Monthly Archives: July 2016

Beginnings: Back to School

From the Vault:  Beginnings: Back to School, a student’s point of view

monika_postDear Readers,

Introductions are complex proceedings, and I tend to bumble them – so allow me to merely introduce myself with three pertinent facts:
1) My name is: “Student in training”
2) I have this dream of finally wearing a pair of glasses (my eye doctor tells me I still have 20/20 vision, much to my everlasting sadness), and teaching students the intricacies of creative writing.
3) I am soon to be a university student with a major in creative writing – and I start school in about a 3 weeks. (Cue the physical and emotional panic!)

The best and worst of times
Ever since I was old enough to independently make my way to a school door, laden with a sturdy green backpack, my emotions toward the advent of a new school year have been turbulent, to say the least. Young and old incarnations of myself have always experienced severe mood swings in regards to the first day of school, and inevitably, on that illustrious day, I run the entire gamut of human emotion.

“I am terrified. I am hopeful, ecstatic! I feel mired in quicksand. I am a positive individual!”

Slightly older, dubiously wiser
This year marks my entry into a brand-new educational program. I like to think that I may have reached that mature stage of life where I will be able to forgo any anxieties I may have – but if I’m to capsulate my emotions right now, frankly, I would have to say I’m a jitterbug of nerves.

To put it quite simplistically, the first day of school represents a fresh beginning. As any new beginning can attest to, there is always a great deal of uncertainty when we’re on the cusp of new territory, and human nature dictates that uncertainty is followed by an understandable amount of worry.

At the risk of veering into philosophical sentimentality, it is worthwhile to point out (to my petrified inner child) that new beginnings are fundamental to our existence, to ensure our lives do not merely devolve into regression. And isn’t it an intriguing quirk of life that we are given this chance to start anew every fall for almost the entire first fifth of our life? For educators of course, this is a life reality – one they handle with a confidence and grace I can only hope to vaguely emulate one day.

Here’s to you, Educators.
With this new school year, a whole host of students, including myself, look forward to meeting teachers who will undoubtedly encourage our dreams, nurture our burgeoning interests, and help us reach goals that once seemed unattainable. To the educators who will meet a brand-new set of faces this coming school year – I raise my cup of coffee to you in complete admiration and gratitude. Thank you!

So as I sharpen my pencils (old habit!) and contemplate the visage of an abominably clean backpack (an optical illusion?), I want to wish you, whether you be a student or an educator, a fantastic beginning to your school year. May your first days be filled to the brim with cheerful introductions and hopeful grins.

Visit a Literary Landscape


I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have travelled a fair amount since my mid-teens, and this has led me to a number of “literary landscapes” – destinations that either inspired an author in his or her creation of a setting or, in some cases, destinations created by tourist agencies to reflect the author’s vision (which, while money-grubbing, can be equally magical).

Here are a few of my favorite “literary landscapes” and a couple of resources to help you introduce these settings to your students. (A smidge of travel advice slipped in as well.) Continue reading Visit a Literary Landscape

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Top Trending Products -June 2016


These are the top-trending titles for June 2016

1. 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

 2. Improving Comprehension and Reading Fluency (Grades 2-4)
rem0173aby Remedia Publications

Simple sentences and short, easy-to-read paragraphs are paired with compelling illustrations for a strong picture-text correspondence. Age-appropriate topics and a controlled vocabulary motivate students and help ensure success.

Standard Edition: $12.34 Enhanced Edition: $17.09

3. 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

4. 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

5. Ralph Masiello’s Drawing Books, series (Grades 1-4)
cbp9781607341079by Charlesbridge Publishing

Fans of Ralph Masiello’s illustrations in many of his alphabet books can finally draw creepy creatures, robots, dinosaurs, fairies and more . Kids will learn from the master in this step-by-step drawing guide made especially for children.

Our price: $6.64

6. Complete Book of Math Reproducibles, series (Grades 1-6)
emp5090by Milliken Publishing

This activity book of over 110 ready-to-use, reproducible pencil-to-paper worksheets are ideal for enrichment or for use as reinforcement. Perfect for use at school or as homework, they feature basic math skills including fractions, decimals, measurement, time, money, and much more.

Standard Edition: $11.35 Enhanced Edition: $14.20

7. 12 Fabulously Funny Fairy Tale Plays (Grades 2-4)
sch0439153891by Scholastic

Humorous takes on favorite tales that boost reading skills, build fluency and keep your class chuckling with lots of read-aloud fun. Stories such as: Spiderella, The Emperor’s New Hair, Three Little Elephants, Rafunzel, Little Late Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bullfrogs, Slurpy Beauty and more.

Standard Edition: $11.39
Enhanced Edition: $16.14

8. Creating a Google Apps Classroom(Grades K-12)
sed51312by Shell Education

Cook up amazing recipes with this engaging, resourceful Google™ cookbook! Great for both the beginning and seasoned Google-using teacher, this resource is the perfect tool to help guide teachers using, or preparing to use, Google Apps for Education™. This resource will help you feel comfortable using Google Apps™ in no time. Helpful icons, easy-to-follow instructions, screen shots, and websites are also provided throughout for ease of use.
Our price: $18.99

9. Westward Expansion and Migration (Grades 5-12)
csd404138ebby Carson-Dellosa Publishing

Designed for middle-school history curriculum, independent study, or tutorial aid, the American History series provides challenging activities that enable students to explore history, geography, and social studies. Activities include critical thinking, writing, technology, and more. Vocabulary words, time lines, maps, and reading lists are also provided. Meets NCSS standards and is correlated to state, national and Canadian provincial standards.  From the American History series, be sure to have all look at all the titles in this series.
Our Price: $13.29

10. Readers’ Theater (Enhanced eBook), series (Grades 1-6)
emc3306iby Evan-Moor Educational Publishers

Readers’ Theater helps students practice reading orally with fluency and expression. Each Readers’ Theater book contains fifteen complete scripts that provide all the fun and interest of full-scale dramatic productions.

This enhanced eBook gives you the freedom to copy and paste the content of each page into the format that fits your needs. You can post lessons on your class website, make student copies, and more.
Our price: $18.04

New Products in June 2016


Summer has brought some extreme heats for us here in the west.  Our publishers have been staying cool inside by developing many new products that will be essential teaching resources for you in your classroom.

Gallopade International – 50 new titles

Gallopade released 50 new titles, one for every state in the Union.  Exploring each state through Project-Based Leaning includes 50 well-thought-out projects designed for grades 3-5. In assigning your students projects that dig into the state’s geography, history, government, economy, current events, and famous people, you will deepen their appreciation and understanding of Michigan while simultaneously improving their analytical skills and ability to recognize patterns and big-picture themes.


S&S Learning   – 35 new titles

S&S Learning specializes in topical studies, with a wide range of topics to choose from. This new series of titles all deal with technology, such as all forms of media.  Be sure to check out these new titles and expand your students learning experience.






Teacher Created Resources– 14 new titles

Teacher Created Resources released two new series this past month.  Literacy Power and Real-World Math Problem Solving.  Tackling two major subjects in your classroom, Literacy and Math.






Charlesbridge Publishing – 11 new titles

Charlesbridge is well known for their educational resources that promote learning and reading skills. They also have a wide range of “how to” books that will assist your students in hands on learning.  This past month they added new titles that cover such topics as Swimming, Fine Art, Music, Crayons, Birds, Beetles, Airplanes and more!





Carson Dellosa Publishing – 10 new titles

Carson Dellosa released two new series this past month.  Just in time for the Back to School season.  School Day Skills (Grades PK-2 ) provides engaging practice with essential concepts such as grammar, vocabulary, addition, subtraction, place value, telling time, and more. The second series, Classroom Data Tracking  (Grades K-5) are customizable resource that will transform how you track data and set goals in your classroom.


*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

Top Publishers for Q2

Top Pubs Q2

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

1. Carson-Dellosa Publishing —Top Selling Titles

2. Scholastic Top Selling Titles

3. Teacher Created Resources Top Selling Titles

4. Evan Moor Educational Publishers Top Selling Titles

5. BMI Educational Services Top Selling Titles *Also check these titles distributed by BMI.

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

7. Milliken Publishing  — Top Selling Titles *Owned by Lorenz Educational Press, which also distributes Teaching & Learning Co. products.

8. Chalkboard PublishingTop Selling Titles

9. Prestwick House —Top Selling Titles

10. Shell Education Top Selling Titles

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