Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New School Books

I love when new school books arrive in the mail. Today both Theresa's Math and Literature/Composition arrived.

Teaching Textbooks is not new to us but the books have been updated with:

  1. Automated grading (I enjoyed this feature this past year with the 7th grade book)
  2. A digital gradebook that can manage multiple student accounts and be easily  
    edited by a parent (This will be nice if John opts to use this program instead of Saxon)
  3. Over a dozen more lessons and hundreds of new problems and solutions (enough lessons w/chapter quizzes for 156 days)
  4. Interactive lectures
  5. Hints and second chance options for many problems (This works well for Theresa)
  6. Animated buddies to cheer the student on
  7. Reference numbers for each problem so students and parents can see where a problem was first introduced (Woo hoo,.... a great addition)
  8. An index (This will be wonderful as no index drove Theresa and I batty)
  9. Detailed appendices (general math, geometry and algebra)
Lightning Literature is a program I have looked at in the past but never purchased. My other kids in middle school used a mix of different literature study guides or Tapestry of Grace. This past year proved that Tapestry was not a good fit for Theresa. I needed something structured to be sure I was providing a well rounded program but with books that would hold Theresa's interest. I wanted something that provided vocabulary, comprehension, literature lessons and writing assignments (with guidance for me since that's my weakness). I opted to purchase the 7th/8th grade instead of the 8th/9th grade level for two reasons - a) the books were of more interest to Theresa and b) if we end up loving it as much as I hope, we can use the other level next year as a Freshman.

 The Student Guide and Workbook go hand in hand with the literature being read. The Student Guide provides an introduction to the author and/or work, vocabulary words, comprehension questions, the literary lessons and multiple writing exercises (of varying degrees of difficulty). The Workbook has six types of assignments - exercises related to literary lessons, activities that give the student the opportunity to practice composition skills, thinking skills pages, grammar review, puzzles and extra- challenges.

 The Teacher's Guide lays out the lessons for 36 weeks although I see how I can compress them to fit into our 32 week school schedule. It provides an answer key to both comprehension questions and workbook exercises. There is also additional information related to the literary lessons and writing assignments as well as hints for evaluating writing assignments. A bonus are the discussion questions to bring the student thinking above and beyond the comprehension questions and literary lesson.

1 comment:

The Jammie Girl said...

This looks like a great curriculum. I especially like the literature selections. You can't beat classics like those!