Rourke Educational Media’s New Social Studies Series
Answers Educators’ Pleas for Quality Informational Texts
VERO BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 2014) –Rourke Educational Media announced today that as part of its new title list release for fall courses, it will introduce three social studies series in response to educators’ requests for quality informational texts that correlate with the Common Core State Standards.
The nonfiction series, geared at grades 3-6, features “Symbols of Freedom,” “U.S. Government and Civics,” and “United States Regions.” All texts will be available at the end of July in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats
“Social studies may not be under the same Common Core spotlight as other areas, but it has brought a greater interest from our customers stressing the need for informational texts,” said Luana Mitten, director of instructional services, Rourke Educational Media. “Traditionally, our books are ahead of the curve in the quality of the writing craft and informational text features, making them a standout choice for educators implementing CCSS. Not only do they support reading information text strategies, but they also provide valuable mentor texts for informational text writing strategies.”
As part of the new social studies series for the 2014-15 school year, Rourke Educational Media will debut a new feature – parent and teacher support on page 2 in all three formats. In addition, the texts are rich with photographs to assist students with comprehension and vocabulary development.
Here is a closer look at three social studies series:
· Symbols of Freedom. For grades 3-6, the ten-title series will explore the significance of landmarks, symbols, and iconic images. In addition, students learn about history, important leaders, and the inspiration for the symbols that represent America.
· U.S. Government and Civics. For grades 3-5, the eight-title series will shedlight on the workings of the U.S. government from the community to the federal level. Students will learn about their role in America, and how their personal involvement can improve society.
· United States Regions. For grades 3-5, the ten-title series will explore the geography, industry, agriculture, and culture that define the country’s distinct regions.
About Rourke Educational Media
Rourke Educational Media, based in Vero Beach, Fla., helps to improve student learning through digital content, traditional print publishing, and response-to-intervention learning solutions that support the Common Core, Next Generation Science, and state and national standards. A global leader in educational technology, print, and distribution, Rourke Educational Media promotes literacy/reading, science and math for the preK-12 market, and offers interactive ebooks, assessment tools, print resources and other learning resources for the classroom, library and parental involvement. For more information, visit www.RourkeEducationalMedia.com.
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ASCD Highlights Authors with Book Sets on Essential Topics
Los Angeles, CA (3/16/2014)–ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, is pleased to present three streamlined professional development book sets that highlight the work of Michael F. Opitz and Michael P. Ford; Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe; and Eric Jensen. Each set focuses on key concerns of today’s educators, including teaching students who live in poverty, engaging minds in the classroom, and teaching for understanding. The sets cover the authors’ research and framework, from creation through implementation, and provide practical ways for individual educators and Professional Learning Communities to refine their practices and help students succeed.
In addition to the instructional content offered in their books, these authors are experts on a variety of topics related to instruction, curriculum development, and professional learning. They are available to explain the research behind the development of their individual frameworks, the best practices for implementing an effective curriculum based on the books, how to reach and engage each child in the classroom, and how groups of educators can work together to integrate these resources into instruction.
Michael F. Opitz & Michael P. Ford: Engaging Minds in the Classroom Four-Book Set
Works Included: Engaging Minds in the Classroom: The Surprising Power of Joy, Engaging Minds in English Language Arts Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy, Engaging Minds in Science and Math Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy, and Engaging Minds in Social Studies Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy
Opitz and Ford’s joyful learning framework is aligned with the tenets of the Whole Child Initiative, promoting well-rounded students who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. This set explores how K–12 teachers can use research-based practices to truly engage students and to help them become joyful, confident learners. The framework is applied across individual subjects, enabling teachers to apply these lessons and strategies to motivate students in every academic area.
- In Engaging Minds in the Classroom: The Surprising Power of Joy, authors Michael Opitz and Michael Ford answer an important question: How do you motivate a classroom of bored teenagers, self-absorbed tweens, or energetic younger students to learn? This book is a much-needed resource for any teacher looking for student motivation solutions, including how to plan lessons that engage and enable students to truly enjoy learning.
- In Engaging Minds in English Language Arts Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy, Mary Jo Fresch explains that it takes more than standards and assessments to keep students attentive, thoughtful, and inquisitive about learning language arts.
- Eric Brunsell and Michelle Fleming tackle science and mathematics in Engaging Minds in Science and Math Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy. They explain that while many students may not view themselves as mathematicians or scientists, they can be engaged and motivated through a series of suggested activities aligned with standards and high expectations.
- In Engaging Minds in Social Studies Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy, James Erekson describes ways to build the joyful self-efficacy and knowledge students need for college, their careers, and civic-minded adulthood. By experiencing schoolwide elections, researching a cause, or participating in mock court cases, students learn how social studies content is applicable to real life, transforming tuned-out students into engaged and effective learners.
The authors’ research-backed strategies show teachers how to systematically propel students to enjoy using their minds every day and to view themselves as confident learners ready to take on the challenges of the world. Whether the day’s lessons cover engineering, technology, politics, environmental issues, writing, or speaking, teachers can help enthuse students about the full range of academic pursuits, developing a school full of college- and career-ready learners.
Grant Wiggins & Jay McTighe: Understanding by Design® Guide Set
Works Included: The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units and The Understanding by Design Guide to Advanced Concepts in Creating and Reviewing Units
Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design® framework (UbD™ framework) offers a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Its two key ideas focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer, and designing curriculum “backward” from those ends. This set is an essential resource for all educators, teachers of education, and professional development trainers looking to implement curriculum that will enhance student engagement.
The two-book set takes educators through a modular approach to the entire curriculum-building process, from creation through refinement and review. The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units offers instructional modules on the basic concepts and elements of UbD, the “backward design” approach used by thousands of educators to create curriculum units and assessments that focus on developing students’ understanding of important ideas. Educators may then move to The Understanding by Design Guide to Advanced Concepts in Creating and Reviewing Units, which offers instruction on how to refine the units already created and how to effectively review the units using self-assessment and peer review, along with observation and supervision.
Various downloadable resources are also included in the set, including fillable UbD templates in PDF form, additional worksheets, examples, and FAQs about the module topics. This set makes it easy for practitioners to advance their understanding of UbD and create curriculum that leads to deep, meaningful learning.
Eric Jensen: Teaching/Engaging with Poverty in Mind Two-Book Set
Works Included: Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It and Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind: Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement
Eric Jensen is a best-selling author and brain expert who conducts in-school professional development on poverty and student engagement. In these books, he explains the effects that poverty has on children’s brains and includes proven strategies educators can use to improve these students’ outlook in school and beyond. All educators who are tasked with advancing the educational outcomes for this underserved demographic will benefit from Jensen’s expertise.
In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, Jensen draws from research, experience, and real school success stories to define poverty and reveal how it affects students in school. He presents effective strategies from educators who have succeeded in driving change both at the macro level (within schools and districts) and at the micro level (inside a student’s brain). In Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind: Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement, Jensen provides solutions teachers can use to cultivate a high-energy and positive classroom environment that builds students’ capacity to focus, think critically, process content, and recall it from memory.
As a set, these books clearly identify poverty’s effects on students, and show educators how to be the solution. Both veteran and novice educators will learn how to create greater classroom excitement that spurs student motivation and effort, as well as develop students’ deep, sustained understanding of content.
To learn more about the individual authors listed here, visit www.ascd.org/authors. To learn more about ASCD’s books program or to read sample chapters from these and other publications, visit www.ascd.org/books. For more information on ASCD’s range of programs, products, and services, visitwww.ascd.org.
ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.
Integrity in Education: New Regulations on For-Profit Colleges Fail to Address Underlying Problems
Following President Obama’s announcement about new gainful employment guidelines for higher education, Sabrina Joy Stevens, Executive Director of the education advocacy group Integrity in Education, issued the following statement:
“The President’s announcement is a small step in the right direction. But in tailoring its guidelines narrowly towards a small part of the problem with for-profit education, the Administration is not only ignoring much of the fraud and abuse in the industry, but overlooking several more fundamental issues.
First and foremost: why are we allowing corporations to directly profit off of the education of students at all? Every dollar spent on education should be devoted to the learning and well being of students– to the people teaching and taking care of students, and to the technology and other resources that facilitate learning.
With millions of students struggling with debt and access to higher education, any “extra” money in our higher education system should be reinvested into student learning and scholarships, not given away to corporate executives at profit-driven institutions.
We also need to remember that a quality education is about much more than job preparation, and that our elected officials and business leaders cannot dodge their responsibility to create a fair economy by holding schools– of any kind– solely responsible for graduates’ economic well-being. However, if the Administration is concerned about gainful employment after graduation, they should not only get serious about job creation, but also look at policies and practices that actually help students develop careers. How about promoting non-profit schools that sponsor paid internships and apprenticeships, and stopping for-profit leaders from skimping on students’ experiences and pocketing the leftover money for themselves?”
ABOUT INTEGRITY IN EDUCATION
Integrity in Education is a new organization focused on restoring integrity to the education policy conversation in this country. Integrity in Education exists to shine a light on the people making education for democracy a reality, and to expose and oppose the corporate interests standing in their way. Learn more at IntegrityinEducation.org.