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

English on a Roll

Before I became Mommy, I was an English teacher to middle school students who were sadly lacking in basic grammatical understanding. I tried to teach what I could, but I was fresh out of college and struggled to know how to bring them up to an acceptable middle school level. Grammar is viewed as very tedious to learn and teach, but it doesn’t have to be! My daughters are growing up learning the parts of speech, how to diagram sentences, and how to speak and write in an intelligent way and it has been rather painless. Giving them a good foundation for sentence building has been my goal and I look for fun ways to do so.  I was highly intrigued by the English Grammar Teaching Method
from English on a Roll.
English on a Roll
When I opened our box my girls were intrigued as well and wanted to know when we were going to play the new grammar game! It does look like a game for certain with the many worded cubes and fun lesson book. Everything you need comes neatly packaged with incredibly clear instructions in the first few pages. The great part about this is that even though it looks like a game, it is really all about hands-on-learning through manipulatives, a technique proven highly useful for mathematics and now ingeniously applied to grammar instruction!

These little cubes will work in just about any learning situation you can imagine. They are intended for students who are at the mental maturity to be understand how to structure a sentence, about 5 years old. Some examples given by the company are teaching homeless children to sight read and spell, giving students on a higher level of academics a base for writing complex sentences, using them in English as a second language classes, special needs classes, or adult literacy classes. Our homeschool is just traditional, no special needs or non-native speakers, so I was really excited to see how this would work for us.

The teacher guide includes reproducible pages to give as handouts for each student. This was the first really cool part about English on a Roll. While my girls all learn grammar, they have just begun 2nd, 5th, and 7th grades. This does not typically lend itself to group grammar lessons! It was great to have something we could do all together.

The beginning lessons were fairly easy for them because they do already have a grammar base. What I noted is that this would feel easy even for students who do not have a solid grammar background, which is exactly why it is so great! Grace has the least experience with structured grammar and really enjoyed the fill in the blank lessons. Beth enjoys anything hands on and is a thinker, so greatly enjoyed the dice. Rose, who has a very strong understanding of sentence structure and word usage, did a great job helping her sisters understand with the cubes. It was really neat to see her take over as teacher without even realizing it because the word cubes lend itself to very easy instruction. This was great to see because I know it means they would be easy for everyone to use, not just English teachers like me! 

Set-up and prep were just a matter of copying a few student pages and setting the cubes out for use. Each lesson shows you at the very top exactly which cubes you need and a handy cube guide along with color coded word dice make this super easy and efficient. I was able to read through a lesson once and feel ready to move forward with the teaching. I do also really like that there are a variety of options for games, conversations, and activities to teach the same concepts. This may be the most open-and-go grammar curriculum I’ve had a chance to use.

This is hands down my new favorite addition to our homeschool. I love that I can teach the girls all together and that they had a great time using it! 

Take a look at what my Crewmates have to say!

English on a Roll {Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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