Conventional Arithmetic - Learning Numbers With Spunky the Donkey Grade 1 Book 1
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.
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
over 4 years ago
over 3 years ago
When I realized that my one son was almost to the end of the 2nd R&S book and had not retained. I switched them to CLE which did help as a remedial review for all he had learned. Ho retained well and started doing great, but I personally was not pleased with CLE as anything more than review, and I did not want to take them into new ground in the CLE books with how bits and pieces, no big picture, no mastery, spiral they are. My sons needed mastery AND review.
So I started looking at the Schoolaid Math. It has been a HUGE blessing to find that they teach both mastery and review, not bits and pieces spiral like CLE but it is still pleasant variety of work. It is also teaching more of an old fashioned arithmetic than R&S. They teach adding by endings, and do not teach crutches with column addition like R&S does. I am SUPER pleased with it.
I started the grade 2 and liked it so well that I started my 5 year old daughter with grade 1. Starting in grade 1 book 1, they teach additive subtraction where you find the missing addend in addition and that really helps in the understanding of subtraction, and that was something neither editions of Rod and Staff gr 1 had.
Spunky has a consistent reference of the hay bales/Spunky's wagon which is great for understanding meanings of numbers and addition/subtraction. The old edition R&S gr 1 with the ducks and the pond also gave that same understanding but the new edition did away with that aspect.
I like the Spunky books so well, even though when I first started homeschooling I didn't even really consider this curriculum because I ascetically liked the look of R&S better (R&S has such sweet pictures inside and is all done by a computer, whereas Spunky Math has hand-drawn artwork, hand-drawn dots for tracing out work at spots, etc, but now I view it that Schoolaid is definitely superior as far as the arithmetic teaching. I definitely do not plan on using anything else in the future for grade 1&2 arithmetic.
Just as a note in case others would have an interest in knowing: I do plan on putting the boys straight into StudyTime Arithmetic after they finish grade 2 Spunky. I have already purchased grade 3 StudyTime and think that Spunky grade 1&2 give a wonderful foundation for grade 3 StudyTime.
over 3 years ago