Friday, April 8, 2011

Science Weekly New TOS Review

Science Weekly

Science Weekly
CAM Publishing Group, Inc.
attn - Subscriptions
P.O. Box 70638
Chevy Chase, MD 20813-0638

Toll Free: 1.800.4.WEEKLY
Phone: 301.680.8804
Fax: 301.680.9240

$19.95 a year per child if less than 20 subscriptions
$4.95 a year per child for 20 or more subscriptions

A sample is available at the bottom of the Parents page. This sample is about Coral Reefs.Here you can also see a schedule of the topics for the current 2010-2011 academic year.

The order page can be printed to do a mail in order and you can find a sample there as well.

Printable Coloring books are also available on their website. Additionally, you can find several interactive units for Levels A-D or grades 1-4. These are a lot of fun, also.

Science Weekly is a bimonthly student newspaper which focuses on science topics.  Its format is an 11x17 sheet of paper folded in half so there are 4 8X10 sides of information. There are 6 student levels to choose from - Kindergarten to 6th grade. Each level is on the same topic so you can teach the same thing to multiple students at different ages at the same time.  There is a separate paper of teaching notes with general information about the topic and specific details for each level. Science Weekly covers topics in the areas of Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science and Technology.

It appears that there is a hostess character entitled Science who appears throughout the folder and shares tidbits about the topic.

The subject of the sample issue I received is the Flu. The first page describes what the flu is, how it multiples, spreads and flue symptoms.  It also discusses how the human immune system works and what flu shots do.  There are a number of vocabulary words and these are highlighted in red and some of them also have phonetic pronunciations.

The next page features a fill in the blank exercise using some of the words highlighted on the first page.  There is a word bank to choose from. Next is a math problem with the goal of determining how many students in a class got the flu.

The third page features a science lab activity and directions for writing up a lab report. The back page has a matching  or sequencing activity. The bottom part of the page is for writing a riddle about the flu or practical application of the concepts taught.

The 3rd grade and higher levels feature small boxes throughout the folder with the heading "Did you Know?" In these you find little tidbits of information which add to the subject, but don't really fit into the written text. This description best fits the 3rd, 4th, and 5-6th grade editions.

For the younger levels(pre A and A) the front cover features a large picture with a small box of vocabulary words and 4 lines to read.  Inside you find key words to trace, a math activity focusing on handwashing for 30 seconds, a scince lab, and writing a single sentence or talking about the flu.  The back page has a matching/sequencing activity, and drawing a picture about handwashing or answering questions about having the flu.

The teaching notes are in the same format as the student papers and feature information for all the levels.  First it features general background information about the topic. Then there is specific information for each of the levels.  There are introductory and followup questions for Levels Pre A-B and then specific directions for each of the activities found in the individual level papers.  There is a second set of introductory and follow up questions for Levels C-E.  After these follow specific information for the individual levels.  The teaching notes conclude with an additional resources section of several books and websites.

How We Used Science Weekly

I used Science Weekly with both my son and daughter together.  My daughter used level D which is listed for 4th grade, where she fits age wise.  However, I gave my son who is 6 and 1st grade age level B which is designated for 2nd grade.  I knew from looking at the levels that the 1st grade issue was way below his skill level. 

I combined both levels of introductory questions as they are very similar and let both of them answer them.  I followed the same pattern with the Follow Up questions.  However, we did the follow up questions on a different day as we did not have time to finish all of the material on one day.  I used the questions to refresh their memory on the topic before we did the lab exercise from the higher level.

Both of them read the information on the front page aloud to the other two people and then we discussed it.  They independently did the vocabulary section in their papers.  The math activity in both was designed to determine how many students in a classroom got the flu if one in five were sick.  Since this would have been impossible to do with only two students I gave them a number.  Then they had to draw tally marks for that number and circle one of each set.  This was to show how many got sick.  Then they filled in the blank to show how many out of how many got the flu.

The lab experiments in the two levels were different so we completed each one.  Both of the experiments were pretty simple to carry out and used common materials found at home.  (I did have to go hunting for my water spray bottle!)  The spray bottle was used to spray colored water to demonstrate how germs are spread with a sneeze.  The other used coffee filters to explain how viruses can or can't get through and infect a cell.  Thankfully my hubby drinks coffee, so I had filters available.  This experiment directed the student to fill out a lab report.  We did not do this aspect of the lab as my daughter is a reluctant writer and doing something so opened ended as this would have caused a great deal of angst.

The 4th grade level folders matching activity involved putting viruses with distinct borders with the cells that had borders where the virus borders would fit. The goal was to show that specific viruses target specific cells.  Like putting puzzle pieces together. My daughter found this incredibly easy.The final activity was to write a riddle about the flu.  She spent some time thinking about this because she said it was not easy to come up with right away.  I gave her a short time to think, but then moved on to other things.

The back page of the 2nd grade level featured a sequencing activity involving 3 pictures to number in the correct order showing how someone can catch the flu from a sneeze.  Below the pictures is a place to write a title for the story. The concluding activity teaches the student to wash their hands for 30 seconds by singing through the alphabet song twice.

Both of my children really like science and enjoyed Science Weekly.  I would consider purchasing it as a supplement to our Science program, but at a higher level than is suggested for my son as he is capable of handling the information presented in a more in depth manner. As we already do science together I appreciate the different levels of activities, it is one less thing I need to pull together on my own.  The only thing holding me back is the cost;  $40 is not bad for a whole year, but as a supplement it is steep for my budget.

Read what other members of the TOS Crew had to saying about Science weekly at the Crew Blog.

Disclaimer: I received a free issue of Science Weekly to use to write this review.  All opinions expressed here are solely my own.  I did not receive any other compensation.


  1. I agree the cost was a lot for a supplement. I did think about trying to get together 2o kids in order to get the classroom rate (they don't have to all be at the same level), but I'm not sure I'm up for the challenge of finding takers, collecting monies, and then distributing newsletters - we'll have to see... maybe.

  2. Hi
    You asked how I was able to post the SW jpg files larger and not be blurry... well I right clicked on them from their website and did a 'save as' on my desktop, then I was able to import them and adjust the size. I found they are blurry if I get them from the photobucket account. Thanks for dropping by!