Monday, June 9, 2014

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Learning Wrap ups

Several weeks ago Learning Wrap ups provided us with an extremely generous box full of goodies to review! We received:

1st Grade Math Learning Palette 1 Base Center Kit ($71.99)
1st Grade Reading 1 Base Center Kit ($61.99)
Learning Wrap up Math Intro Kit without CDs ($44.99)
Learning Wrap up Vocabulary Intro Kit ($35.99)
10 Days of Multiplication Mastery Wrap up and Book Combo ($12.99)
10 Steps to Addition Mastery Wrap up and Book Combo ($12.99)
AND a 1 year subscription to for up to 5 students ($59.99)

WOW!!! We had sooo much fun digging into the box when it got here.  These products are ideal for grades K-5. I'm going to try to BRIEFLY describe each product, how we used it, and what we thought . . . something tells me this is going to be a VERY long review!

Learning Palette Kits:
I was able to choose which grade level we received for these. Since Lexie and Ashlyn are at the top edge of this product and I figured they would be just as happy to use the concept in the online format, I wanted to choose the best kits for Little Bit (age 5). After looking at the downloadable samples, I decided to go with first grade for both math and reading. In each case, there were some parts of Kindergarten that she would have enjoyed, but also a good bit of it that would have already been too easy for her. With the first grade kits, she was able to do the first parts of each kit, and will continue to use these over the next year or so. To view samples of various levels, look at the individual titles on the website.

The Learning Palette is a plastic tray with little colored discs. The kits are cards to place on the tray, and the colored discs are used to answer the questions. After the child has answered all the questions, she can turn the card over and check her answers by making sure the colored discs line up properly with the colors on the answer side of the card. While this would enable an older child to use these cards independently, we found it worked better for someone (myself, my mom (while the girls were staying with my parents), or one of her big sisters) to work with Little Bit. For one thing, on some cards reading is required. Also we all had some trouble determining what some of the pictures stood for in the early reading cards where there was a picture and the child needed to determine the starting letter, etc.

As with anything, with a 5 year old, there were days when Little Bit was excited to play with her Learning Palette, and whined when I needed to do something else, and other days she showed no interest.  Overall she seems to enjoy it, and it's a fun game-based way to learn basic math and reading skills.

Learning Wrap ups:
We already have, and love, the multiplication wrap ups. So I was excited to get more! For the review period, I encouraged Ashlyn and Lexie to review their multiplication facts. I also showed Little Bit how to use the addition one. While she understands addition, keeping the string tight enough to keep everything lined up was still kind of challenging for her, so again, she's not quite to the point of using these independently.

Between the 2 sets, we got the following wrap ups:
homonyms and
compound words

Learning Wrap ups are awesome for having kids independently review math or vocabulary facts and check their own work. The child starts at the top of a "key" and answers each question by wrapping the string from the left side (question) to the right side (answer). Once she's answered all the questions on that key, she can turn the key over. If none of the raised lines on the back are showing, she has wrapped the string accurately!

Lexie and Ashlyn had fun playing with the fractions one, even though they already know their fractions. They also spent time playing with the vocabulary ones. The compound words and homonyms still presented something of a challenge for them.

10 Days/10 Steps:
We aren't really workbook people, and I didn't really have anyone at the right age/stage to use either of these. The big girls already know their multiplication, and while Little Bit is having lots of fun starting to figure out addition and subtraction, I don't feel she's ready for something as academic and concentrated as this. Ashlyn did work through some of the multiplication book. These workbooks utilize the wrap-ups to give a child lots of practice memorizing their math facts. I can see where, for a child who would otherwise be using a straight workbook, or workbook and flashcard, approach, adding in the wrap-ups would make this a more fun, kinethetic way to quickly memorize basic math facts.
I was able to sign all 3 girls up for this. And all of them have used it. Essentially this is an online version of the physical learning palette. One nice thing is that it works well on the iPad! So Little Bit has enjoyed playing it on the iPad while her sisters have primarily used it on their laptop. All 3 of the girls have been enjoying this, and I can check their progress from my own computer. Lexie did mention that it frustrates her that it won't save her work if she stops in the middle of a card. Of bigger concern to me has been the errors that they have found a few places. For example, one "card" showed the proper abbreviation for doctor as D.R. instead of Dr. This seems like a major concern since the program is intended to be used independently, so if they didn't know the right answer, they'd be learning it wrong, and never realize it.  You can check out the free demo, before purchasing.

Overall, I think these products are worth keeping in mind as some great resources to add fun, learning activities to your home or school.

As an added bonus, Learning Wrap ups AND Learning are each offering a 20% discount with the coupon code HOMESCHOOL.

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All prices and information are accurate at time of posting.

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1 comment:

Dawn said...

Thanks for your review! I am very interested in this product so seeing what those who reviewed it thought...