Monday, May 21, 2012

WriteShop Junior Book D ~ TOS Review

My family and I recently had the opportunity to review a Junior Book D from WriteShop.  I was very excited about this, as I felt it would be a great fit for my 11 year old.

“WriteShop Junior is a creative writing program that appeals to many learning styles. As with all WriteShop products, WriteShop Junior helps you guide children through the steps of the writing process. To keep the experience fun for everyone, every lesson includes engaging games and activities that teach and review important writing and self-editing skills. And whether you have a more advanced child or one who is just beginning, this program is flexible so children can work at their own level."

Book D is recommended for 3rd and 4th grade, but I found it to be a nice fit for my 6th grader who struggles with her reading and writing.

My family received The WriteShop Junior Book D Teacher’s Guide, Activity Pack (2 pack containing the Student Worksheet Pack and the Level 1 Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack), and the Time-Saver Pack.

The WriteShop Junior Book D covers such topics as:
  • Letter of Invitation
  • Humor 
  • Adventure 
  • Science Fiction 
  • Mystery 
  • Poetry/Haiku
  • Folktales
  • Historical Fiction
  • Personal Narrative
  • Expository Writing: Factual Article

Different skills taught are:

  • Identify and use proper grammar and punctuation
  • Narrow a broad topic to a specific topic
  • Brainstorm before writing
  • Structure a sentence
  • Write a paragraph
  • Choose strong words instead of weak ones
  • Use emotion words to develop voice
  • Use the five senses to add descriptive detail
  • Self-edit and revise their work

The Teacher’s Guide offers step-by-step teaching instructions, daily and weekly lesson plans, guided writing scripts, writing samples, exercises, fun learning games, and lists of material you will need for each lesson.

The Student Worksheet Pack (part of the Student Activity Pack) has all the activity pages your child needs to complete sections of each lesson. These worksheets introduce your child to writing skills such as brainstorming and self-editing.

  • Pre-writing activities
  • Skill Builders
  • Journal prompt pages
  • Brainstorming worksheets/graphic organizers 
  • Reading log forms
  • Self-editing checklists
  • Evaluation Chart

The Level 1 Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack (part of the Student Activity Pack) are fun reference tools with easy to do exercises that introduce or review grammar rules and the necessary writing skills.  The Grammar Pack can be printed on colorful paper and assembled on the inside of a file folder to create 10 large flipbooks.  There is one flipbook for each lesson.

  • Punctuation Marks
  • Self-editing
  • Nouns
  • Pronouns
  • Verbs
  • Adjectives
  • Adverbs
  • Prepositions
  • Capitalization
  • References

The Time-Saver Pack is an optional tool for parents like me who welcome shortcuts.  The Time-Saver Pack includes a multiple ready-made props for the various activities, such as spinners and game cards.

Our thoughs:
My reluctant writer has enjoyed WriteShop Junior so far.  She finds it easier for her to get her thoughts rolling if she has some prompt along the way and WriteShop does just that.  In the beginning it was a bit challenging for me to understand how everything flowed together, but I eventually figured it all out

The WriteShop Junior Book D is available in hard copy and eBook.
Teacher’s Guide: Hard copy $39.95 or eBook $34.95
WriteShop Junior Activity Pack (required): Hard copy $39.95 and eBook $29.95
WriteShop Junior Time-Saver Pack (optional):  Hard copy $13.95 and eBook $13.95

Purchase any WriteShop Primary or Junior products (eBooks included) and receive 15% off. Offer is valid through June 15, 2012. Use coupon code CREW15 at checkout.

WriteShop offers products for Elementary through Junior High and High School.  If you would like to look over those products you may do so HERE.

Check out what my fellow crew members had to say and WriteShop Junior and other products 

** Disclaimer: I received the Teacher’s Guide, Student Activity Pack which included the Student Worksheet Pack and the Level 1 Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack, and the Time-Saver Pack free of cost in exchange for my honest, unbiased, and fair (not always positive) review.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Go Science ~ TOS Review

We recently had the opportunity to review 2 DVDs from Library and Educational Services's Go Science series.  

What is Library and Science Education?

“LES is a Wholesale Supplier of Wholesome, Educational Books, DVDs, CDs, and more.
For over thirty years, LES has been committed to excellence in both our customer service and our product selection.

With our variety of Christian, wholesome, and educational DVDs, CDs, books, games, and more—PLUS our personal, superior customer service, we are confident that you will return to LES again and again!

(No frustrating automated answering system when you call—just our friendly, helpful staff waiting to answer your questions!)”

There are 6 different volumes in the Go Science Series.

Volume 1 ~ Motion: Discovering the Laws of Gravity and Motion
Volume 2 ~ Simple Machines, Sound and Weather
Volume 3 ~ Magnetism, Engineering, Electricity, and Design
Volume 4 ~ Chemistry, States of Matter, and Life Sciences
Volume 5 ~ Air and Flight
Volume 6 ~ Water, Space, and the Solar System
We chose to review volumes 3 and 4. 

Ben Roy Demonstrates Jacob's Ladder - Go Science DVDs Sample

“Even kids who claim an aversion to science will be engaged by the high-energy science demonstrations of Ben Roy! Ben teaches science methods at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is the former director of a science program on television. With this expertise, Ben captivates, motivates, and inspires students to be excited about science, while providing effective instruction based on science phenomena. Each of the 67 spectacular demonstrations of physical or chemical science has a spiritual application and points to our Creator! “

LES videos are recommended for ages 6 to 14. However, I feel they are more geared toward ages 6-10.
We felt Ben Roy is certainly an animated and enthusiastic man who loves God and science.  Although many of the experiments were more directed towards older students, my 11 and 14 year olds felt he was way too enthusiastic for their liking and felt as though he was speaking to a room full of very young children.  We did however; enjoy watching him perform many different experiments.

You If you would like more information about Library and Educational Services and their Go Science series, stop by their website,

You can purchase the DVDs for $8.97 each or the whole set for $47.95. The running time for the DVDs we reviewed are about 43-54 minutes. 

Check out what my fellow crew members had to say about Go Science.

** Disclaimer: I received Go Science Volumes 3 and 4 from Library and Educational Services free of cost in exchange for my honest, unbiased, and fair review.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Amazing Science ~ TOS Review

I don’t know about your children, but my girls LOVE science, primarily doing science experiments.  My 6th grader would do nothing in school, but experiments if I let her.

Amazing Science!

 Amazing Science Volume 1 is a 2 disk DVD set containing 23 different science experiments.  The experiments are taught by Jason Gibson who has advanced degrees in Engineering and Physics and worked at NASA as a Rocket Scientist!  How cool is that?!

The experiments -

Color Changing Milk
Egg in a Bottle
Exploring Air Pressure
Building a Lemon Battery
Inverted Cup of Water
Candle Suction Power
Amazing Magnetic Force
Lift and Ice Cube with String
Unburnable Money
Matchstick Speedboat
Cloud in a Bottle
Reversing an Image with Water
Floating Eggs
Keeping Paper Dry Under Water
Dry Ice Bubbles
Balloon in a Candle Flame
Ocean in a Bottle
Build a Motor with Lights
Simple Lava Lamp
Invisible Ink
Density Tower
Soda Can Fizz
Build a Motor #2

Here is a sample video from the DVD.

Here are some photos and videos of my daughters having fun with science!

Inverted Cup of Water                     Color Changing Milk

        Invisible Ink                                                   Keep Paper Dry Underwater

I tried multiple times to upload videos of my daughters doing the Candle Suction Power experiment, as well as the Build a Motor #2, but for one reason or another I cannot get them to load correctly.  

They also completed several other experiments presented on the DVDs, but I failed to capture them on film.

Jason not only does the experiments for the student to see in action, but he explains the step-by-step process of performing them, as well as explains in length about what is happening and why. A complete materials list is also given for every demonstration.

When we played the DVD I instantly recognized Jason as the instructor for the Pre-Algebra Tutor DVD I reviewed back in September 2010. He is a great instructor!

The Amazing Science Volume 1 DVD set is available for $19.95 or or a download for $17.99

Be sure to read what my fellow TOS members had to say about Amazing Science DVDs.

** Disclaimer: I received Amazing ScienceDVD set from free of cost in exchange for my honest, unbiased, and fair review.

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