Conventional Arithmetic with Spunky the Donkey (Gr. 1-2)
This is a solid, no-frills math program from Schoolaid, the publishers of Climbing to Good English. Written for 1st and 2nd grade, your students will get the foundation needed to progress in math. This early elementary series was originally written for use in a one-room schoolhouse. That indicates less prep time, simple presentation, and some independent work for the student; just like what one might find in a setting with multiple students and grade levels. Lessons follow a consistent pattern so that students learn quickly and can move along without teacher help. Each lesson is divided into 3 sections - class preparation, class time, and drill. Class preparation is the portion to read through the night before or items to gather before the lesson. Class time is separated in to 3 parts as well - daily practice, part A, and part B. Daily practice usually consists of a workbook page or other activity that can be done independently, Parts A and B are lesson presentation and accompanying workbook pages (1 page per part a and b). Drill is done in the form of another page or drill activity as suggested in the teacher book.
The Teacher's Edition offers a very thorough explanation of the program in the front of the book and preparation is fairly easy. You will want to make flashcards (these are different than the preprinted flashcards available for this program) that are formatted according to the specifications found in the front of the teacher edition, number line or number chart, money for counting, a clock for time practice, and a flannel board or wall chart on which "Spunky the Donkey" will be used as a lesson visual. The pattern is included in the teacher edition for you to copy and use with your lessons. Lessons are laid out in an easy-to-follow format and are scripted for those who need a little more help with concept explanations. Small format student pages with answers are included.
Student books are consumable and non-reproducible with simple line drawings. Grade 1 covers writing numbers to 1000, single and double digit addition and subtraction without carrying or borrowing, addition and subtraction families to 10, more/less/after/before/between, pennies/nickels/dimes/quarters, counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 25s, time up to 5 minute increments, fractions of ½ and ¼, and measuring inches. Grade 2 reviews first grade concepts listed previously before introducing new ones which are labeled as 'new.' Along with the first grade concepts students will do addition with up to 4-digit numbers and use carrying and subtraction up to 3-digit numbers using borrowing, adding and subtracting by endings, money up to $10 dollar bills, circle/square/triangles/rectangles, great than (>)/less than (<)/equal to (=), reading a thermometer, feet and inches, time to one minute, pounds and ounces, multiplying and dividing by 2/5/10, Roman numerals, working with 1/3, and counting by 3s. There are also sections in the 2nd grade book labeled 'oral' which are exactly as they sound - exercises to be done orally. Timed tests are found in the back of each student book and are to be done twice a week. Test Booklets are also available for Grades 1-2. These optional, no frill tests are given after every 26-28 lessons at the parent’s discretion. A separate Answer Key is available, and includes the answers to both Grade 1 Learning Numbers with Spunky and Grade 2 Continuing Numbers with Spunky. Not reproducible.
There are 3 sets of flashcards referenced in the teacher edition lessons. Instructions on how to use them is included in each set. Numbers Flashcards are two-sided and measure approximately 4"x5.5." These are for use beginning with Grade 1 for number recognition, and the sequencing concepts after, before, between, more and less. Adding & Subtracting by Endings Flashcards (adding only the ones column) are for use with Grade 2. This concept is more old fashioned but is a method for quick computation taught at the second grade level. The lesson in which each card is used is referenced at the bottom. The Column Addition Flashcards are simply for practice adding 3 single-digit numbers and are for use with referenced lessons in grade 2. Both sets of the second grade flashcards are two-sided with the problems printed vertically on one side and horizontally on the reverse.
This comprehensive math curriculum will fit nicely into the budget and cover concepts with plenty of practice. Word problems aren't found in great abundance and you may want to supplement in this area. Let Spunky the Donkey help your children with math. ~ Donna