New Product Review: InterEthnic Alphabet Harbor/Harbor Friends Series

New Product Review: InterEthnic Alphabet Harbor/Harbor Friends Series

Learning List has reviewed InterEthnic’s Alphabet Harbor/Harbor Friends Series is a comprehensive handwriting product for grades K-5. Content is available in print format. Grades K and 1 address printing. Grades 2-5 develop cursive writing skills. Instruction emphasizes the connection between written letters and their sounds. Letters are personified as “Harbor Friends” or “Harbor Pals” using clipart images of children and animals (e.g., Zany Z).

At each grade level, the Harbor Friends handwriting series presents content in a consumable “Student Workbook.” At grades K and 1, instruction is organized in terms of the alphabet. At grades 2-5, lessons are organized in terms of letters with the same shape in their initial strokes. For example, lower-case letters that begin with a “short swoop up” (r, s, j, and p) are taught in the same section. Across grades each letter is represented by a “Harbor Friend” or “Harbor Pal” (i.e., a clipart image of a boy, girl, or animal) and a poem that describes the letter’s formation. Where appropriate, letter sounds and letter identification are integrated with handwriting instruction. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Pearson Words Their Way: Word Study In Action Developmental Model

New Product Review: Pearson Words Their Way: Word Study In Action Developmental Model

Pearson’s Words Their Way (WTW): Word Study In Action Developmental Model is a supplemental product that supports reading and language arts instruction in grades K-5. Content is available in print and digital formats. Learning List recently reviewed WTW’s print and CD-ROM/DVD resources. The program uses the word study instructional model to teach phonics, spelling, word recognition, and vocabulary skills.

WTW organizes content in terms of five spelling stages: (1) Emergent-Early Letter Name, (2) Letter Name, (3) Within Word Patterns, (4) Syllables and Affixes, and (5) Derivational Relations.  Across stages, instruction is centered on sorting words. That is, students learn to group words according to a set of categories that facilitate comparing and contrasting. For example, students learn to sort words or pictures by concept (e.g., fruit not a fruit), sounds (e.g., beginning sounds), letter recognition, word families (e.g., mixed vowels), and roots (e.g., Greek vs. Latin). [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Learning Without Tears Handwriting Without Tears (English and Spanish)

New Product Review: Learning Without Tears Handwriting Without Tears (English and Spanish)

Learning List has reviewed Learning Without Tears’ Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) is a comprehensive handwriting product for grades K-5. Core content is available in print format. Digital teaching resources also are available. This review is of print resources only. Instruction focuses on printing skills in grades K-1 and cursive writing in grades 2-5. HWT is available in English and Spanish and includes developmentally appropriate visual, tactile, auditory, and kinesthetic activities that build handwriting skills.

Instruction is provided in 15-minute periods that fit easily into classroom routines. Content is cross-curricular and contains connections to other subject areas, particularly reading and writing. Teacher’s guides provide comprehensive guidance in teaching handwriting instruction and include detailed lesson plans. HWT’s Handwriting Interactive Teaching Tool (HITT) is available separately from the publisher and contains a variety of digital tools. [Read more…]

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