Posts made in November, 2018

New Product Review: Cengage Learning Managing Your Personal Finances

New Product Review: Cengage Learning Managing Your Personal Finances

Learning List recently reviewed Cengage Learning’s Managing Your Personal Finances, which was submitted for state adoption in Texas in response to the Texas Education Agency’s Proclamation 2019 call for high school Personal Financial Literacy products aligned to the new PFL Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Managing Your Personal Finances is a comprehensive resource to support instruction in Personal Financial Literacy courses. Materials are available in print format and include additional online components. Learning List’s review is of print resources only. Instruction addresses personal money management, career and retirement planning, saving and investment, and credit management.

Managing Your Personal Finances is organized in six units that address: (1) Managing Careers and Income, (2) Managing Credit, (3) Managing Resources, (4) Providing Financial Security, (5) Risk Management, and (6) Consumer Rights and Responsibilities. Units open with a short overview of each chapter’s content and a related “Net Link” that links students to related content on the text’s companion website. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Universal Publishing Universal Handwriting

New Product Review: Universal Publishing Universal Handwriting

Universal Publishing’s Universal Handwriting provides comprehensive handwriting products for grades K-5. Content is available in print format and includes interactive whiteboard tools (i.e., animations). This review is of print materials only. Instruction emphasizes correct letter formation and the importance of legibility. Teacher resources include corrective strategies to address handwriting problems.

Across grades, lessons use a three-stop process that includes: Model and Discuss, Practice, and Self-Evaluate. In Model, teachers model letter formation or use AlphamationPlus whiteboard animations of letter formations. Discussions center on the strokes used to form letters (e.g., undercurves) and students trace letters in the air or on their paper. During Practice, students complete related activities in their workbooks. Students identify their best work in Self-Evaluate and discuss what they did correctly and where they could improve. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Texas

New Product Review: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Texas

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Texas is a comprehensive handwriting product for students in grades K-5. Content is available in print and digital formats. Instruction emphasizes legibility and the real-world applications of handwriting. Lessons integrate content from other subject areas, including language arts and social studies. A Spanish-language version of the full K-5 product—La escritura—is also available from Zaner-Bloser. Learning List has reviewed La escritura.

At each grade level, Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Texas begins with a “Getting Started” unit that introduces handwriting concepts (e.g., stroke, spacing, posture) and program resources (e.g., QR Codes/tutorials). Getting Started includes a pretest and, where appropriate, a review of previously learned skills. The second and third units at each grade level address the formation of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and the use of letters and numbers in the writing of words, sentences, and compositions. The fourth and final unit at each grade is titled “Using What You Have Learned” and focuses on the real-world applications of handwriting. Cursive is introduced in grade 2. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Perfection Learning’s Benson Handwriting with Reading and Language Arts

New Product Review: Perfection Learning’s Benson Handwriting with Reading and Language Arts

Perfection Learning’s Benson Handwriting with Reading and Language Arts is a comprehensive handwriting product for students in grades K-5. Core content is available in print format and includes software-based and online resources. This review is of print materials only. Handwriting instruction emphasizes fluency and legibility. Students learn to print in grades K and 1, and to use cursive in grades 2 and 3. At grades 4 and 5, students apply handwriting skills in tasks related to English language arts and reading (ELAR). Learning List also reviewed Benson Escritura, the Spanish-language version of Benson Handwriting.

Benson Handwriting organizes content in grades K-3 in units that group letters based on the strokes used to form the letters. For example, in grades K and 1, the printed letters L, I, T, and F are grouped in a unit because they begin with same pencil stroke. Students transition from print to cursive in grade 2. Workbooks at grades 4 and 5 revisit handwriting basics (e.g., letter and number formation), but most instruction is delivered in lessons that address ELAR/SLAR content such as root words, subject/verb agreement, and approaches to text structure (e.g., compare/contrast). [Read more…]

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New Product Review: InterEthnic Alphabet Harbor/Harbor Friends Series

New Product Review: InterEthnic Alphabet Harbor/Harbor Friends Series

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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