Monday, June 8

Strengthening Basic Skills with Ed Shed {Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Summer slide is something often seen, particularly in the elementary years, as children take several months away from their studies.  We recently had the opportunity to check out the Math Shed and Spelling Shed from EdShed, and this seems like an excellent way to retain some skills while having fun over the summer!

EdShed is an online subscription that covers both math and spelling skills for kindergarten through sixth grade.  Each subscription has a teacher page, and can host up to five students.  There are five main sections to the online portal: Teacher Hub, Web Game, Spelling Shed, Maths Shed, and Literacy Shed Plus.  There is also an app that can be downloaded separately if you prefer to use the program that way.  The Teacher Hub allows you to change account settings, manage the user data, create assignments, see what kind of progress your students have made, and set up whole-class games.
When you log in, you'll find your administrator details along the left-hand side.  Each of the sheds comes in stages one through six, which correspond to first through sixth grades.  Each week has a lesson plan, activities, and printable homework sheets.  The online games are designed for skills practice and can be assigned in four different levels: easy, medium, hard, and extreme.

In the Math Shed, we found games focusing on Number bonds, Times Tables, basic operations, and powers of 10. One of the first games we played was in this last category. There is a simple math question, and the student is to use the calculator on the screen to type in the answer. (It did not function as an actual calculator...just a way to type the answer. The student does the math in his / her head.) We also checked out the order of operations games, which operated in a similar fashion. These are basic games, a la the early 2000's style (as in, very simplistic), that are designed to make working on these math skills a little more fun. A student could spend as little as 15 minutes each day over the summer playing games and that would help with skills retention.
Inside the Math Shed, you'll also have access to the teaching slides, printable worksheets, scheduling (to assign lessons), and data (to see student progress).  Here is one of the teaching slides from a lesson on fractions.
In the Spelling Shed, there are multiple pre-made lists for grades 1-8.  You can also add your own words to make a list.  The games are very simple.  They provide you with several letters, read a word aloud (so be sure the audio is hooked up), and the student uses the letters to spell the word.  Again, ten to fifteen minutes a day would help to reinforce some of the spelling words from the previous year.  Our son has hearing difficulties, so he had more trouble with this section than with the math games.

See what others are saying about EdShed at the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

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