BookShark

Summary

BookShark is a complete, literature-based, curriculum that uses a variety of

educational resources including literary fiction and nonfiction, biographies, illustrations and hands-on experiments to deliver an engaging and complete education that extends beyond textbook memorization.

 

Bookshark is easy for parents to teach, providing a 36-week, 4-day schedules designed to save one day a week for sports, field trips or other extracurricular activities.

BookShark combines a proprietary History, Science and Language Arts offering with a wide range of math options, to ensure you have everything you need for an entire school year.

 

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Bookshark

Cathy Duffy Review

ALEKS Math

Summary

Students take a pre-assessment and are placed in the course based on how well they performed.  The students have a pie that represents the total number of topics they have mastered compared to the total number of topics in the course.  

Students have the freedom to move through their pie and pick from a number of topics that are available to them.  When they select a topic they read through a tutorial to learn the concept.  Then the student is expected to answer a similar question 3 – 4 times before the topic is considered mastered and then added to the pie.

 

Pros:

  • The student can test out of content and push ahead based on the outcome of the initial pretest.  If a the initial pretest indicates a mastery of less than 15% or more than 80%, then we know that the student needs to be moved to the previous or next course.
  • At any time students have multiple choices as to what to work on.  The student can’t say, “I’m stuck” without having tried each of the 5 – 20 topics available to work on.
  • This curriculum is VERY thorough–the typical gaps in a student’s math skills are solved with this curriculum.  If a student earns a credit in pre-algebra via ALEKS, there is absolutely no doubt that the student is prepared for success in algebra.
  • The Mastery Checks continue to verify that a student’s mastery of an idea is solid.  Students don’t slide by with “almost” knowing the content and getting lucky on a couple of sample problems.

Cons:

  • There is no variety in how the material is presented; no secondary options when the student needs a second approach to a topic.  There are no videos.
  • If a student’s knowledge isn’t solid, the Mastery Checks will remove pie-slices and send the student back to redo.  This is not really a CON, but if kids aren’t prepared for it they will be frustrated.

 

Video Intro:

 

Demo:

Would you like to briefly demo this program?

Link:  ALEKS

User- Sbrown6679

Pass- cardoor

Zearn Math

Summary

Students learn new content in two ways: Independent Digital Lessons and paper and pencil work.  Independent Digital Lessons per grade, covering fluency, concept development, and independent practice.  Students learn new concepts at their own pace, with integrated paper and pencil work that supports knowledge transfer and retention.

 

Pros:

  • Math is taught through instructional video (online teacher) and online interactive practice.
  • Online instruction combined with paper/pencil workbooks.  
  • Taught note taking skills
  • Common Core Aligned
  • Combines fluency skills, word problems and core skills practice daily

Cons:

  • Student needs to be ready for some online instruction
  • Parent guides and lesson plans are online
  • Parent needs to make time to prep for the daily lesson (open it up online or print it all out)

Video Sneak Peak N/A

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Zearn Website

TimberDoodle Kits

Summary

Timberdoodle kits are perfect for students who want their school at home life to be creative and fun.  Games, arts, and activities are all included in this kit along with specific instruction in every academic area.  

 

Pros:

  • Kits offer something for everyone
  • Creative and specific instruction
  • For the creative students
  • Strong geography for younger students
  • Has weekly schedule for each grade level
  • High emphasis on thinking skills
  • High quality workbooks, games and activities

Cons:

  • Parent needs to have time to prep.
  • You need to be ok with many pieces of curriculum
  • The hands on games and such don’t necessarily follow what’s being taught in the subject areas
  • Subjects are not integrated

 

Video Sneak Peak

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TimberDoodle Website

K-3 Quick Reading Assessment

4-6 Quick Reading Assessment

Teaching Textbooks Math

Summary

Teaching Textbooks is a quality math program that provides computer based lessons and workbooks.  A student can use one or both to move through the lessons.  Instruction is clear and easy to understand and there are plenty of practice problems.  

 

Pros:

  • Student can do both workbook and/or online.
  • All instruction is given on the computer
  • Lessons provide clear instruction and quality practice.
  • Computer will auto grade each lesson, quiz and test
  • When an answer is wrong a pop up will appear that tells the student why

Cons:

  • Not aligned to the SBAC standards used for state testing of grades 3 – 8.   
  • Not being standards-aligned makes it hard to change to a new curriculum later without having gaps in knowledge.
  • Currently requires a CD drive to run.  Web version might begin in 18-19 school year.
  • Tends to run below typical grade level

Video Sneak Peak

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Cathy Duffy Review

TT Website

TeachingTextbooks Math Placement

Saxon Math

Summary

Saxon Math program is a classical math program that teaches new concepts daily while making sure old concepts are covered again as well.  A great traditional program for every type of student.

Pros:

  • It is a rounded curriculum so skills learned will continue to re-occur through the whole level
  • Classical math instruction
  • Great for independent workers
  • The daily lessons are all in similar format which enables students (who can read) to work independently.
  • Great for kids who need repetition
  • Scripted lessons
  • Comes with a manipulatives kit

Cons:

  • Students sometimes complain about the amount of problems per day
  • Parent needs to plan time to walk through initial lesson

 

Video Sneak Peak

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Cathy Duffy Review

Rainbow Resource Reviews

Saxon Math Placement

Moving Beyond the Page

Summary

Moving Beyond the Page is a unit study approach based on constructivist theories of learning that primarily targets gifted children. Each year’s curriculum is designated with an age range rather than a particular grade level.

  • Age 4-5 (Pre-K for advanced students, kindergarten for average students)
  • Age 5-7 (kindergarten for advanced students, first grade for average students)
  • Age 6-8 (first grade for advanced students, second grade for average students)
  • Age 7-9 (second grade for advanced students, third grade for average students)
  • Age 8-10 (third grade for advanced students, fourth grade for average students)
  • Age 9-11 (fourth grade for advanced students, fifth grade for average students)
  • Age 10-12 (fifth grade for advanced students, sixth grade for average students)
  • Age 11-13 (sixth grade for advanced students, seventh grade for average students)
  • Age 12-14 (seventh grade for advanced students, eighth grade for average students)

Pros:

    • Connects literature across many different subjects
    • Students benefit from literature-based thematic learning
    • Great for students above grade level who are good listeners (k-2) and independent workers (3+)
    • Project based learning – hands on
    • High quality materials
    • Great literature collection
  • Offers an age range rather that grade level

Cons:

    • Hard to use if teaching multiple children at once
    • Students sometimes complain about the amount of reading or lessons being read to them
    • Will need a good amount of 1:1 time for instruction and added parent prep time
  • Weak spelling instruction

Video Sneak Peak

Learn More:

Cathy Duffy Review

MBtP Website

Moving Beyond the Page Placement Tests

Math U See

Summary

This is a hands-on math program that uses building through blocks and manipulatives to show and express math concepts. Best for students who like to work with their hands and for students who need to have repetition.

 

Pros:

  • Good hands-on manipulatives
  • Benefit from moving objects to represent numbers
  • For hands-on learners and students who struggle with math
  • Mastery based learning
  • Great online fact practice support
  • Lots of repetition
  • Comes with a DVD of instruction

Cons:

  • Avoid this one if you prefer a more traditional form of math.
  • Students sometimes complain about the repetitive nature of the problem sets.

 

Video Sneak Peak

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Cathy Duffy Review

MUC Website

Math U See Placement

Florida Virtual

Summary

This program is mostly text-based, but it takes advantage of more interactive technology than Odysseyware, embedding Discovery videos, interactive review games and even some avatar clips and virtual labs. These core subject-area classes are very solid and great preparation for students planning to go on to future education after high school. The content relates to the real world, presenting real-world situations and asking questions that connect back to real events and situations as often as possible.

Course Outlines for FLVS

 

Pros:

  • Rigorous
  • Does have ability to Highlight words to do text to speech
  • Some videos
  • Discussion based assessments
  • Compelling and varied
  • Students and parents can go back to content when they need to review or check something.
  • There are opportunities to work with the teacher and other students in the course, if the teacher has set up these assignments as an option.
  • Although the math is partially multiple choice, it has “real world” problems. The lessons present the material in a way that relates back to how math is used in the real world.
  • Students can see how much each assignment is worth so they can gauge how much time and effort to spend on each assignment. This is a great skill to learn.

Cons:

  • Requires strong reading and writing skills.
  • Assignments vary in complexity, so it is not always possible to set a consistent daily goal. In other words, finishing 1 lesson per day could mean a short quiz or a long paper.

 

Video Sneak Peak N/A

 

Learn More:

Would you like to briefly demo this program?

Link:  FLVS

User- Test@bakercharters.org

Pass- baker2015

 

**Florida Virtual Course Tours

Acellus

Summary

The lessons are in video-form, followed by a set of (usually) multiple-choice questions. In each lesson, students must answer 3-5 questions correctly in order to move to the next lesson. After about 10 lessons, there is a review where student has access to the videos in the lesson to prepare for the unit exam. If the student passes the exam, they progress. If they do not, the program resets them to the beginning of the unit to try again. 

Course Outlines for Acellus

Pros:

  • Predictable and easy to follow.
  • Easy to calculate how much to do each day.
  • Good for students who learn best by listening.
  • Students can work fast if they pay attention to the lessons.
  • Is easy to catch up if students add late (the workload is easy).

Cons:

  • Can be monotonous.
  • If a student is not understanding a concept, they can get set back a lot and end up frustrated.
  • It is a bit of a “Reader’s Digest” version of the curriculum, lightly covering the most important concepts. Students learn at the recognition level vs. higher order thinking. In other words, there is limited analysis, reflection or critical thinking built into Acellus.
  • Students must do assignments in 2 programs to receive full credit for the course: Acellus for lessons and tests; Canvas for written assignments and projects. There is no analysis or writing in Acellus, so students do extra projects in the associated Canvas classrooms that have been created by the teacher in order to flesh out these areas – deeper thinking, and more writing.
  • Students can’t go back and see previous questions or videos except in Review lessons before tests.
  • Parents cannot see what the student worked on. Teachers can see records of time worked, lessons completed, answers and scores for lessons and the whole course. The student (and parent) can only see how many lessons have been completed and what the next lesson is.  Parents cannot go back to see a previous lesson.
  • The videos sometimes start out short and may get longer throughout the course, so students might under-estimate how long it will take to finish their work.

Sneak Peek Demo N/A

Would you like to briefly demo this program?

Link: Acellus

Username: 541-524-4255

Password: uzspg2