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The Ultimate Cheat Sheets Review by Cassie DeputieSamantha Shank
Learn in Color
I was teaching 4th- grade language Arts and trying to produce fun and creative ways to help my kids understand and remember concepts such as verbs, nouns, pronouns, and the like. I was creating my own version of “cheat sheets” and did not even know it! When I received The Ultimate Cheat Sheets including The Ultimate Language Arts Cheat Sheets, The Ultimate Math Cheat Sheets, and The Ultimate United States History Cheat Sheets, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders! The very thing I was trying to create was already complete with glossy paper and spiral bound.
The Ultimate Language Arts Cheat Sheets includes fifteen resources in full-colored pages. These topics include parts of speech, punctuation, types of sentences, parts of sentences, how to diagram, figurative languages, common homophones, transitional word ideas, words to use instead of “very” and “said,” and the parts for writing an essay. Every page is colorful, neat, attention-grabbing, and high quality which is important if you are going to make these cheat sheets accessible to a number of children over an extended period. There are definitions and examples are on nearly every page. Everything is bright, organized, and colorful. Looking through the pages makes the reader want to learn and understand the concepts on each page. We used this cheat sheet primarily to remind ourselves of the parts of speech (such as noun, adjective, verb, etc.).
The Ultimate Math Cheat Sheets gives vivid and descriptive access to seventeen math resources targeted for grades 4-8. A “Fraction Wall” is a brilliant illustration making fractions very understandable. There are pages for fraction vocabulary, as well as different ways to show fractions or convert them to decimal points and percentages. A deeper look into mixed numbers, percentages, common conversions, greater than and less than, median, mean, range, and mode, place value, keywords that help someone decide if they need to add, subtract, multiply or divide, types of angles and triangles, 2D and 3D shapes, useful temperature terms and conversions, as well as a final illustration for trigonometry. As you can see, there is a large load of useful tools in this thin little booklet. I love how the greater than and less than symbols are taught as alligator mouths looking to chomp on the largest number for their meal. The most used page in this book for our family was the Gallon, Quart, Pint and Cup page that has a large orange “G” (Gallon), with four smaller, green “Q’s” inside of it. Within each of the “Q’s” are two “P’s” and inside those are two little “C’s.” This picture enabled a beautiful “Aha!” moment in my elementary students. I think their minds will always resort to this illustration in their mental libraries when they are looking to convert cups into gallons. Of all three Cheat Sheets, this was the one we referred to the most throughout our schooling days.
Finally, The Ultimate United States History Cheat Sheets is a patriotic colored, fifteen-page resource booklet filled with topics from U.S. History as well as Government. The first page has a world map and highlights key facts about the U.S. such as its national capital, government (which is listed as the Constitutional Republic - I loved this!), number of states, national animals and so forth. The following pages have beautiful drawings and pictures that teach the three branches of government and their functions, a list of presidents and information on each of them, a colorful map of the United States with a list of their abbreviations and capitals, a summary of the Bill of Rights, information on each branch of the military as well as the most important wars we have fought as a country. It concludes with a neatly fashioned timeline of famous events from the 1600s-2009, and information on the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. This was my favorite Cheat Sheet of them all mostly because our family is obsessed with studying U.S. history and government! My kids spent their spare time paging through this Cheat Sheet and getting excited about new information they could learn about each of our presidents. They would quiz their dad to see if he knew who the vice president for each administration was. They noticed a few occasions where the Vice President became President! We discussed why that was (well my husband did since he is much more knowledgeable).
There are a million and one uses for these brilliant, professional, and extremely captivating Cheat Sheets. I think it is perfect that they are designed by a student since the student is in the midst of schooling herself and knows exactly which areas of each subject need to be addressed. We used them to reference and remember things during our daily studies. My kids absolutely loved just reading through them and sharing what new facts they learned with their dad, especially about the presidents. These would be fantastic for school projects or research papers. I plan to keep these Cheat Sheets as a tool for our further studies into the subjects of Language Arts, Math, and U.S. History for all our home educating years. I recommend these to every elementary student. They make concepts easier to learn and they are so memorable that memorization happens, naturally. That is the key! The illustrations are memorable.
-Product review by Cassie Deputie, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2019