After going through the Junior Young Scientists and the Young Scientists magazines (see here for the previous review) for my two older kids (J & C), and how light and fun reading is able to inculcate early awareness and interest in the science subject, I started to look for similar book materials -ie magazines/newsletter for other subjects in primary 1.
Besides science, I found out there are also locally published magazines catered towards Mathematics , English and Mandarin. The publisher – Add-venture Learning Pte Ltd publishes the Mathematics( +venture in Maths) and English magazine (Inspire). I will the covering the a 3-part blog series for all the wonderful products by Addventure. Firstly, I will be reviewing the +venture in Maths , followed by the Inspire and finally the Math-A-Morphosis game sets.
magazines and games set by Addventure Learning
+venture in maths magazine is catered for primary 1 to primary 6. The magazine has 16 full-coloured issues (4 issues per term) with 2 bonus issues for lower primary and 1 bonus issue for upper primary 1. And what makes the magazine relevant is that the contents of the magazine follow very closely to MOE syllable as the magazines are written by local mathematicians. The magazine can be subscribed through the school or directly to home (for home delivery, there is an additional top up SGD 10 for delivery fee). You can check with the class teacher before subscribing on your own to save on the delivery fee and potential bulk discount. What I understand most primary school who are partnering with the publishers will offer this subscription to the students by end of Jan. You can check out the primary schools with partnership with them in this link
I will be reviewing some of the earlier issues (in term 1) for primary 1 with J. Firstly, I wanted to find out the comparison of MOE math syllable for primary 1 for term1/2 and compared it against what is being introduced by the first 4 issues of +venture. Yes, the magazine follows closely with the current primary 1 MOE syllable and textbook.
Every issue is divided in 7 colourful sections and 1 bonus e practice worksheet (online)
- Funstart are stories on the history of Math. The first few issues introduce how Egyptians wrote their numbers. They even posted the video of the Funstart stories on their youtube channel. Even though it may not be relevant to primary 1 syllable, but it is fun general knowledge and to introduce simple mathematics based stories to the young. Even my 5 year old girl enjoyed listening to the short stories. You can view the video for the story in the first issue here to get a flavour of the short stories.
This is where the MOE syllable kicks in. The concept for that issue will be explained in colourful and fun illustratives. For example, you can see how the number bond and substraction concept is being “taught”. I have taken a step further to do a side by side comparison vs a typical assessment primary 1 math assessment book. I am sure the kids will more keen to learn from the very colourful and thin magazine as compared to a black and white thicker assessment book.
Then to apply the concepts into the real work would be 2 to 4 pages of Practice.
- Games and Puzzle
To enforce the concept even further, there will be a page of games or puzzle.
In the first very issue, parents are tasked to help the child to make hexagon counters as manipulatives. (Do note that if you have also bought the game set, in the Number game sets there are also 20 hexagon counters which you can make use of). For those who did not buy the game sets, fret not, there is even on online tutorial to teach who to make the hexagon counters from straw. These hexagon counters will be used for games found even in the first issue!
One page puzzle also can be found in some issues which are like mazes, tangram puzzles, number bonds etc
Using the same concept taught in this issue, this one page section introduces new and function activities to further strengthen the concept. For example in the issue on basic shapes, Explore section introduces students to make their own Tangram, how a square can be made into 2 triangle and so on.
- Parents’ page
It is a half-a-page extra notes and pointers to parents on how to further strengthen the concept ie through the use of outdoor activities, games, daily observation, etc
This is always on the last page of each issue whereby students can complete and have to mail to the publishers. The first 20 correct entries drawn from all the entries will win attractive prizes.
p/s there are also answers to all the practice, puzzle and explore sections at the back of the issue!
8. E practice (bonus!)
There are also e-practices that can be downloaded from the website. The password for each issue’s e practise will be revealed by solving a simple puzzle or question found on the cover of each issue.
What I really like about the magazines is that it is full of colour, non intimidating, thin (16 pages) mathematics “worksheets”. Some parents may find the concepts in the initial issues a tad too easy as these concepts may have already been covered in K2, but these concepts served as a revision and to bring a standardised level of knowledge to all primary 1 students coming from different background and preschools such child care, kindergarten etc.
As I have received the issues at home, I will let J do an issue every fortnight before the concept is being taught in school. Now it is only Term1 week 2, not much has been taught in school, so we can slowly introduce the concept through the magazine at home. So when he goes to school, he will have better appreciation and be familiar with the concept. What he is unsure, he can further check with the Maths teacher. This is also my quick read up on what is being taught in school week on week basis and term by term basis.
In most primary schools, the students are required to bring English/Chinese books for silent reading before assembly. I like to offer these magazines as reading materials for my son as it is light and thin and the short stories or comic strips can be completed in 1 sitting (they probably have 10 to 15 min to read if any). This is unlike having a thick and bulky story book, which he could probably finish just a few pages and having to carry the book to student care, then to school and back home is not something I fancy. For now, J is bringing his Young Scientist issues to school. He can now have more options such as the +venture in Maths and Inspire magazines.
The +venture in Maths magazine set is priced at SGD 37 per level which work out to be around SGD 2 dollar per copy. You can also top up another SGD 60 to obtain 2 game sets (Numbers and Geometry) to accompany the magazine set. The combination of the magazine set and the game sets is called the + venture Set which is priced at SGD 97. The game sets will be reviewed in the third and final post. For further details, do check their website.
Do check with your child’s Form teacher if they have partnered with the publisher to save on the delivery fee and receive the issues through the school. As the issues are distributed every fortnight through the school to students, it will be kept in pace with the school delivery of the different concepts. Some primary schools are also using the magazines as supplementary materials to further reinforce the concepts in a more colourful and interactive manner.
Next up will be my review of the Inspire English magazine. This magazine also can be subscribed via school or home at a price of SGD 37 for 8 issues per academic year (additional top up of SGD 10 for home delivery). As this magazine is newly launched in 2015, currently they only have it for primary 1 and are currently working on issues for the primary 2 onwards.
2 magazines in 1 Inspire issue
The giveaway will be revealed on the third and final post of this blog series, do follow these blog posts closely. Do liked and shared this blog post as well to qualify.
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Disclosure: I received a set of +venture in Maths , Inspire and Math-a-morphosis game sets for the purposes of my review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.
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