Monthly Archives: June 2016

Recommended Summer Read: The View from Saturday

viewfromsaturdayI have a well-honed love for children’s literature. Due to a rather hectic work schedule, my reading time has a tendency to be compressed into a tiny skillet of 37 minutes before bedtime. Reading a book marketed for kids, generally a compact piece of writing, always makes for a satisfying end to my day. Children’s novels have a way of reminding you of the absolute joy of youth and how those years greatly shaped your perspective on life. And, inevitably, they have me reaching for tissues and rampant nostalgia.

I’ve had a copy of The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg for many years now, but have never given myself a chance to read it. Having received it for a long-ago birthday, I regrettably shelved it a week later and promptly forgot about its existence.

But after returning home for Christmas, I was rifling through my bookshelves in a sad attempt to clean my room (still on the to-do list), and came across my pristine copy of E.L. Konigsburg’s masterpiece – the cover still a freshly pressed robin-egg-blue, four cups of lemon tea still pictured on the front, a shiny Newbery Medal medallion still prominently featured.

I flipped to the back cover and read the following:

“Their victory was so profound that the sixth-grade math teacher, Mrs. Sharkey, confided to the music teacher, Ms. Masolino, that for the first time in the history of Epiphany Middle School there was a chance-just a possibility, mind you-that a sixth-grade team might beat the seventh grade.”

The charm was immediate. The book screamed, I’m a piece of art. Choose me. Read me. Love me.

Always being one to listen to the pleas of inanimate objects, I dropped the book into my backpack for my flight back.

Am I ever glad I did.


The View from Saturday centers around five characters – a sixth-grade teacher and her four students (dubbed “The Souls”), who eventually go on to compete in the Academic Bowl, a state championship typically won by eighth-grade students. Konigsburg’s novel is doled out in flashbacks from the four students, their separate narratives interspersed with the team’s journey to the final championship round of the Academic Bowl.

Here’s a sketching of our characters:

  • Mrs. Olinski: A sixth-grade teacher at Epiphany Middle School, still recovering emotionally from an automobile accident that left her widowed and in a wheelchair. She is responsible for selecting the four students for her team in the Academic Bowl.
  • “The Souls” (who each narrate their own chapter)
    • Noah Gershom (Noah Writes a B & B Letter): Intelligent, confident, and incredibly fond of calligraphy. A natural leader who ends up playing an important role at a wedding.
    • Nadia Diamondstein (Nadia Tells of Turtle Love): Still reeling from her parent’s divorce and feeling a keen sense of abandonment. Also the red-headed owner of Ginger, a clever mixed-breed canine. (Bonus: Baby sea turtles figure into Nadia’s storyline in the best way possible.)
    • Ethan Potter (Ethan Explains the B and B Inn): A lonely boy who dreams of working in a New York theatre and has a sense for a good joke. Often suffers relentless comparisons to his older brother.
    • Julian Singh (Julian Narrates When Ginger Played Annie’s Sandy): A brand-new student at Epiphany whose parents have recently opened a bed and breakfast inn. Has a refined British accent and is often teased, but is always composed and tender-hearted. Also has the “chops” for magic.

Writing one character with a distinct voice is difficult enough. Writing five nuanced characters, and giving each ample time to develop a strong narrative, is more than a challenge – it’s Mount Everest without oxygen.

Konigsburg knocks it out of the park.

Each character is forced to undergo their own transformative process, to face the demons of their past and emerge stronger. The View from Saturday is extraordinary because it is not simply the tale of one character’s self-discovery – it is the intricate and seamlessly woven story of five individuals learning about the strengthening power of friendship.

It’s not the easiest story to read. While being marketed for children ages 8 and up, the complexity and layered texture of the story would probably be best grasped by students grades 6 and up. But for a keen young reader, this novel is more than worth the time and effort. A balanced puzzle of stories, Konigsburg has crafted a novel that begs to be read again and again and again.

And that’s no small feat.

It took me over seven years to finally get my act together, and read The View from Saturday. If you have yet to read Konigsburg’s novel, please do not make my youthful mistake. Learn from my tale of woe. Pick up a copy today – tomorrow! This week. And enjoy.

I promise – it’ll be worth your time.


Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 5.55.13 PMDedicatedTeacher.com sells literature guides for The View from Saturday, click here to see what’s available


Monika_avatarThis Recommended Read is brought to you by Monika Davies.  Monika is a university graduate who studied the art of creative writing and heralds from a family of educators. She writes many of our Recommended Reads and hopes to one day teach creative writing. Despite having traveled to 16 different countries, she remains geographically challenged and still lacks the ability to make heads or tails of a map (much to her mother’s dismay).

 

 

Carson Dellosa: Battling Summer Loss

SummerLossCSD

Across the United States and Canada, school districts and teachers have been wroking to deal with ‘Summer Loss’.  Some school districts are moving to year round schedules to cope while others adapt summer programs and activities.

As a parent, I must admit that in the past I had not taken this issue as seriously as I should have.  I encourage my children to read and explore instead of sitting in front of the tv or computer all day.  Yet was there still more that could be done?  Guiding learning opportunities in daily tasks and when we’ve traveled for vacation.

Thankfully, our friends at Carson Dellosa take this issue very seriously.  They researched the issues and how best to assist parents and teachers.  They came up with materials that are some of our best-selling products to date!  Let’s take a look at that statics show:

You can see more of this information with the Infographic created and provided by Carson Dellosa.  Let’s take a look at some of their helpful suggestions provided on this infographic.

Seven Simple Steps to Encourage Summer Learning
  1. Use your resources!  Contact your local library or museum to see wha summer programs or events they have scheduled. Then, check out www.ed.gov to find lots of resources the Department of Education recommends.
  2. Read!  There are tons of reading lists available online.  Create your own incentive program at home and work through the list with your kids, rewarding them for milestones along the way!
  3. Employ “stealth learning”! Find learning opportunities in everyday activities, from cooking together in the kitchen to having children practice spelling and writing with to-do or grocery lists.
  4. Going on Vacation?  Have your children help with online research, calculating driving time and gas mileage or creating a vacation budget.  This way math and critical thinking are applied to fun! *Search out historical sites and read about these places, discovering with your kids how and why this sites are important!
  5. Summer Savings are cool!  For children with a summer allowance, help them create a budget to save up for something they want.  They’ll love to watch their saving grow and get match reinforcement all summer long.
  6. Reinvent writing! Make writing practice fun with a pen pal, writing movie or book reviews letter to soldiers, a play, creating comic books, documenting a family story, photo captions, etc.
  7. Take advantage of free activities and lessons provided by educational publishers such as Carson Dellosa!  Click here to see what they have available!

Carson Dellosa is committed to assisting both teachers and parents cope with this issue without overloading students/children with homework or summer school!

For fun they created a video where they recorded children’s reactions to the idea of staying inside and do homework.. all day, ALL summer!

Carson Dellosa has developed three series of resources to both give children the freedom to explore and enjoy the summer yet provide opportunity to keep their minds engaged, sharp and open to learning.  We here an DedicatedTeacher.com are committed to bringing these resources to you and  making them available when you need them.

Take a look at what they have available.

 

Summer Splash & Summer Splash Travel

summersplashSummer Splash combines learning and fun to boost brainpower with games, activities, and creative expression opportunities. The Summer Splash Learning Activities workbooks are ideal for the summer months and will keep your child active and learning, whether at home or on the go.

Summer Bridge Activities®

SummerBridge

Prepare your child for the school year ahead with our award-winning Summer Bridge Activities®. Each grade-appropriate workbook is designed to review essential skills of the current grade and prepare your child for the next grade level.

Spectrum®

SpectrumSpectrum® subject- and grade-specific workbooks are perfect for in-depth summer review, or to engage and challenge your advanced student throughout the summer months. These workbooks are also great for children who are working toward mastery of a particular subject-specific concept.

Be sure to check out all these titles here at Dedicated Teacher and make learning fun this summer!

*We wish to thank Carson Dellosa Publishing Group for giving permission to use their videos, media and product information!  DedicatedTeacher.com does NOT own any of these materials.

New Products -May 2016

New-Products-May

As schools are winding down the 2015-16 school year, many of our publisher are just raving up for a busy fall.  So our list of new products is not as large this month.  Though they are not many in number they are top quality!

Chalkboard Publishing – 7 new titles

Chalkboard Publishing has been working hard to add new titles to their selection in our eStore.  This past month they added to their new product lineup by offering all in French as well as English.  Be sure to check out these titles now available in our eStore.

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Gallopade International – 6 new titles

Gallopade released some great new titles just in time for the summer vacation season. Titles about various National Parks, Yellowstone, Washington DC and the Grand Canyon!  Be sure to check out these titles before you hit the road.

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Arbordale Publishing  – 6 new titles

Arbordale specializes in nonfiction titles available in both English and other languages.  Their titles offer topical study while making the process entertaining and engaging.  Be sure to have a look at all the new titles available right now in our eStore.

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Carson Dellosa Publishing – 1 new title & many new updates

Carson Dellosa has been producing best selling curriculum to help prevent summer loss in students across the country and the globe.  This month Carson Dellosa added a title to their Summer Bridge series.  Be sure to take a look and see what this educational resource can do for your students!SummerBridge


*Be sure to keep an eye on our Weekly sales as many of these new products will be featured and discounted through May.

Check out all these products now available here at DedicatedTeacher.com

Top Trending Products -May 2016

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These are the top-trending titles for May 2016

1. Mastering the Standards series(Grades K-12)
hspam106eby Hayes School Publishing

Help students do their best on standardized tests in mathematics by familiarizing them with the formats and skills they will need for success. The problems developed for this series are based on standards from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and state standards from across the nation. Each book includes practice pages on Numbers/Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data Analysis/Probability.
Our Price: $5.65

2. 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: $25.64


3. Mathematics: Drill and Practice, series (Gr 1-6)
hspa281rby Hayes School Publishing

Skill and problem solving activities with equal emphasis on skill and concept development. Ideal supplement for any current text. Number sequences, addition, subtraction, problem solving, rounding, place value, money, units of measurement, multiplying, dividing, shapes and more.
Our price: $5.65


4. Daily Science (Canadian), series (Grades 1-6)
chk13000by Chalkboard Publishing

This must have resource provides students with meaningful activities to reinforce their understanding of important science concepts including life systems, structures and mechanisms, earth and space as well as matter and energy.Pages are ready-to-go and reproducible and include reading projects, hands on learning, teacher tips and rubric.
Our Price: $15.19


5. Spectrum Math, series (Grades 1-8)
csd704568ebby Carson-Dellosa Publishing

Reinforce your child’s third-grade skills with Spectrum Math. With the progressive lessons in this workbook, your child will strengthen skills that include addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, comparing fractions, and presenting data. The best-selling Spectrum® Math workbook series provides quality educational activities that build the skills your child needs for math achievement and success.
Our price: $7.59


6. Daily Math (US Edition), series (Grades 1-8)
chk2005by Chalkboard Publishing

Aligned to Common Core State Standards! “Daily Math Practice” from Chalkboard Publishing is a terrific addition to your classroom. Each eBook contains a wide variety of reproducible activities for each day of the week. Each daily set of activities focuses on a specific math strand, including measurement, data management, algebra, number sense, geometry, number and operations in base ten, operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in fractions, and measurement and data. Also includes an answer key for teachers. Available for immediate download. Canadian Edition also available
Our Price: $15.19


7. Math Clues: Whole-Number Operations, series (Grades 3-6)
edi121804by Educational Impressions

The Math Clues Series helps students gain a clear understanding of basic mathematical concepts. The relationship of one concept to another is demonstrated throughout the series. The language of mathematics is precise and the skill of each concept is fully developed with lessons, practice, and motivating story problems. Each book is divided into three sections. 

Our price: $15.15


8. DedicatedTeacher Gift Certificates (Grades K-12, Staff)
tkq0010giftby DedicatedTeacher.com

Our gift certificates are available in a variety of denominations from $5 to $100. Treat yourself or a friend – simply put the gift certificate in your cart like you would any other product in our eStore. After checking out, you have two choices for your gift certificate: (i) e-mail it to a friend or colleague as a gift; or (ii) activate the gift certificate in your own account.
Our price: $5-$100


9. Student Workbook/Study Guide: The Book Thief (Grades 7-12)
bmig1026by BMI Educational Services

This Student Workbook/Study Guide consists of a variety of reproducible literary activities, such as vocabulary games and worksheets, in anticipation of state standardized tests. This collection of exercises will help amplify students’ analytical aptitude and critical thinking skills, and are easily incorporated into your pre-existing lesson plans.
Standard Edition: $16.10 Enhanced Edition: $20.85


10. Common Core 4 Today, series (Grades K-5)
csd104591ebby  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 second 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.
Our price:$9.49


Honorable Mention:

Study Guide: Chocolate Fever
by 
Learning Links/Novel-Ties
Standard Edition: $16.10 Enhanced Edition: $20.85

Congratulations to publishers who have new titles to appear in our top trending titles list!