Friday, June 20, 2014

Weethink Activity Cards: Product Review for Math and Literacy

As a homeschool mom, reading specialist, and literacy tutor, I am always looking for new manipulatives to use with my students. That is why I was very excited and intrigued to try out the Weethink Activity Card System!

In return for my honest product review, the folks from Weethink sent me my very own activity pack to experiment with here at home with my children (ages 7 and 8).  Here is what I received:

This Pack Included:
  • (32) cards (a little larger than the size of Uno cards) that are laminated, sturdy, and just right for little hands.  Each card has a lowercase letter on the top, left and a number on the bottom (0-9).
  • Cards with mathematical signs for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, greaert than, and less than).
  • Blank cards that you can write on with the small dry erase marker that is included.  Write on and wipe off!

  • A set of directions and an explanation of the (5) activities you can do with the cards on the back of the box.

What Did I Like About this Product?
  • Sturdy cards that are durable and can be manipulated easily  by children of ages 3 and above.  
  • Versatility:  Use the cards for phonemic awareness, the alphabetic principle for the preschool crowd, phonics, spelling, and math facts.  To use the cards for math, simply flip the card upside down so the number is in the upper, left corner.
  • The back of the cards is blank which allows for drawing, practice writing letters, spelling words, or even writing a sentence.  The pack includes a small, black dry erase marker, but you can use any of your choice that you have.

For this activity, I was working with a kindergarten student and initial letter sounds. He told me that letter "a" makes the /a/ sound, drew an apple on the back, and I wrote the word.

  • I like that I can use these as an alternative to magnetic letters for variety and that they are very interactive plus they resemble game cards which makes them appealing to emergent and primary learners.

How Would I use the Cards For Instruction?
  • For making words and for word families.  In the above photo, we were working on the "eat" word family. My child made words by replacing the first letter "b" with each of the letters below to make feat, heat, meat, etc.
  • For preschool and kindergarten students to use to arrange cards in alphabetic order, to spell their name, to sort cards according to letters they know and don't know, or to work on saying a sound for each letter.

  • To work on more sophisticated skills like initial blends.  I said the word "trip" and my student had to write the initial blend on the two of the blank cards and place the cards in order.

  • To work on word endings (this was a spelling word).  For spelling practice, you could give the student the letter cards and have them make the word.

  • At my house, we will be using these to practice basic addition and subtraction facts this summer.

We had fun exploring and experimenting with the cards, and I would definitely recommend them for literacy and math instruction.  They make a perfect manipulative for small groups, 1:1 tutoring, and for use at home.  The cost is a mere $10.95!  Click the picture below to visit the Weethink website.  You can view more ideas for using the cards (such as for patterning) and even watch a video of the cards being used in action.  As well, you can order the cards directly from the site.

Check out the site today and let me know what you think and how you would use the cards!

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