Cookie Sheet Challenge Volume 1: Review and Giveaway!

I’m so excited for the another week of the Cookie Sheet Challenge! If you missed my first two reviews you can see Volume 2 here and Volume 3 here! These lovely manipulatives are made by Julie at Make, Take, Teach. They are incredibly easy (and cheap!) to put together and will provide endless amounts of educational fun. 
Volume 1 is great for students learning their alphabet, rhyming, and word building. Grace recognizes her letters and can recite them so now we are working on learning more about their order. Beth is working on basic spelling. She is an excellent reader so spelling is the natural next step. Visually seeing the words correct is one of the ways we’re beginning spelling. This Cookie Sheet Challenge is perfect for them both!

One thing I love about the Cookie Sheet Challenge sets is just how simple they are to put together. Print (I like photo paper to get a sturdy, laminated feel), get out your magnetic letters, put it on a cookie sheet and you are ready! This particular set needs a small sized magnetic letter set, so you’ll want to double check that you have those! I happened to have a second set from my sis-in-law since her boys have outgrown the magnetic letter stage. I’m so glad these were small! It took about 10 minutes to print the sheets and everything was ready for my girls!

Grace wanted Beth to help her so on the first sheet, which has all the letters of the alphabet, they worked to see how fast they could match up the letters. The second page for the alphabet has letters missing. This was fabulous for Grace. I haven’t ever tried an activity like this so I wasn’t sure how she would do. First we put all the letters which were listed on the page. Before I even had a chance to explain what to do next she was starting to fill in the missing letters! She didn’t get them all correct, but we’ll keep working at it!
The word building pages are a perfect fit for my Beth. She is doing very well with our spelling curriculum, but I’ve been looking for something to help her think about word building with a more hands-on feel. I particularly liked that Beth practiced matching lower case letters with upper case. You can find lower case magnetic letters, but this is one area she is a little weak in, so this was my preference. 
Also included in the packet are rhyming activities. This is a little beyond where Beth is at and I’m not quite there with Grace, but when I get there these will be great! There are several different rhyming pages along with small pictures to place in the right category. 
Julie, the creator of Make, Take, Teach, has a wonderful store at Teachers Pay Teachers. I’m certain you’ll find something there to catch your eye!
Are you ready to enter the giveaway? Don’t forget to spread the word to your homeschooling and classroom teacher friends! These activities are excellent for either type of learning.
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Disclaimer
I received Cookie Sheet Challenge 1 in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received

Cookie Sheet Challenge Volume 2: Review and Giveaway!

Having three young girls to teach every day means I have had to train them all from day one to be somewhat independent because I have to work with each of my girls independently. This is not too difficult for Rose (2nd grade) and Beth (kindergartner) but Grace (Pre-K3) is entirely different. She’s in the beginning stages of this training.
You might wonder how this works with one so young. First of all, she sits right beside me while I teach her sisters, but the activities I give her require minimal participation on my part except for showing her how to do the activity. When she was two we used the idea of busy bags, although they weren’t in bags! Now that she has progressed academically far beyond what I expected for her age I’ve had to get a little more creative. Having challenging hands-on-manipulatives are a key element to this training.  
I love the activities made by Julie from Make, Take, & Teach, especially the Cookie Sheet Challenges! The entire Cookie Sheet Challenge series focuses on early literacy and mathematical concepts. I am thrilled to be able to review two of these sets over the next two weeks and giveaway a copy of each to one blessed reader! 
Grace surprised me one day a few months back when she showed me she recognized numbers all the way up to 20! I was expecting to be teaching her this skill, not having her show me she already knew it. Then she proceeded to look at the number and use counters to match the number. What do you do with a three-year-old, or any age, who has already mastered these skills but is still too young to move into other areas of math? Julie has created a wonderful, hands-on manipulative which is challenging my little smarty pants while not delving into some of the more complex areas of math! Cookie Sheet Challenge Volume 2 focuses on number order, recognition, and other early math concepts. 
All you need is provided in the downloadable pdf file available at the Make Take Teach, Teachers Pay Teacher’s store for $5.25. You provide the paper, a printer, magnets, and cookie sheet large enough to place a piece of standard letter sized paper. Full instructions for creating these manipulatives are also included. Rather than gluing magnets to printed numbers, I opted to purchase two packages of magnetic number sets from our local dollar store. I also like using photo paper rather than card stock. The pages last longer and gives a laminated feel without the expense of lamination. 
Grace couldn’t wait to get her hands on these. I had everything sitting in the schoolroom the night before I planned for her to start using them and she begged me to get them out! There are many activities included. The first pages she worked on were number recognition. I like that the words are written under the printed number so she can begin to associate them together. Several pages like this are included in the set with numbers missing so eventually the student is putting in all the numbers!
Another activity that Grace really enjoyed was using counters. Students are intended to find the matching number word for the digit, but since Grace isn’t there yet I just had her match the numbers and count using her star counters. She loved this and counted so well! This is her finished cookie sheet. She’s very proud of herself! 

There are many other activities included to help students learn to count all the way to 100 as well as remembering what numbers come before and after one another. These can be used in so many ways for several different ability levels.

I was snapping pictures while she worked, but except for changing the pages and a simple explanation Grace worked completely on her own. This is an excellent example of how I train them to work on their own. I used to just try to get Grace to play on her own in another room, but that failed miserably! She of course wanted to be with everyone else and like many younger siblings wanted to do school like her big sisters! Manipluatives like these from Make Take Teach have been the answer for how to meet her needs.
Now for one of you to get to win this set! Yay!!!!
(And check back next Monday for another Cookie Sheet Challenge giveaway!!!!)

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Disclaimer
I received Cookie Sheet Challenge 2 in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received

Cookie Sheet Activities Review…and Giveaway!!!!

Homeschooling three little girls fills my heart with joy…and sometimes my life with challenges. My biggest challenge is keeping my girls productive and engaged while I’m working individually with one of their sisters. I am fine with letting them play on their own, but really like to keep them in learning-mode as long as possible before we switch to play-mode. My girls get so caught up in their pretend play that pulling them back to focused learning isn’t always easy.

This summer I gave in to Pinterest and was soon falling in love with lots of great ideas to keep my girls learning while I was teaching the others! The only problem was how much time each of these great activities took to make. With the school-year already underway, I kept looking and found The Cookie Sheet Challenge over at the Make, Take, and Teach Blog.These engaging activities were the perfect compliment for the educational level of all three of my daughters (Yay!), they were colorful and engaging (Double Yay!!), and already created (Triple Yay!!!). I couldn’t wait to try them out!
Volume 3 was a great choice for Beth (Kindergarten) and Rose (2nd grade). I love that there is more than one activity included in each challenge set! There was something for both girls. Even Grace (K-3) could enjoy portions of this set. 
Since we already had a large set of magnetic letters, and some extra cookie sheets, all the preparation this took was printing. I prefer to use photo paper for printing activities I know I’m going to reuse. It creates an almost laminated feel and lasts much longer than traditional card stock. I also like the shiny look the pages had. It didn’t take long to print the whole set, but there were SO many pages! I didn’t realize just how much came with this until it kept printing…and printing…and printing! The girls always know when I’m getting something special ready for them. They were watching the printer as much as I was!
Beth is already an excellent reader. She is also unbelievably creative and loves to make up stories. Building sight words with magnetic letters is a great way to help her start to learn how to transfer all those great ideas from her head on to paper! I was pleased with how quickly she took to this activity and really enjoyed searching for the right letters to create the correct word. There are so many of these pages she won’t ever get bored! She was so proud of herself for finding all the right letters.
Another neat aspect to this activity was my youngest daughter was also able to build these words. While she is not yet reading, she is learning her letters. This activity is a great for pre-readers as they begin to recognize letter relationships and how they build words when placed together. (Grace was feeling a little big camera shy this morning, so you’ll just have to take my word for it!)
Another activity included in this set is placing the correct site word in each sentence. Included in the set is a page of these words which you cut and place in the squares at the bottom. I cheated 🙂 I already have a magnetic sentence building set which includes all of the typical sight words so I used those. This was a great activity for Rose because she often wants to make up whatever she thinks the word is. she is also an excellent reader and loving books far above her expected reading level, but she likes to read so quickly she often just looks at the first couple of letters and then guesses what will come next. Filling in the words helped her see context and forced her to think about what should be there. This was the first page and they become progressively more difficult. 
Rose really liked this and was so happy she was able to have a fun activity as well! Now I just have to convince Beth she can do this activity just like Rose. She often thinks that because she is younger she has to wait to do the same things as her older sister! This will be a great activity for her as well as she moves towards context word connections. 
So, are you ready to win Cookie Sheet Activities Volume 3: Sight Words!?! There are lots of ways to enter! Don’t forget to head over to the Make, Take, and Teach Blog to check out all of her great ideas! Also visit her store at Teachers Pay Teachers to check out Volume 3 which I reviewed,  all 5 Volumes of Cookie Sheet Activities, and many more other learning activities! The giveaway begins October 1st at Midnight and will run until October 8th. 
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*I received Cookie Sheet Challenge 3 for this review