Gryphon House Releases Practical Strategies for Supporting Young Learners with

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lewisville, N.C. – The latest autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research joins time-tested

teaching techniques in a new book from Gryphon House, the award-winning publisher of

early childhood teaching resources. Practical Strategies for Supporting Young Learners

with Autism Spectrum Disorder, by Tricia H. Shelton, EdD, with contributions from Mary

Renck Jalongo, PhD, will be released in September.

The book, which focuses on helping teachers who work with students ages three to eight

with ASD or pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), recognizes the individual

strengths and needs of each child and offers solutions for teachers struggling to connect

with them.

“Autism spectrum disorder is a reality in a growing number of preschool classrooms,”

said Shelton. “Our hope is that teachers can draw on our experiences and strategies and

incorporate them into their classrooms in ways that fit their students’ unique needs.”

Practical Strategies for Supporting Young Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder is

available for pre-order now.

About the AuthorsTricia H. Shelton, EdD, has been an early childhood educator for 17 years, first teaching

grades one through three and later serving as an elementary school principal. She holds

a master’s degree in education and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction. She

was a finalist for the 2014 Pennsylvania Autism Connection Temple Grandin Award.

Mary Renck Jalongo, PhD, is an internationally respected educator, author, presenter,

editor and consultant. She is the editor-in- chief of the Early Childhood Education

Journal, a position she has held since 1995. Since 2006, she has served as senior editor

of the Educating the Young Child series, published by SpringerNature. In 2015, she

retired from Indiana university of Pennsylvania after 37 years of service. She has

authored, co-authored, or edited over 20 books for various publishers including NAEYC,

Pearson, and Teachers College Press.

About Gryphon House, Inc.

Gryphon House, Inc., is an award-winning publisher of resource books for parents and

teachers of children from birth through age eight. Filled with developmentally appropriate

and easy-to- use strategies, Gryphon House books provide parents and teachers with the

tools they need to bring the joy of learning to young children. To learn more or to check

out the entire collection, visit http://www.gryphonhouse.com.

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Capstone Launches pivotEd to Deliver Teacher-Led Lessons

The new platform pairs award-winning content with more than 500 pre-built, on-demand lessons that cover science, social studies, and language arts for grades 3–6

(Minneapolis, MN) June 22, 2016 – Capstone, a leading publisher of children’s books, digital products, and services, today announced the official launch of its newest digital tool for schools, pivotEd.

pivotEd pairs Capstone’s award-winning content with more than 500 pre-built, on-demand, teacher-led lessons that cover science, social studies, and language arts for students in grades 3–6. The platform seamlessly connects educators and students in 1:1, device-agnostic, and blended-learning environments, putting teachers—not technology—in control of the lessons.

pivotEd empowers teachers to control the pace of lessons. With pivotEd, teachers can instantly lock, unlock, and deploy interactive lessons to keep students in the moment, and can also monitor students’ work in real time.

To encourage cooperative learning, pivotEd provides 13 different lesson types, including short lessons, “morning meeting”-style lessons, lessons focused on connecting content and literacy, and more. Lessons integrate literacy with content instruction and are designed to get students critically thinking about the text. Small-group activities encourage students to work together to accomplish tasks. Students can submit their responses using their devices, giving each an equal voice and an opportunity to engage in the group discussion at a level they’re comfortable with. Teachers then provide students immediate feedback via intervention and monitor lesson results without disrupting instruction.

The wide range of fiction and non-fiction books and e-books are leveled to fit individual reading levels and support Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, STEM, and state standards. All books and activities are also available in digital and PDF printable versions.

“Our goal was to create a tool that fosters 21st-century learning and the four C’s of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. The abundance of readily accessible, high-caliber, interactive lessons on pivotEd do just that,” said Matt Keller, Capstone’s chief marketing officer. “Using our robust collection of trusted Capstone content to create pivotEd’s pre-built lessons will help save teachers time in building cross-curricular lessons and give them more control over 1:1 devices in their classrooms.”

pivotEd is fully integrated with Google Classroom, and includes professional development resources to help teachers successfully implement effective digital strategies in their classrooms.

To learn more about pivotEd, visit pivotEd.com.

About Capstone

Capstone is a leading publisher of children’s books, digital solutions and services, literacy programs, and K–12 professional development resources. Capstone creates content in a variety of print, digital, and media formats for school libraries, classrooms, and at-home reading. For more information, visit MyCapstone.com.

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New Study: Teacher Prep Programs Fail to Prepare Future Preschool Teachers  in Essential Classroom Skills 

Even many “Gold Standard” programs lack essential content that many assume is being taught 

Washington, DC — A new study from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) takes a first look at the inner workings of teacher preparation programs aimed at aspiring preschool teachers, discovering major omissions in essential content and best practices.

The study, Some Assembly Required: Piecing Together the Preparation Preschool Teachers Need, examines a large sample 100 teacher prep programs located in 29 states. All but 5 of the 100 programs lead to a bachelor’s or master’s degree—considered by many states and preschool advocates to be the “gold standard” for ensuring a well prepared preschool teacher. The study scanned these programs for their coverage of a range of topics accepted by preschool experts as essential: building language, vocabulary and literacy skills; introducing math and science concepts; understanding the development of young children; and being able to create a warm and productive classroom environment.

Kate Walsh, President of NCTQ, remarked, “While states continue to invest heavily in preschool, they too often overlook the quality of those preschools, and particularly their most important ingredient: the classroom teacher. It’s no wonder that increasing funding for preschool has yielded such mixed results.”

Walsh continued, “If preschool is as crucial as so many experts believe it to be, then training for preschool teachers must be just as important. Today, that is not the case.”

Examining how teachers are trained to teach our children is vitally important,” said Todd Klunk, program officer of Education and Learning at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “When educators receive the development and training they need to deliver high-quality early learning in the classroom, they’re helping to ensure that those children are ready to succeed in life.”

Big takeaways for states:

  • In many states and programs, preschool teachers receive training alongside of teachers heading to older grades, with the result that their coursework often marginalizes the content specific to preschool years.  In a typical two-year training program, preschool content is typically either completely overlooked or may be addressed in a tiny fraction of a single course.  For example, the average program devotes 2 percent of a program’s total coursework to language development.

  • States and programs should not assume that a BA or MA degree ensures that a preschool teacher is fully prepared.  States may need to be far more explicit about essential content or no longer allow individual programs to prepare teachers for so many grades.

Highlights

On language and literacy:

  • On the plus side, more programs addressed this essential content than other areas reviewed in this study, yet the coverage was by no means universal:

    • Four in ten programs fail to address how to build young children’s language, essential for closing the achievement gap between children of different socio economic backgrounds.

    • Almost no programs (20 percent) spend time learning about and practicing a central preschool strategy:  reading books out loud.

On mathematics and science:

  • Emergent math concepts such as comparing shapes, exploring patterns, andmeasuring objects should be introduced in preschool, yet fewer than half of theprograms (40 percent) require a course that includes teaching math to preschool children.

  • Only a third of programs dedicate time to how to teach science to young children.

On classroom environment and child development:

  • Despite the alarming and escalating rate of suspensions among preschool children, teacher prep programs routinely fail to evaluate student teachers on their ability to manage a classroom of young children.

    • Only 19 percent of programs hold candidates responsible for knowing how to redirect a young child who is engaging in disruptive behavior.

  • Strong executive function is considered essential to help children develop reasoning and focus their attention, and is associated with improving reading and math skills. Yet only half of programs (48 percent) evaluate student teachers on whether they help children build executive functioning skills.

For the study, NCTQ reviewed multiple data sources, with particular emphasis on outcome measures used to evaluate what preschool candidates know and can do upon completion of their student teaching. Sources included program’s course requirements, class lecture topics, required textbooks, assignments, and student teaching evaluation instruments.  The full study as well as policy recommendations and preschool teacher resources can be accessed here.

NCTQ is grateful to the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for the funding for this work.

About the National Council on Teacher Quality
The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan research and policy group committed to modernizing the teaching profession based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. We recognize that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession’s many challenges, but the institutions with the greatest authority and influence over teachers. To that end we work to achieve fundamental changes in the policy and practices of teacher preparation programs, school districts, state governments, and teachers unions. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website,www.nctq.org.

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myON Unveils Expanded Literacy Toolkit at ISTE to Further Measure Reading with Reading

New features include expanded personalization, updated search features, and on-demand Lexile® assessments

 

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) June 22, 2016 – myON, a business unit of Capstone and leading provider of personalized literacy solutions in the K-12 marketplace, today announced new additions to its literacy toolkit and newly designed literacy environment, myON 3.3. Since its official launch in August 2015, myON v3.0 has reached more than seven million readers and has expanded its digital offering to more than 11,000 digitally enhanced titles with an extensive literacy toolkit and metrics, completing a first-of-its-kind Literacy Ecosystem.

 

myON 3.3, which will launch at ISTE 2016, is the first major upgrade to myON 3.0. The expanded literacy toolkit gives educators the freedom to create full assignments complete with book lists, writing prompts, and checklists—all within the myON platform. Students can now write essays and journal entries or use an embedded dictionary. New graphic organizers include KWL charts, Venn diagrams, and knowledge maps to help students and teachers take a deep dive into the text.

 

“Each new tool we unveil aims to focus on innovative approaches to measure reading with reading, not test scores. Our engagement tools and reporting features help educators track students reading, including when they’re reading, how much they’re reading, and how long they’re reading, creating an entirely new metric correlating Lexile growth and type of text to engagement level,” said myON’s President Todd Brekhus. “The idea to add graphic organizers comes directly from educators using myON as a complete literacy solution to improve reading and writing in one comprehensive environment.”

 

Features to be launched at ISTE 2016 include an updated version of myON apps available on iTunes and the Google Chrome Web Store, providing easy access to offline reading. Expanded search features now allow users to search for keywords and phrases. In addition, on-demand Lexile assessments guide teachers to assign specific students a Lexile benchmark quiz regardless of when the last Lexile measurement was taken. Monitoring benchmark assessments helps teachers to accurately track students’ literacy growth.

About myON

myON, a business unit of Capstone, has created a personalized digital literacy environment that transforms learning. myON expands the classroom for teachers and students by providing unlimited access to the largest collection of more than 11,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time assessments, and a growing Literacy Toolkit that enhances the myON literacy ecosystem. myON empowers students and teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile® assessments that measure student reading and writing growth. With myON, every student experiences the benefits of personalized literacy instruction to propel them to new and unlimited learning opportunities. To learn more, visit myON.com.

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Ogment by EvoText Wins REVERE Award and is Picked as Most Innovative Supplemental Education Resource by Association of American Publishers

Ogment described as “one-stop shopping for a teacher to create all the instructional resources” needed to benefit students

BURLINGTON, Mass. – June 21, 2016 — Ogment by EvoText has been selected as the most innovative supplemental education resource in the 2016 REVERE Awards. Ogment is a curriculum creation and delivery program that simplifies the process of developing and publishing lesson plans. The REVERE Awards is a well-respected awards program hosted by the Association of American Publishers, and every year, it picks the most outstanding educational products through a competitive, juried awards program. Click to Tweet

“In the past few months, Ogment has won three BESSIE Awards, won an SIIA CODiE Award, and now a REVERE Award,” said Johanna Wetmore, who created Ogment with her team of “edu-neers” at EvoText. “I want to thank our team who worked so hard to create a program that is a true solution to a need teachers and administrators face every day. It is an honor to be part of something that will help teachers and our education system in so many ways.”

Ogment is a curriculum creation and delivery program solving a real need in education today. Writing curriculum and developing lesson plans has become increasingly more complicated than it was only a few years ago. On one hand, the Internet is a boon because of the wealth of resources and information available for teachers to use in building more relevant and engaging curriculum. On the other hand, this same wealth of resources threatens to bury teachers with the burden of selecting, organizing, and using those resources in lessons that are suitable for their classrooms and aligned to district curriculum maps.

Instructional specialist, Bryan Sandala of Palm Beach, Florida described Ogment from a teacher’s point of view. “Instead of having a textbook in one place and then some digital component here and another digital component there, Ogment is one-stop shopping for a teacher to create all the instructional resources that are going to be most beneficial to their students,” said Mr. Sandala.

Ogment gives educators a way to quickly and seamlessly integrate web content with teacher-created material in the building of multimedia lessons and curriculum. Teachers can take any content from the web including articles, videos, and images, and with one click, pull them into Ogment where they are formatted and cited with Lexile® measures and other helpful teaching information. See Ogment in action.

About Ogment
Teachers use Ogment to make lesson planning and development easier. With Ogment, teachers in K12 plan and build lessons from web content, map courses, create assessments, and monitor progress. Ogment “edu-neers” are educators, engineers and designers who have been at the forefront of educational technology for the past two decades. Ogment is a subsidiary of EvoText, LLC headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. To learn more, visit GetOgment.com.

About EvoText
EvoText is an educational software development house that develops custom eLearning solutions. EvoText’s experts have developed several of the most well-known, award-winning eLearning products for basal and supplemental publishers, schools and teachers. EvoText is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. To learn more, visit EvoText.com.

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Nureva announces Span™ 1.3 software

Plethora of new features increases ease of creating and importing content

Calgary, Alberta — June 21, 2016 — Nureva Inc., an award-winning collaboration-solutions company, announces a new release of its software for the Nureva™ Span system. Span 1.3 software, which customers receive automatically through the cloud, further enhances student collaboration in several key ways. Students have more flexibility in the type of information they can capture and more tools available to them within the Span application. It is also easier for students to use personal devices to contribute to collaborative activities. While many new functions have been added to Span software, its hallmark intuitive ease of use has been retained.

These software enhancements reflect Nureva’s commitment to rapidly and regularly deliver new functionality that enables and extends classroom collaboration activities in meaningful ways, based on educator input. For example, without exiting Span software, students can now capture screenshots from their web browsers and other applications. Canvases can now be duplicated to enable small groups to take their explorations in new directions or to serve as a template for future lessons. While Span software has always included auto-save to the cloud, students and teachers can now easily save versions of the same canvas during extended collaboration sessions, making it easy to look back at earlier iterations of their work. Students can also ink within groups to draw connections between elements. More note colors and ink colors add flexibility to enable easy grouping with powerful visual differentiation. A new text box feature allows for large-font headings and larger blocks of text, so students have more options for expressing and organizing their contributions. Collectively, these enhancements make the overall experience more intuitive and enjoyable.

“To guide our priorities for new functionality, we continue to deeply engage with educators to understand how their students work and what tools they need,” said Nancy Knowlton, Nureva’s CEO. “The new features in Span 1.3 software deliver on the priorities identified by educators as being essential to enabling student-led collaboration.”

About the Span system
Designed for use in a broad range of collaborative activities, the Span system is ideal for developing 21st-century skills including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. The system uses a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to enable collaboration on an expansive 40′ (12.19 m) digital canvas using familiar tools such as notes, sketches and images. Students capture their contributions using personal devices, either a computer or a tablet, and share them on the digital canvas in the cloud. The Span system transforms classroom walls into a 10′ 2″ or 20′ 2″ (3.10 m or 6.15 m) interactive panoramic workspace for small-group or whole-class collaboration.

Availability
In August Span 1.3 software will be available to subscribers at no additional cost.

Image
Download an image of the software in use.

About Nureva
Nureva Inc. develops education solutions that foster a joy for learning. The company focuses on delighting customers with simple, thoughtful hardware, software and services. A passion for deep customer understanding and a commitment to innovation drive the company’s product road map.
For more information, visit www.nureva.com.

 

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