Friday, September 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: 2015 Fair Fun

This has been a busy yet fun week for us! We went to the Comal County Fair on Wednesday. I ran into two students from my student teaching days. They were 20 and 21 years old now! It was a blessing to see them. We watched John ride a bull. Alyssa preferred riding the pony. Chandler gave Alyssa a hug and made her blush.
We also saw a beautiful bull sleeping.
© Photo copyrighted. All rights reserved. 

I will link this post up at Life at Rossmont's Wordless Wednesday. 
Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Random Five on Friday: Sept. 18th

It has been a very interesting week.

1.) I remembered how much I LOVED rollerblading so I pulled out the skates from the garage. The last time I went rollerblading was over 8 years ago. I forgot just how much fun it was, but I knew sooner or later I would fall. I leaned my toe forward to stop instead of on my back heel. Big mistake. Leg and wrist bruised. The bruise on my  leg is about the size of the palm of my hand. Hurting.  The shiny that you see is Beeyoutiful's Ow-Ease. I reviewed a tube of this amazing product years ago. thankfully, I had a little leftover. Hopefully, it'll help again. Here is a link to my Beeyoutiful review. The products I reviewed were outstanding! If I had the extra money right now, then I would immediately purchase the Berry Well and Ow-Ease. 
2.) I posted my review for Super Teacher Worksheets this week. There are a variety of fantastic resources to use and we've truly enjoyed adding them to our homeschool schedule. Read my Super Teacher Worksheets (STW) review to hear about our favorite activities.

3.) My daughter, Alyssa, hasn't been able to read a chapter book in awhile, because we've been packing and moving. We unpacked MANY chapter books and she reread the book, Flat Stanley. It was an oldie but a goodie. She also completed a STW unit in one day!  

4.) I still have A LOT of empty boxes cluttering my home. I really need to get rid of them soon. Must find time!  

5.) Alyssa started her new Math-U-See curriculum a couple weeks ago. The fraction inserts definitely caught her interest. She's building, writing, and saying fractions. The first part of the curricula is a review and introduction for her, but I am sure the Epsilon scope and sequence will prove to be somewhat challenging this year.  

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

TOS Review: Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew team, I received an Individual Membership to Super Teacher Worksheets to review. I am thrilled to share my thoughts with you today. The website is chocked full of PDF worksheets for children in K-5th grade. They have over 10,000 worksheets available at your fingertips. They are currently working on higher grade level materials for 6th-8th grade. Some worksheets are also suitable for preschool-aged children. Many worksheets have artistic borders and professional illustrations that appeal to children as seen below.
Super Teacher Worksheets Review

The website is well organized and easy to navigate. It covers a wide variety of subjects and topics. The worksheets are arranged by subjects. You'll need to click on "More Worksheets" to find additional resources under each subject. In some cases, the subjects are further broken down by topics or grade levels.

The website contains high-quality printable PDF files and resources available online so you'll need Adobe Reader and an Internet connection to access the materials. I used Safari as my preferred browser. There are many FREE worksheets available which enable you to check out the content and quality before purchasing a subscription. I've visited the website many times in the past and enjoyed using their free worksheets, but having a paid membership is definitely worth it! They offer several pages in color and in black and white which saves on ink cost.
Super Teacher Worksheets Review

  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Reading
  • Phonics
  • Spelling Lists and Worksheets (Grades 1-5)
  • Grammar 
  • Handwriting
  • Writing
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • Holidays
  • Puzzles and Brain Teasers
  • Teacher Helpers
  • Worksheet Generators
  • Spanish 
  • And More to Come! 
How We Used Super Teacher Worksheets
I used Super Teacher Worksheets with my daughter, Alyssa, who is almost 8 years old. I printed off worksheets for several subjects each day to review concepts and skills during the summer and at the beginning of the new year. In the summer, we do light school to prevent summer learning loss. The material found on this website also works great for extra practice if your child is struggling with a particular concept. It helped me maintain and reinforce previously learned skills.

This subscription was the perfect resource to use when we were packing and moving. I printed out independent work for my daughter to do while I packed. I also used their spelling lists while we waited for Alyssa's new spelling curricula to arrive. We completed a few Back to School worksheets. The secret code activities are always fun for my daughter. Once the new school year began, I used the material from this website on a daily basis to supplement our curricula choices.

What I Liked
There's no way I could describe how useful this resource has been for us in one review. Let me just tell you a few things we liked most about our subscription.
  • Time Saver - I've spent less time online researching supplemental worksheets. If Super Teacher Worksheets doesn't have a specific worksheet available, then I utilize the Worksheet Generator to customize my own sheets.
  • Reading Materials - There are grade level articles and passages with comprehension questions available on the website. My daughter would complete one article a day in addition to the corresponding questions. Science reading articles were often substituted when trying to integrate more science into the day. Alyssa was also given a reading graphic organizer to fill out which focused on story elements. She used the book, Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School to fill it out. The reading passages each include a variety of activities in addition to comprehension questions to complete including but not limited to crossword puzzles, vocabulary matching, graphic organizers, vocabulary missing letters, drawings, scrambled words with hints, and related writing assignments. There were also other reading worksheets that focused on context clues, beginning and endings, etc. Alyssa's favorite reading passage was titled, "Feathered, But Not Ready for Takeoff" by Guy Belleranti. She liked learning about flightless birds. The article inspired her to further research pictures of the extinct elephant bird and the endangered kakapo. 

  • Math - Numerous math worksheets were completed during this review. We focused our attention on reviewing multiplication, time, area, perimeter, place value, and division. The fraction worksheets were great introductory pages that were used to pre-assess her knowledge prior to using her new math curricula. One of Alyssa's favorite math worksheets was a Pirate Math Puzzle Picture. She solved 3 digit by 2 digit multiplication problems. Then, she glued picture squares with the correct answers to unscramble and reveal a mystery picture. Another favorite was the Mystery Graph Art: Hoo's There. She was given a series of ordered pairs or coordinates to plot on a coordinate graph. Then, she connected the dots to form and reveal a picture of an owl. This was her first attempt at learning about ordered pairs and coordinates.  

  • Spanish - We found a few beginning Spanish worksheets which focused on colors and numbers. We hope to see more foreign language resources available soon. I will also use these sheets with a co-op class I teach. 
  • Spelling - The spelling worksheets and leveled lists contained a variety of activities including scrambled words, alphabetized lists, spelling tests, word searches, correct/incorrect, and cut-n-paste abc order. The weekly lists were arranged by grade levels. Alyssa said, "The worksheets were a fun way to practice spelling words."

  • Grammar - We reviewed nouns, common and proper nouns, singular and plural nouns, action verbs, adverbs, capitalization, and types of sentences. Activities included identification by labeling, cut-n-paste sorts, writing sentences, adding endings, color-coded sentences, and more.
  • Writing - We reviewed how to write a thank you note, she responded to writing prompts on lined paper, and used illustrations when write creative stories. 
  • Brain Teasers and Puzzles - The hink pinks provided a new, challenging activity to try. I liked these sheets more than my daughter. The Addition Squares can also be found under Math or the Puzzles worksheets. This was one of my daughter's favorite logic activities. 
  • Science - The worksheets and activities were organized by topics such as human body, simple machines, electricity, weather, nutrition, matter, magnets, animals, and so forth. We also integrated reading into science by choosing science-related articles with comprehension questions. Alyssa enjoyed creating a butterfly life cycle wheel. She also completed a cut-n-paste sort sheet which focused on identifying items as solids, liquids, or gases. Her favorite activity in this section was the States of Matter Cootie Catcher. This was her first time creating one. I think she may be addicted to them now. 

  • State Study - These worksheets are simple and contain basic facts and information. We used state books and flashcards to research the answers. I hope to cover at least one or two states each week. We also reviewed the state abbreviations and capitals. The answer key enabled me to quickly check over her answers. I plan on printing the states and capitals Cootie Catcher and games next. 
  • Social Studies - My daughter completed almost all of the map skill sheets. She asked me if the company planned on making more. She really liked them! I am glad that several worksheets covered intermediate directions: Northwest, northeast, southeast, and southeast. The cut-n-paste landform worksheet turned into a research project. My daughter used a "Geography From A-Z" book to read about different landforms prior to completing the page. 

  • 24/7 Accessibility - You can access and print materials anytime, anywhere with your password.
  • Answer Keys - I love that the website includes answer keys for the worksheets which are printed in red. This helps save time when grading completed work. The answer keys can also be used by older children to check their work.
  • My Filing Cabinet - You can save your favorite resources or frequently used materials and access them quicker at a later time if they are in your filing cabinet. I saved resources that I created for my co-op classes.
  • Worksheet Generator - The Worksheet Generator is by far my favorite website feature! They offer several generators for different purposes. There are math, puzzle, abc order, flashcard, and quiz generators. You can create customized worksheets for specific math operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The quiz generator creates fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, short answer, and matching question types. The Puzzle Generators allow you to create word searches, word scrambles, crossword puzzles, and missing letter sheets. The flashcard generator enables you to create bingo cards too. My daughter enjoyed creating her own puzzles as well. I love the one she created especially for me! :)
  • Customer Service - The representatives responded quickly to my emailed questions.
  • CC icon - Teachers may appreciate that some worksheets are aligned with Common Core Standards. 
Overall Thoughts
This is an affordable supplemental resource to use in conjunction with your regular homeschool curricula. It helps reinforce concepts and maintain skills. 

Classroom teachers will also appreciate the content available through this resource. They have many teacher tools such as planning pages, calendars, classroom newsletter generator, award certificates, gradebook sheets, desk tags, parent communication forms, homework agendas, and charts. Using this resource really changed up our routine and provided Alyssa with a variety of fun activities to complete. The convenience of this timesaving tool outweighs the minimal cost of a subscription. I appreciate that the reading comprehension passages noted the grade level indications.

I plan on using the phonics and sight word sheets with the students I tutor. The holiday worksheets will come in handy in the near future when my daughter and I study particular holidays. The more I explore the website the more goodies I find to use during school hours. I am LOVING this subscription!   
Super Teacher Worksheets Review

Suggestions for Improvement
  • Categorized files by subject in the personalized Filing Cabinet. It would make it quicker and easier to search for the items I need when teaching.
  • Include more Spanish resources for common categorized topics.
  • Handwriting Worksheet Generator - My daughter can write her letters in manuscript and cursive. I would LOVE to see a feature allowing users to create personalized handwriting worksheets in different styles for ANY subject. This would make the subscription more versatile and helpful.
  • Allow the user to add fewer words for younger children using a smaller Bingo 3x3 grid or board. 
  • I would LOVE to see more graphic organizers emphasizing one comprehension strategy and story element. Furthermore, I suggest adding flip books, foldables, and lapbooks for hands-on learning.
  • Specific timeline figures for different historical time periods would make the social studies timeline section even more useful. 
  • I created a Spanish crossword puzzle and even though I typed everything in correctly, the answer solution key was wrong. It switched letters around. I am not sure how to fix this issue as it may be a technical or foreign language issue, but it may be something that your company can research further. 
  • We both absolutely LOVED the chapter book units! The first book Alyssa read was Flat Stanley. She asked me to print everything out for her to finish in one day.  We'd be most grateful if more chapter book unit study worksheets could be added to the website. These were a HUGE hit with my daughter! The worksheets included both educational and fun activities. We would like to see more hands-on activities integrated into these units. 

I highly recommend this resource to any homeschool family, teacher, tutor, after school care team, daycare facility, or parent that uses printable worksheets, activities, and games with children. It has been a extremely valuable tool in our homeschool. You can easily utilize the printables from this website during a unit study or to supplement your curricula.  
The cost for a one-year annual subscription is $19.95 which can be used by ONE educator. There are many worksheets available for FREE so that you can sample the quality.
Super Teacher Worksheets Review

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Super Teacher Worksheets Review

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Random Five on Friday: Full of Gratitude

Well, I can't believe another week has gone by. Whew! Where did the time go? This is what is on my mind this week.

1.) We unpacked a BUNCH of boxes and filled the house with even more empty boxes. Unfortunately, I have many many more boxes in storage. I am not sure where everything will go yet. I still need to write thank you notes for the help I received when moving which was an absolute blessing.  

2.) I finally decided to use my brand new washer and it didn't work. Thankfully, a repair man diligently fixed the problem and I am currently washing a load. Hoping it will complete the cycle.

3.) Super excited about my new flowerbed scheduled for Monday. The flowers originally put in were dying.

4.) Grateful for the hard working repair men that have made touch-ups to the house so quickly.

5.) I am learning many new things this month about teaching with technology. I look forward to a fabulous school year!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Random Five on Friday: September 4th, 2015

I am participating in the Pebble Pond's Random 5 on Friday Linky. I probably won't have pics this week due to the recent move. Here's what I am thinking about today.

1.) I do NOT have a green thumb. Emphasis on the not.

2.) I miss my baby girl. The house is so quiet without her home. Counting down the days and hours until I can see her again.

3.) I didn't declutter enough for the new house. I have boxes and boxes of stuff to go through, sell, and donate. :(

4.) It's nice having neighbors especially ones you like. I miss the country, but this will be a good change for Alyssa and I. Everyone here is so sweet and helpful.

5.) I am surrounded by boxes!!!!!! Maybe I should make Alyssa a box troll costume. Ha Ha Ha!

The Pebble Pond