Saturday, September 24, 2011

TOS Review - AIMS Making Connections - it's electric!




FYI, many people do not like acronyms. I on the other hand do. Using acronyms saves time ... imagine the medical community without it ... but I digress. AIMS is an acronym and it stands for:

Activities 
Integrating 
Math and 
Science


Math and Science! Both these words in the same sentence is not very PC in my opinion. But speaking of my opinion ...


DISCLAIMER:
As part of the TOS Crew, I recently received a free Downloadable e-book from the A.I.M.S website, called 'Electical Connections' in PDF.   I received this copy for review purposes in exchange for my honest, personal opinion. I received no other compensation. (Except for excited kids!)


What is AIMS?


AIMS is a non-profit foundation whose amazing people believe that hands-on learning is the best way to develop understanding in the areas of Math & Science!  
The e-book I received was Science specific and focused on Electricity. This book is aimed at Grades 4-6. It is a 234 page e-book jam-packed with information, activities and student pages. It retails for US$24.95




AIMS makes 3 promises to their customers:

OUR PROMISES TO YOU

  • We'll make learning engaging.
  • We'll make our activities affordable, and the required materials will be readily available.
  • We'll make our activities easy to use, without compromising their conceptual development or effectiveness.



The people of AIMS are so confident in their product that they offer a 60 day refund or replacement if you are not satisfied with the product! That to me says a whole lot!





First Impressions:


In today's technological era with all the blogs and websites in cyberspace, it is important to have a website that stands out above the rest. I received an e-book so my first stop was not the mailbox, but the website. The website is fun-looking and friendly. I found it easy to navigate and downloading the e-book was easy and hassle free. 


On the 'home page' you will find a very big welcome to First time visitors with link to a page  HERE where you will find some basic information about AIMS as well as video clips to help you choose and use the product that will be best for your students.


I was getting very excited about getting into some of the activities in the e-book as I browsed it after downlading it. I am a visual learner and I love the fun pictures which are dotted throughout the e-book as well as the website. 


There are many video clips which you can find HERE to add to your teaching too. Amazing!


For those who love history you can read The Story of A.I.M.S. over HERE



What about those promises?

OUR PROMISES TO YOU

  • We'll make learning engaging.
  • We'll make our activities affordable, and the required materials will be readily available.
  • We'll make our activities easy to use, without compromising their conceptual development or effectiveness.



Making learning engaging:


When I called my children to do their 'AIMS' work, I was met with no resistance or friction. They both were super keen to engage with the work and do the activities. Hearing: "This is so fun!" from them both ... at the same time ... doing science ... was sweet music to my ears! 


The kids very much enjoyed the activities we did and enjoyed making predictions about possible reactions. 


We did some experiments on 'Static Electricity' and the kids were excited about making the connections between what they learned and the 'shocks' they got on the trampoline.  


So TICK 'we'll make learning engaging'. 


This is the first page of the e-book I received:







Affordable and Available:


Recession, money, increased petrol prices, etc. Having to be worried about spending a massive amount of money on curriculum is not a pleasant thought. Less so if you have to purchase additional things to complete the learning. 


The downloadable products of AIMS  vary between US$18.95 and US$24.95. One product only (Concepts in Geometry)is US$34.95, but is a PDF e-book of over 400 pages! 


Most of their physical books are within a similar price range and many books come with a CD.


The material you need for some of the activities are easy to come by and often things you already have in your home.  


So TICK 'affordable and available'. 


Easy to use:


'Electrical Connections' is divided into four main categories: Static Electricity, Circuits, Electromagnetism and History of Electricity which include a timeline and an interview that can be done with an older person. My daughter liked doing the interview.


Each main section is introduced with a printable 'rubber band book' that the kids enjoyed reading.


The activity is introduced with a key question, learning goals, a bit of background information, materials needed and laying out the procedure step by step. It is so easy to follow and so enjoyable! All it takes is for you / the teacher to go through it before the lesson and make sure that the material and student pages are ready and printed. 


TICK 'Easy to use'. 


That's 3 for 3! 


As I said, we've done Electrical Connections, but AIMS have many products available. You can visit the product page HERE to have a look for yourself. I am considering buying the 'Actions with Fractions' e-book at the end of the month. 


Another bonus of this amazing website is that you can subscribe to their monthly e-newsletter (Free) with specials and free activities HERE and/or to the AIMS Magazine (US$19.95/year for four issues) HERE.


But there are a lot more to find on the website, so I will encourage you to visit this site for yourself. ASAP! You can also find them on FB over HERE


PS
As with anything in life, this is MY opinion. It is always good to see what others think. Please visit the Crew's Blog to see what my fellow Crew mates think of this product by going HERE.



1 comment:

Pleasantly Peavey said...

Enjoyed your review Elizabeth - Stopping by to say hi while reading Crew blogs and reviews - Blessings from Roberta at Pondering on the Prairie