Monday, July 31, 2017

English Grammar Teaching Method from English on a Roll: A TOS Crew Review

English on a Roll

English on a Roll
English Grammar Teaching Method from English on a Roll

We've been fans of hands-on learning with manipulatives for years... but, what should we do about language arts? We are excited to announce English Grammar Teaching Method from English on a Roll.   This 40 cube set comes with everything you need to make English a hands on subject too!

Designed for everyone ages 5 and up - this set is truly a gift for your struggling readers, ESL students, writers and anyone who wants to keep learning fun!

Our set arrived with 40 cubes, same size and feel as dice, in a sturdy storage case with a Instructional Manual.  My testers were excited from the moment we opened it.

The cubes are color-coded by parts of speech.  For example, verbs are red, nouns are blue, etc.   The set also includes several blank cubes and removable stickers to make your own words. Each cube contains words on 6 sides, making for 222 words in our set.  In addition to the word cubes, they include a cube with punctuation symbols, for creating sentences.

The color coding was very effective!  For the first time, my tester could SEE what the word was, and what it looks like in a sentence.  

  • Pronouns are blue
  • Question word are green
  • Nouns are dark blue
  • Articles are dark blue 
  • Prepositions are dark blue
  • Verbs are red
  • Adverbs are orange
  • Adjectives are purple
  • Punctuation is black
  • Conjunctions are black 
  • 2 Blank cubes can be customized
The Instruction Manual is a 142 page softcover book that teaches you exactly how the system works and gives 37 lessons you can use with students at a variety of levels.  

Check out this short demonstration - 

Each lesson is explained step-by-step in the Instruction manual.  

  • Teacher Prep - what cubes are needed for the lesson (only use the ones needed to keep it easy to learn)
  • Notes - Teachng tips
  • Vocabulary for teaching the lesso are highlighted at the beginning of  each lesson
  • Teach the Concepts - detailed explanations on how to teach the lesson, including hand motions
  • Games/Conversation - games to practice the concepts
  • Written Exercises - reproducible pages to use for additional practice

By using a Multisensory Structured Language (MSL), this program allows you to teach to ALL learning styles at once - auditory, visual and tactile learners.  The lessons allow direct instruction and conversation, not just another workbook page.  This is a key for my struggling readers - simply giving them a more or less colorful "page" hasn't been effective.  We needed something that took the words OFF the page.  English on a Roll was a perfect fit!

The lessons are systematic and build on each other with plenty of review and repetition.  Plus, my tester (a 4th grader who is struggling with reading) thought we were playing :-)  Shh... don't let them in on the our secret, they are really learning!

The lessons get progressively more complex, and build on teach other.  I loved an illustration at the beginning that helped with the "To Be" verbs - they are like a tree with BE on the trunk, and am, is are in the branches.  This type of easy to teach, and memorable, tips are included throughout the guide.  Both my tester and I are learning with this program!

One of the best parts of this set is the variety of ways you can use the cubes.  For teaching reading, spelling, grammar or even creating advanced writing prompts - this set can be used with a large variety of students, as well as being shared by up to six students at a time (yeah for the large homeschool family classroom!)

By using repetition - "Dark blue...prepositions are dark blue...prepositions go with nouns" my tester was able to easily master each grammar rule.  We had fun with the prepositions by physically demonstrating, with the cube, each word.

This is truly a fun, and highly effective way to learn English!  I would recommend this is a tool that you can't afford to miss.

Find English on a Roll on Social Media:


Hastags- #hsreviews , #EnglishonaRoll, #grammar

See what other members of the Crew thought here
English on a Roll {Reviews}
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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Cast of Characters

Just thought I'd give you a peek at what I have to work with around here...  This is our "last day of 2016-17" pictures.  They are ALL characters!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

USA Activity Bundle from The Crafty Classroom: A TOS Crew Review

Crafty Classroom
USA Activity Bundle
USA Activity Bundle from The Crafty Classroom
Summer is the perfect time for a road trip... even if you can't hit the road!  We've been exploring America with the USA Activity Bundle from The Crafty Classroom.

This is a fabulous resource for your USA history and geography studies, or just for summer learning fun.  You get 3 PDF books which you can download and print.  I love that we can print as many sheets as we want.  Pick and choose, or do them all.  We decided to print out as we learned each state, and keep all together in a binder.  Great for a big family!

U.S.A. Activity Pack - has a page for all 50 states.    Activities for each state include coloring the flag, flower, bird, and location in the USA.  In addition, students look up the state abbreviation, number, nickname and other fun facts and notes. A suggested accompaniment book is included, but facts can be found in the library or online.

 I appreciated  that each of my testers - 3 of them - 6th grade, 3rd grade and 2nd grade, could work on these independently.  This is a great resource for multiple levels.  They truly enjoyed looking up the information, and coloring, and the active process really helped them remember the information so much better than just reading it.  My older student actually was the "teacher" and also did some additional research with the internet.

 This pack also has a couple of games you can print out and create - USA Bingo & Roll Across America. My testers loved them!

U.S.A. State Bird Art Cards  features a full color picture and fact card for each of the state birds, 27 in all since some state share the same bird.  The page also has a blank picture students can color themselves.

U.S.A. 50 State Mazes -  my testers loved these!  This is a set of a state-shaped maze for each state. The recommended age is Prek-3, but my testers had fun with them.   I think it would be fun to laminate these, and put them in our travel binder to use on road trips with dry erase markers.

This is a great way to learn your states!  It's very hand's on, and the pages are well designed with plenty of room for writing (but not too much).  I would highly recommend this resource.

 The Crew is also reviewing some other products you should check out -

 For Preschool:
Alphabet Curriculum Notebook (26-week Curriculum)
Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook (the Bible version of the above)

For Kindergarten:
.Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook (36-week Curriculum)
R.E.A.D. Review Pack (28 Early Readers that Correspond with R.E.A.D. Notebook) Can be used as a stand-alone product, if you are not wanting a full curriculum.

For Older Kids:
How to Write a Paragraph

Find The Crafty Classroom on Social Media:

Hashtags:  #hsreviews, #CraftyClassroom, #LearntoRead, #HomeschoolCurriculum

See what other members of the Crew thought here

Crafty Classroom {Reviews}

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products: A TOS Crew Review

ACTÍVA Products
Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products

Bentz Test Laboratory had a blast with this - Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products!   Our kit contained: 
  • Two rolls of Rigid Wrap plaster cloth
  • 8 ounces of CelluClay
  • Instructions for 12 craft projects 
We also received a free eBook, filled with great ideas and color, step-by-step instructions called ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS .

I just need to tell you that paper mache and salt dough bring back memories of our love/hate relationship with Valentine Boxes... BUT, this kit gave us nothing but LOVE!  

This is the product you need if you want to be "that" fun, hand's-on mom, but the idea of making paper mache makes you hide.   This stuff is so easy to use, and you will love the finished product!

My testers adore the chance to create, anytime, anywhere.  What holds them back, is usually me.  I have good intentions...but, it can require more time and ingredients than I have on hand.  This kit only required adding water, and they were creating!  Does it get any easier?

Rigid Wrap is a roll of pre-coated plaster cloth (think like how casts used to be in the olden days...).  You simply cut the length you want, soak it in warm water and apply to your desired surface.  It sets up quickly, and dries hard.  It's way better than the old glue, flour and paste days!

CelluClay allows you to add water to create an instant clay. It's a dry powdery substance, that feels like soft sawdust.  You can control the amount of water to change the consistency.  For fun additions - you can add color or sand or glitter... This stuff was so easy!!   You can decide how much to make, and if you have extra left over, you can store it in the ziptop bag.  We used a plastic bag to mix it with our fingers, a great sensory activity, and there was NO mess left to clean up.  I even read online, you can heat in the oven or microwave to sped up drying.

The Free eBook was a great inspiration.  My testers loved looking at the ideas to get their creative juices flowing.  They choose a butterfly (with Rigid Wrap), a dinosaur (with CelluClay) and of course, the Egyptian Sarcophagus.

My testers had a great time creating, the kit made each of the projects, and we had plenty left for our next project - It's a must have for less than $12!

Rigid Wrap works great around a simple form - we used cardboard and newspaper.

Just dip the strip in warm water, and wrap around your form or shape.  It sets up quickly. 

 CelluClay was just as easy to use.   My testers love the sensory aspect of both of these products.  You just have to get your hands into it!

We left the out to dry - the cardboard form dried slower than the Rigid Wrap coating. But, everything was ready to paint in just a few hours.

Finally step was to paint (another favorite tester activity)  We were very impressed!

My personal favorite... the beautiful butterfly!

This is truly a great item to have in your school supply stash - you can use it for so many projects. It's great for history models, relief maps, science experiments (the volcano is next on our list!) and more. Best of all, it's easy to use - and not too messy :-)

Find ACTÍVA Products on Social Media:

Hashtags: #hsreviews, #activaproject  
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Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}
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