Category Archives: Featured Publishers

The Case for Keeping Handwriting Practice in Our Schools

provided by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
written by: Theresa Wooler

handwriting-blogIs handwriting here to stay? With our increased use of technology and day-to-day texting, typing, and tweeting, it’s no surprise that handwriting is suffering and may seem like a “lost art.” I see it in my own deteriorating handwriting and my children’s hybrid mix of print and cursive writing.

However, the scientific and psychological research supporting handwriting provides evidence that handwriting should be an integral part of the curriculum from preschool through high school.

Of the many reasons to keep handwriting instruction, here are two that I find most interesting:

1. Learning to write by hand is connected to reading acquisition–while typing and even tracing are not.

Research shows that teaching young children to write letters activates part of the brain that becomes crucial to reading. The act of shaping and forming letters develops successful phonological processing in early emergent readers and writers:

“The emerging consensus is that the motor experience of manually creating letterforms helps children discriminate the essential properties of each letter, which leads to more accurate representations, bolstering both skilled letter recognition and later reading fluency.” For more information see this article: “Neuroimaging correlates of handwriting quality as children learn to read and write.”

Another study, “The influence of writing practice on letter recognition in preschool children,” compared the differences between handwriting and typing for children 3 to 5 years old. The results showed that handwriting training contributed to the visual recognition of letters more effectively than typing training, among the older children in the test group.

2. Handwriting helps the brain process information.

Taking notes by hand has proven to help students better absorb and retain information in comparison to typing on a keyboard. In a white paper from the educational summit, Handwriting in the 21st Century?, Dr. Virginia Berninger of the University of Washington reported that “after studying students in Grades 2, 4, and 6, those who used handwriting wrote more words, wrote words faster, and expressed more ideas than those who used keyboarding.”

In recent studies by two psychologists, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of UCLA, college students who took notes by hand performed better than those who took notes on a laptop:

“In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand. We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.”

How to Keep Handwriting Alive

In her commentary entitled “Educating Students in the Computer Age to Be Multilingual By Hand,” Dr. Virginia Berninger offers this strategy to incorporate handwriting in the busy school day: “One effective, research-supported strategy is to teach handwriting at the beginning of lessons as “warm-up,” just as athletes do warm-up exercises before a game and musicians do warm-up exercises before a concert. The warm-up is then followed by spelling and composing instructional activities. Handwriting instruction does not have to take up valuable time for meeting other Common Core standards.”

dhp-book-cover2If you’re looking to improve your own handwriting (like I am!) or add handwriting instruction to your lesson plan, Evan-Moor’s Daily Handwriting Practice is a solution. Daily exercises in small doses help to practice and improve handwriting skills.

Handwriting, printing, and keyboarding all have their place in school and in preparing students for college and careers in the 21st Century. After all, Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs was a talented calligrapher!

Evan-Moor Educational Publishers has over 200 product specifically geared toward helping your students improve their handwriting skills.  Be sure to check out all their resources on this topic.

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Evan-Moor Contributing Writer:
Theresa Wooler has more than 10 years’ experience in K–6 classrooms as a parent volunteer, has taught high school English, and is currently involved in education through Evan-Moor’s marketing communications team.

Special thanks to Evan-Moor and Theresa Wooler for giving us permission to share this educational article with DedicatedTeacher.com.  See this article on Evan-Moor’s blog here.

Meet Spanish Verb Chart

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Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 7.48.56 PMWhen it comes to learning a language, it’s rarely the vocabulary that gives people trouble. More often than not, the trickiest parts of speech are the verb conjugations,and Spanish is no different. Spanish verb conjugations can be very intimidating for both those students new to the language and furthermore to native speakers.

There are plenty of tools available that can help you on your journey to becoming a speaker of the Spanish language: Spanish-English dictionaries, textbooks, games, flashcards, worksheets, and online conjugation websites. An easier and more comprehensive tool is the eChart published by SpanishVerbChart. The eChart is an easy to access electronic book which displays a comprehensive 6 page Spanish verb conjugation table.This eChart is a language learning literacy and reference tool that empowers the user to quickly and correctly conjugate both regular and irregular verbs in the Spanish language highlighting the 7 basic tenses: present, preterite, imperfect, future, conditional, present subjunctive, and past subjunctive along with the 7 compound tenses: present perfect,past perfect, imperfect, future perfect, conditional perfect,present perfect subjunctive, and past perfect subjunctive.

SpanishVerbChart is like your own personal trainer getting you in shape for those conjugation drills you know will be coming your way in class tomorrow. The author is a former Advanced Placement Spanish Instructor from UCLA who devised the Chart to be a viable and comprehensive tool in preparing her students to successfully pass the national AP Spanish Language exam. For twenty years, she employed the Chart in class to empower student success in gaining Spanish literacy. So get ready to give yourself a major one-up on the rest of the class when you download the Spanish VerbChart, and you will be acing that test in no time!

Testimonials:

“When I first arrived at the University of Florida, I passed a placement test to be enrolled in advanced Spanish classes as a freshman. I had my Chart from Señora’s classroom. All the other students wanted copies, as they saw how much more I knew than them. Congratulations, Señora, on the Chart becoming an electronic app.” -Sarah Dodson

“My first year at UC Davis, I contacted Señora Smith asking her for a copy of the Chart we used in the classroom. I can’t survive without it!” -Bob Newsom

“As a native speaker, speaking Spanish is easy, but when it comes to writing it…that’s a different story. My job will pay me more, if I can not only speak but write Spanish correctly, and the iChart is helping me achieve this goal.” -Manuela Rodriguez

“I am a former student of Señora Smith who is now a Spanish teacher at a private girls school. All our students have ipad access in the classroom. Guess who is using the iChart in her classroom as a teaching tool? Muchas gracias, Señora.” -Susan Cummins

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Be sure to stop by DedicatedTeacher.com and have a look at this amazing teaching tool.

Publisher Exclusive Sale: Timesavers for Teachers

This week we are featuring:

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at the DedicatedTeacher eStore.

TimesaversForTeachers.com specializes in report card comments/end of year remarks, printable classroom forms, worksheets, spelling activities, practical teacher tools, and downloadable teacher resources that improve classroom management, saving teachers valuable time. Be well organized and a better prepared teacher by using these popular eBooks in your classroom… and have more time for other things in life.

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During this week, TimesaversforTeachers will be offering their products through the TecKnoQuest warehouse at 25% off.  Sale starts today and ends April 25th.  Be sure to tell your customers about these wonderful products!