Math Shed and Spelling Shed (A Homeschool Crew 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.
It's always a good thing when I can find a way to get Ashleigh and Garrett to practice things they are learning. When it's fun and something they enjoy doing, even better. For the last few weeks, the kids have been using both Math Shed and Spelling Shed, two educational applications from EdShed, to work on their math and spelling skills.
Both Math Shed and Spelling Shed are fun browser based games designed to help students grades 1st thru 5th practice their spelling and math skills. A one year subscription includes access to both Spelling Shed and Math Shed for up to 5 students as well as a teacher's account. Both applications are require internet access and are accessed via a web browser with no need to download anything to your computer.
Math Shed is the first of the two applications we have been using. The student simply logs into the website and they select Math Shed. They are then taken to the main screen for the game, which gives them different options on what they can work on. For our review time, the kids have been mostly using the option to practice their multiplication tables (which also allows you to practice Division facts as well), but other options include addition and subtraction, number bonds, power of 10s, and even negative numbers.
Once we made our selection for Times Tables, we are then given the option as to what multiplication family or division facts we want to work on. You have the option of selecting a specific single family, mixed facts, and decimals.
From there, students are given the option of three difficulty levels - Easy, Medium and Hard. After selecting a difficulty level, the student is play thru a speed drill where they are asked to answer as many questions as they can answer in a 1 minute time period. In Easy mode, the student is given three answer options that they can pick from. In medium mode, there are 6 answer options. In Hard mode, the student must type their answer out.
|Math Shed played at Hard Level
They are told immediately if they select the correct answer or not. At the end of the 1 minute drill, the student is told how many questions they answered, what those questions were and if they got the question correct or not.
Spelling Shed is the second education application offered by EdShed.
For this game, students select both their stage level (which increases the difficulty of the word given) and difficulty level. The difficulty levels are Easy, Medium, Hard and Extreme and the game changes depending on which option is selected. For the easy level, the student is shown the proper spelling of the word and when they are ready, the word disappears and the student uses the tiles provided (or they can type the word with the keyboard) to spell the word. At the medium level, the word is not known but is read to the student and they again spell the word with the tiles shown. In this mode, only the tiles used to spell the word are presented. In Hard and Extreme, the word is also spoken to the student, however, the amount of tiles presented are increased so that tiles will be left over after the student spells the word. The difference between these two modes is the amount of extra tiles presented to the child.
|Playing Spelling Shed at Medium Level
Another game that the student can play in Spelling Shed is a hangman style game. Students are given lines that represent the amount of letters in the word and students use the tiles to help figure out the word. Instead of a hangman, the student is presented with bees. Each time the student guesses the wrong letter, one of the bees flies away.
|Hangman style game in Spelling Shed
In addition to the games, parents can access spelling curriculum that can be used in conjunction with the Spelling Shed application. These are downloadable PDF files (also available to download in powerpoint format) that coincide with the 5 spelling list levels offered by Spelling Shed. These files contain 36 weekly spelling lists with lesson plans and activities.
For our usage, the kids took turns first using one application for a few rounds, followed by using the other for a few rounds.
Ashleigh's a bit beyond the range for Spelling Shed, but it does prove to be enough of a challenge for Garrett to use and benefit from.
Ashleigh works on the higher level questions at a more difficult level and while she misses some, she does well enough.
Where we found the most benefit was with the Math Shed portion of the program. The kids have been focusing on their multiplication tables, so they used this to drill what they have learning. So after their math lesson, they log in and they select the multiplication facts they have learned and they drill those facts. For these drills, I ask them to use the Medium difficulty level.
We like the program well enough and it's going to be very useful to us, especially for drilling their math facts as we progress thru both multiplication and division facts. We will also continue to use the spelling program with Garrett who I think will benefit the most from it. Overall, we think it's a great program that isn't overly done with graphics and sounds, so it's great for students like Garrett who get distracted easily.
To learn more about Math Shed and Spelling Shed, be sure to visit the website. You can also find out more information on the following social media sites: