Friday, May 26, 2017

New Baby Chick

Meet our newest addition in the chicken coop!  We are so excited.  One of the eggs hatched.  I think our fertility rate is next to nill right now so not sure how other eggs under her will do.  Plus I found out that some hens had snuck in and laid their eggs with hers at least a week or more after she started sitting.  I might put those eggs under the other hen who is still sitting to finish them out once I know no more will hatch now.  I'll give it a few days.  Be watching for updates.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Typing Coach REVIEW

The Typing Coach

For about the last 6 weeks we have been working on The Typing Coach Online Typing Program by The Typing Coach. My 7th grader really needed to master keyboarding and this program seemed like the perfect fit.  One of the key components in this program is mastery of the keyboard.  It is a fairly simple but effective program.  It consists of 7 lessons and includes practice tests, before and after snapshot, and 4 typing tests.  It is of course an online program (it's in the name) and has links to print the student packet and learning checks (and many other pdf help documents).  The 7 lessons include:
  • Having Good Posture
  • Home Row
  • Top Row
  • Bottom Row
  • Shift Keys
  • Typing Practices
  • Number row
Typing Coach Student Packet

Typing Coach Learning Checks packet

You might think what else is there?  Only 7 lessons?  Well, as I said, the program is about mastery.  You are not allowed to move to the next lesson or step until you have mastered the one you are on.  It really is effective for producing very accurate results.  It's not just how fast you can type but to do it with absolute accuracy.  As you work through the lessons you will have practice tests and one extra feature of this program is the Learning Checks.  Learning checks are lessons that involve not looking at the keyboard OR the screen.  You listen to the audio and type.  This really helps with your accuracy.  I am a veteran typer and found these challenging.  I found out that I am used to typing fast and correcting my mistakes as I go for the most part.  This program is all about not wasting time on your mistakes because you are striving for accuracy and excellency in your typing.

There is also so much more to this program than just the 7 lessons.  When you log into your account you will see all kinds of support and instruction videos.  There is a video on the Typing Coach Method Explained and a Teacher Resource Center.  Within the Resource Center you will find:
  • Quick Start Instructions
  • Guidance for Teachers
  • Playing Audios While Typing
  • Progress Chart
  • Explaining the Process (video)
  • Modeling the Process (video)
  • Younger Ones
  • Special Needs/Ed
Just to name a few.  There is an entire section of helps on slower paced guidance for those that find the regular pace a little much (younger children, struggling learners, and special needs).

Teacher Resource Center

Slower Paced Lessons

The course is designed to be completed in about 10 weeks if you work through one lesson per week (which would include times for practice tests and typing tests, thus 10 weeks).  In one of the videos in your account he states that if you work every day for about 20 minutes a day, you can complete the course in a month.

I worked through some of the program and feel that it is a well rounded program that will not only help you to type but also with a great deal of accuracy. Your speed continues to increase as you continue to practice.  It is not a "fun" program per se, but it is effective.  My reluctant 7th grader was difficult to get through this program and we are still working on it.  If you have a student that really does NOT want to learn typing, this is probably not the program for them as far as encouraging them through and making it fun like some other programs we have tried.  That being said, I do recommend this program for someone who really wants to learn how to not only type well but accurately (which is key in typing speed).

The Typing Coach

You can connect with The Typing Coach on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.
Please take the time to look at reviews on The Typing Coach Online Typing Program by The Typing Coach at the link below.

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Thin Stix by The Pencil Grip, Inc. REVIEW

The Pencil Grip, Inc

We have had fun playing with our newest review of Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors by The Pencil Grip, Inc.  We have never tried or seen these before or the shorter thicker version by the name of Kwik Stix.  These paint sticks are incredible.  The kids had a blast.  Of course both of them are artsy sort of kids.  My son just loves to draw and create.  He's into dragons and origami.  My daughter is always coloring and often asks to paint.  Well . . . toddlers and paint just don't always go so well together (these are not recommended for under 3 years). I had to hide these to keep her from getting into them like she does her crayons!
Thin Stix by KwikStix

It's fun to take the risk every now and then, but breaking out the paints on a regular basis is not what this mom enjoys doing.  There's the water, the brushes, the globs of paint.  What a mess.  While there are art techniques and color mixing that can't be matched by anything but actual watercolors or acrylic, or your standard tempera paint, these Thin Stix can still fit the bill when it comes to just simple painting.

Sam's creation
Marriah playing around with stix

You don't need any water.  You simply twist and draw/paint with the Thin Stix.  The paint dries pretty quickly so less mess there too.  My 4 year old is able to pretty much use them by herself without much help.  It says it dries in 90 seconds and that is pretty accurate.  It dries quicker if you press lightly but if you press harder and put it on a thicker it does take a short bit to dry, but still pretty fast!  They are of course non-toxic. They consist of solid tempera paint and come in so many more options and colors than just this Classic Color set.  They are made to be used on regular paper, card stock, wood, cardboard, and canvas.  I have heard of some using it to paint rocks.  We used ours on paper and card stock and it performed very nicely. My son really likes that they are thin enough that he can draw with more detail than something that would be thicker in nature.  That beind said, they are not like markers type thin and that annoyed him at times.  Once he got the hang of it and realized they weren't for fine detail, he enjoyed them.

Thin Stix by KwikStix

I am so excited that something like these Stix exist.  They will simplify my life and allow the kids to paint more often because I just won't have to worry about the excessive mess traditional paints cause.  My son REALLY likes that he can toss them in his art bag and take them on the go with him wherever he is going and easily paint in other locations than just at home on the kitchen table.  I think that is my favorite part about them also is their totability.  I can even keep the small pack in my purse and have an alternative to just crayons for my toddler to occupy herself with.  Because they are so easy to use and almost mess free, she can use them in the car while traveling or even at our destination point if we are somewhere and have to wait on bubba to get done doing whatever he is doing at the time.

Color nicely on cardstock

He likes that it is easy to write with them

Of course the princess was disappointed that there was no pink in her stash.  Not to worry.  They are available in many different package options.  There are bigger packs, metallic, and even neon colors that I hear are VERY vibrant. We will be soon expanding our inventory on these paint sticks.  We would like to try the regular Kwik Stix and also the larger Thin Stix pack that includes some pink! (There is a 12 pack that has double the colors).  I might need to buy some stock in paper to keep up with the creations. We definitely recommend you add Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors to your art supply cabinet!

You can connect with The Pencil Grip, Inc. at FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST.

I also hope you check out other fellow crew reviews at the link below:

No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
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