Monday, April 9, 2012

TOS Review- AIMS:What on Earth?


Good science programs are hard to find.  Good science programs for younger ages-even harder.  So I was excited to review What On Earth? by AIMS Education Foundation for Kindergartner-1st graders.  AIMS stands for Activities Integrating Math and Science and has many books in this series ranging in subjects and ages. 

From their website:
AIMS is a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping teachers give students a solid conceptual understanding of math and science.  In 1981, 80 elementary and middle school teachers who shared the dream of giving students a strong hands-on foundation in math and science came together at Fresno Pacific and wrote the first AIMS’ activity books. Teachers loved them! Students learned more, learned in greater depth, and enjoyed learning. The word spread, and soon teachers across the nation were using AIMS to engage their students in hands-on learning.
For this review we concentrated on the Rocks and Soil chapter with our kindergartner!

Sorting rocks by color!

Here's what we found:
    *The book covers a broad range of subjects.  The chapters include Resources (Including recycling lessons), Rocks and Soil, Water, Change (Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Volcanoes), Day/Night and Seasons.
    *Great graphics!  There are cute stories to cut out and make books with, songs to sing, and projects to make.
    *A CD is included.  On it are pages you can print for the activities as well as additional pictures on the various topics.
    *Well organized.  Each lesson contains key questions, learning goals, material lists, background information and then teaching procedures, as well as follow up questions at the end...a must for days I am brain fried and just cannot form an intelligent question on my own!

    *We did find some of the activities presented at a little higher level than our kindergartner was ready for.  We had to leave out several of the writing activities and do those verbally.
    *Supply lists- I am a busy mom, so I tend to shy away from any activity that demands me to gather supplies.  Luckily, most were things you can find around your house, but again, takes time!
    *Classroom base- I got the feeling that much of the book was classroom based.  While the activities can be adjusted for one child of course, we homeschool moms tend to like things written just for us.

While I feel like our family could not use this as a stand-alone curriculum, it is a good, solid resource for those looking for additional projects for their science program.  It is fun, engaging and well written.

You may purchase the book here for $21.95.  Included with the book is a CD with printable student pages.
Check out what fellow CREW members had to say here.

Disclaimer- I received a copy of AIMS What On Earth, in exchange for my honest review.    My views reflect our family's experience and may not be the same as others who use this product.

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