Monthly Archives: October 2015

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.

New Feature, Around the Net: Technology reshapes education, ‘making thinking visible’

Around the Net is a new feature here on TecKnoQuest enews blog.  This new feature will bring to you interesting articled found around the net.  Articles that we feel might be of interest to educators, students and parents.  As DedicatedTeacher works hard to bring you top quality digital educational resources that rely on technology, we will share articles along that line.

Our first edition to ‘Around the Net’ is an article by Richard Asa Chicago Tribune (TNS) titled Technology reshapes education, ‘making thinking visible’  Which addresses how technology is changing the classroom.  We will include highlights from this article that we found the most interesting and then provide a link to the entire article so that you can ‘read more’.  So let’s get started.


 Technology reshapes education, ‘making thinking visible’ by Chicago Tribune

 Technology reshapes education, ‘making thinking visible’

by Richard Asa -Chicago Tribune (TNS)
September 21, 2015

Jannette Jones, dean of education at Schaumburg-based for-profit American InterContinental University, told of a time she sat in on a middle school class and a student asked the teacher a question.

She said the teacher didn’t know the answer — but on the spot posed the question to her Twitter followers. The teacher in seconds received responses from several experts in the field, Jones said.

tcr8090That’s an example of how technology is changing education forever. Other examples include increased use of iPads and management software in the classroom and programs that include 3D printers and other 3D technology. […]

“Technology in the classroom has shifted (education) to the ‘sage on the side’ approach,” Jones told Blue Sky Innovation in an email response to questions. “ The reality is that this age of information and information literacy inundates teachers and students with mass amounts of content, but much comes without context.”

Technology, she says, makes learning more “robust” and individualized, allows students to embrace creativity and offers new learning strategies.

This is not some Orwellian vision of a future. Human teachers will always be needed to guide the prudent use of technology in the classroom. But it could be a revolution, or an evolution. Either way, it’s growing, particularly in grade school. […]

csbsl550261“The fastest growing trend that I see right now, both at school and in the home, is the move toward more portable, multiuse digital devices,” said Sharman Johnston, director of curriculum and instruction for Texas-based Children’s Lighthouse Learning Centers.

“Teachers from pre-K through (high school) name laptops, iPads and electronic readers as the portable technologies with the greatest educational potential,” she said. Preschool teachers also favor digital cameras, calling them the “most valuable instructional technology tool.”

Johnston is leading the development of a proprietary curriculum known as CARES that among other themes adheres to the fact that technology must be built into a young child’s learning experience because technology has become ubiquitous and can enhance children’s real-world encounters.
sed51312Edtech specialist Holly Clark, a former Chicago Public Schools teacher, gives Illinois high marks for ensuring there is appropriate coaching for teachers new to the idea of Google apps or iPads in the classroom. CPS in mid-August conducted a “GooglePalooza” to help more than 1,000 teachers learn how to use Google Apps for Education, a free platform Clark called the best edtech tool.

Clark travels the world as part of a group of educators called EdTechTeam to help school districts and educators integrate technology into the classroom in a seamless and logical way.

Among her recent stops was School District 90 in River Forest, where she worked from 2007 to 2009 as technology curriculum specialist. While there, she said, it became clear to her that “making thinking visible,” a concept of Harvard University’s Project Zero, was going to be technology’s legacy in education.

“I began noticing that children learned best by doing, by sharing, by making their thinking visible,” she said. “I can’t help thinking how I wish I were a student now. I would have flourished in a classroom where I could be creative and my voice could be heard without getting detention.”

To read the more complete version of this article please go to the Chicago Tribune website


DedicatedTeacher.com has hundreds of resources to help you bring enhanced learning to your classroom through technology.  No need to be an expert at the gate, use the resources provided by our trusted and experienced publishers here at DedicatedTeacher.com to guide you through!

Guides to helping you enhance your classroom with technologyUsing Google Apps in the Classroom

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Interactive Whiteboards curriculum and much morecurriculm

Interactive titles that can be used on your computer, iPad or other such devicesinteractive

 

Check out these titles and much more!

Top Selling Titles- September 2015

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These are the top-selling titles for September 2015

1. Mathematics: Drill and Practice, (Grades 1-6)

hspa284rby Hayes School Publishing

Skill and problem solving activities with equal emphasis on skill and concept development. Ideal supplement for any current text. Rounding numbers, solving equations, least common multipliers, multiplying, dividing, fractions and mixed numbers, decimals, problem solving, percents, geometry, and more.

Our price: $5.65

2. Destiny Quest: A Guide for Educators (Grades 3-12)

edu0002by ED-ucation Publishing

This educator’s guide is a comprehensive tool for your classroom or learning community to help get the most out of your Destiny Quest experience. This guide includes: a simple step-by-step guide to understand the components of Destiny Quest, sample lesson plans that follow the U.S. Common Core State Standards, a complementary website complete with extension activities, printable worksheets, assessments and how-to videos.

3. Making Words , series (Grades 1-4 )

csd2608ebby Carson-Dellosa Publishing

This resource includes 50 Making Words lessons and a reproducible sheet of instructions. Supports the Four-Blocks Literacy Model.

Our price: $14.24

4. Systematic Sequential Phonics They Use for Beginning Readers of All Ages (Grades K – 5)

csd2409ebby Carson-Dellosa Publishing

Help beginning readers of any age learn phonics through Word Wall and Making Words activities! Supports the Four-Blocks Literacy Model.

Our Price: $14.24

5. Daily Math (U.S. Edition) series, Grades 1-6 (& Canadian Edition series)

chk2021by Chalkboard Publishing

Chalkboard Publishing “Daily Math” series is a great asset to any Canadian classroom! Develop and strengthen crucial math skills with consistent daily practice. This eBook contains reproducible math activities – each week day is dedicated to a specific math strand, such as measurement, geometry, number sense, patterning and algebra or data management. The “Daily Math” series is perfect for use with a small or whole group, and is also an ideal supplement when you are working individually with students.  *Also available in French.

Standard eBook – Our price: $14.24
Enhanced eBooks – Our price: $18.99

6. Maps: The World Grades 4-6

ctp2510by Creative Teaching Press

Building Skills by Exploring Maps
Maps hold the promise of an adventure. And children really want to know how to read them. At the same time, they still need a lot of practice with the basic map skills of using latitude and longitude, locating places on a grid, estimating distances using scale, using indexes, and understanding common map symbols. This series uses age-appropriate maps to provide opportunities to practice these skills. Background information at the top of each page provides either more information about a map skill or interesting facts about the subject of the map. (see all titles in this series)

Our price: $10.44

7. Sight Words Sentences: Cut and Paste (Grades K-1)

by Creative Teaching Press

Over 100 Sight Words Featured
Help beginning readers master over 100 sight words using the unique, hands-on approach in this resource. Step-by-step directions tell how to use the sight words on each reproducible to teach an entire lesson reinforcing sight word recognition, sentence structure, vocabulary development, and higher level comprehension skills.

Retail: $9.99 Our price: $9.49

8. Spelling Grade 5-6: Building the Basics

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by S & S Learning

This spelling series is based on phonics which many teachers feel is the most effective way for children to learn to spell. This book contains eighteen lessons and is thematic in its approach to spelling. It covers spelling rules, words ending with the “shun” sound, the “schwa” sound, the “chur” sound, prefixes, suffixes, compound words, silent consonants, double consonants, homophones, occupations and more.

Our price: $7.59

9. Common Core Math 4 Today, series (Grades K-5 )

csd104594ebby Carson-Dellosa Publishing

Build a foundation and focus on what matters most for math readiness with Common Core Math 4 Today: Daily Skill Practice for third grade. This 96-page comprehensive supplement contains standards-aligned reproducible activities designed to focus on critical math skills and concepts that meet the Common Core State Standards. Each page includes 16 problems to be completed during a four-day period. The exercises are arranged in a continuous spiral so that concepts are repeated weekly. An assessment for the fifth day is provided for evaluating students’ understanding of the math concepts practiced throughout the week.

Our price: $6.64

10. The One and Only Ivan: An Instructional Guide for Literature (Grades K-3)

sed40101by Shell Education

Fall in love with Ivan and his determination by completing fun, challenging activities and lessons in this instructional guide about a heartwarming story bursting with many different emotions. Readers will enjoy analyzing this Newbery Award-winning title while reveling in the life lessons they take away from it. Analyzing story elements in multiple ways, close reading and text-based vocabulary practice, and determining meaning through text-dependent questions are just a few of the many skills students will walk away with after interacting with the rigorous and appealing cross-curricular lessons and activities in this resource. Written to support the Common Core, each activity and lesson work in conjunction with the text to teach students how to analyze and comprehend rich, complex literature. This ebook is part of the Great Works series, check out all the titles here.

Our price:$16.10

Honorable Mentions:

Copper Sun: Study Guide and Student Workbook (Enhanced eBook)
by BMI Educational Services
Our Price: $20.85

Daily Reading Comprehension
by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
Standard eBook – Our Price: $28.49

New Products for September 2015

September was a busy month for all of us and many of our publishers showed they were hard at work by adding new titles to our digital warehouse.

Highlights for Children – 1000 new titles

HighlightsforChildren

Highlights for Children is one of our new publishers and we are excited to have them join our family of publishers.  They’ve added a titles for children grades K – 6 fictional stories as well as topical studies.  All new products come with both a pdf file and a mp3 audio file.  Be sure to check out all these titles.

Bellwether Media – 85 new titles

Bellwether

Bellwether Media has added several titles to their new series such as Explorers, Dog Breeds, Brands We Know, Children’s Storytellers, Cats, Extreme Sports and more.  Check out these wonderful resources that will help your students learn about topics that interest them.

Carson Dellosa – 60 new titles

Carson Dellosa

Carson Dellosa added a new series called Skill Builders, Homework Helpers.  With Math titles, Foreign Language titles, Grammar, Handwriting, Ready for school and much more.  Be sure to check these new series that will most certainly become best sellers.

Teacher Discovery – 12 new titles

Teacher discovery

Teacher Discovery is another one of our newest publishers.  They’ve added a series of titles from their Super Value series. 

Charlesbridge – 7 new titles

Charlesbridge

Charlesbridge has added new fiction titles in a variety of topics, geared toward students grades PreK – 5.  Titles that will be sure to get students reading and creating that desire to read more.

AKJ Education – 5 new titles

AKJ

AKJ Education, another one of our new publishers, added their Resource Packs for a variety of topics, such as, World War II, Revolutionary War & Civil War.

Dawn Publications – 2 new titles

Dawn

Dawn Publications added two new fictional reading titles.  Set for children in grades K – 4.

The following publishers have updated several of their titles:

Classroom Complete Press – 98 updates

Arbordale Publishing – 14 updates

Check out all these new titles and much MUCH more at DedicatedTeacher.com

Top Selling Publishers Q3 2015

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These are your favorite Dedicated Teacher Publishers for the second quarter of 2015

1. Carson-Dellosa Publishing —Top Selling Titles

2. Teacher Created Resources Top Selling Titles

3. Evan Moor Educational Publishers Top Selling Titles

4. Scholastic Top Selling Titles

5. Shell Education Top Selling Titles

6. On The Mark Press Top Selling Titles *Also check these titles from S&S Learning

7. Chalkboard Publishing Top Selling Titles

8. BMI Educational Services Top Selling Titles *Also check these titles from BMI

9. Prestwick House —Top Selling Titles

10. Creative Teaching Press Top Selling Titles

See why these publishers are YOUR favorites.  *If you click on the name, you will see their newest products.

Stay tuned for Quarter 4 lists!