and uncertain once their child starts to get to middle school and higher math.

(excerpt from the course description)

Dr Jo Boaler is Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, editor of the research commentary section of JRME, and author of seven books, including “What’s Math Got To Do With It” (US) / “The Elephant in the Classroom” (UK). Former roles have included being the Marie Curie Professor of Mathematics Education in England and a mathematics teacher in London comprehensive schools.Who is this course for?
This course is for teachers of math (K-12) or for other helpers of students, such as parents. After the summer I will release a student version of this course. This course provides an opportunity for teachers and parents to preview the ideas for students and think about how they may be useful, as well as learn from new research ideas and share ideas with other teachers and parents who enroll in the course.

What is the pace of the course?

The course will launch on July 15th, a good pace may be to take 2 sessions per week, but you can choose your own pace. The course will close on September 27th, 2013.

Recommended for parents and teachers of any child studying mathematics. Dr. Boaler is planning to release a student version of the course after this summer.

L@WS

 

 
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