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Thursday, September 22, 2011

AIMS Getting into Geometry (A Review)

AIMS Educational foundation is dedicated to helping teachers give students a solid conceptual understanding of math and science. They are a non-profit foundation, driven by passion to produce exceptional math and science experiences for children. They provide hands-on activities which are captivating, motivating and downright fun! (adapted from their website).

I had never heard of AIMS until I was asked to review one of their activity books.  We were sent a downloadable e-book called Getting into Geometry.  It is basically a teacher's guide to over 40 activities to help students learn basic Geometry.  Some of the topics covered are 2-D shapes, 3-D solids, symmetry, and spatial relationships.  The e-book included all of the printables necessary to do the activities. In addition to the printables, other items needed all seemed easy enough to find around the house (drinking straws, scarves, chalk, pipe cleaners).

I was going to go through the book and randomly choose a few activities to do for the purpose of this review but as I flipped through the book I was so impressed at the quality and the types of activities, I decided it was best to start at the beginning and work our way through.  Hence this review is written having only been through the first seven activities in the book.  The book stated that it was for K to 1st grade but these first lessons I used very easily with Eden who is in PreK.  Eli, my first grader loved the activities and even though they were not very challenging for him, they were great to reinforce what he has already learned.  Having read ahead,  I am sure as I go through to the end of the book Eli will be provided with more of a challenge and Eden may or may not be ready for some of the concepts covered.

fun with chalk shapes on the driveway

making shapes with clay and straws

Each lesson is laid out similarly in the book.  It describes the topic covered, a key question, the learning goal, materials needed, the procedure and questions to guide learning. The material is definitely written to be used in a classroom but most of the activities can be adjusted very easily to be used at home with one or two kids.

The activities in Getting into Geometry are great for kinesthetic learners, engaging both gross and fine motor skills.  The activities are short and precise, easy to do and don't require a lot of prep. 

The company also  have many other math and science activity books for all levels between K and grade 9 covering topics such as:

Addition and Subtraction
Earth Science
Problem Solving

...and lots more!!

The books are available as bound books or downloadable e-books and cost around $20 to $25 dollars for either version.  The bound books come with a CD containing all of the printables needed for the activities.  The company also sells math manipulatives and lab kits for one stop shopping!

We will definitely continue to use Getting into Geometry and I have also started looking at several of the other titles which look like they would be a good fit for us.  Go over and take a look and see if you can find something for your kids!  You can also check out some other reviews over at The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew.

*Disclaimer -As a member of  TOS Homeschool Crew (Review Team) I was provided one downloadable e-book for the purpose of this review.  I was required to provide my honest, (positive or otherwise) opinion in exchange for this book. 

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