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June 19, 2012

Table of Contents

Free Resources: ASCD's 2012 Summer Boot Camp Webinar Series
Facts On File Announces New 'Issues and Controversies in American History'  
myON reader Expands Publishers Program
Curriculum Associates and PCI Education Partner to Serve Special Education Students
Learning Resources Announces Winners of Nationwide Teacher Grant
MindConnex Learning Launches Fifth Shakespeare In Bits Title - Julius Caesar

Free Resources: ASCD's 2012 Summer Boot Camp Webinar Series

ASCD has announced the 2012 Summer Boot Camp webinar series. Assisting educators at all levels around the globe prepare for the 2012-13 school year, ASCD's free summer boot camp comprises nine informative webinars on a variety of topics that shape classrooms worldwide.

The summer boot camp webinars are presented by internationally recognized experts and run from June to September. ASCD members and nonmembers can sign up for one or all of these webinars online at The webinars offered include:


Beyond Differentiation, presented Robyn Jackson on June 20, 2012. If you are bogged down trying to plan differentiated lessons to meet the diverse needs of your students, this webinar can't be missed. During her presentation, Jackson will show participants how to efficiently create a customizable lesson plan that allows for differentiation. She will also share strategies educators can apply to tailor one lesson to meet the diverse learning needs of all the students in any classroom.


Creating a Culture of Achievement, presented by Nancy Frey and Doug Fisher on July 10, 2012. Most school improvement efforts focus on academic goals, but what makes or breaks learning communities are the intangibles-the relationships and connections that make up its culture. In this webinar, ASCD authors Nancy Frey and Doug Fisher share their experiences with leading schools that support good teaching and learning by building a culture of achievement.

Reading for Meaning: How to Build Students' Comprehension, Reasoning, and Problem-Solving Skills, presented by Harvey Silver on July 12, 2012. With the higher expectations from the Common Core State Standards, students need to do more than answer comprehension questions; they need to read for meaning, restate important ideas, draw conclusions, and defend their conclusions with evidence. In this webinar, participants will explore Reading for Meaning, a research-based strategy that motivates students to read critically and builds the reasoning and inference skills found in the best readers.

Learning Targets: Helping Students Aim for Understanding in Today's Lesson, presented by Connie M. Moss, on July 17, 2012. Based on the ASCD book by the same title, this webinar shows how learning targets help teachers create daily lessons and learning experiences that amount to something enduring and meaningful over time. Connie Moss will share examples from her extensive work in the classroom that will help participants put these game-changing elements to work for them and their students in today's lesson and every lesson.

Virtual Summer Camp: The Newest Tools on the Web to Explore for Instruction, presented by Mike Fisher on July 24, 2012. Educators looking for new web tools to engage their students should attend this presentation. During his webinar, Fisher will explore some of the exciting web tools of the moment and explain how educators can use them for instruction. In addition, he will discuss specific tasks and appropriate tool choices, as well as share helpful examples that have been implemented in real classrooms.


Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, presented by Howard Pitler on August 7, 2012. This webinar will focus on how to use technology effectively to enhance quality instruction. Based on the popular book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, this webinar will give participants ideas about how technology can invigorate lessons and increase student motivation and interaction. As an added bonus, those joining this webinar will hear a preview of what's new in the second edition of the book, scheduled for publication in the fall of 2012.

Ask Dr. Judy: How Can Resisting Immediate Gratification and Long-Term Goal Development Be Developed in Students?, presented by Judy Willis on August 14, 2012. The ability to delay immediate gratification has been correlated with students' academic performance in secondary school and has been found to be a greater predictor of academic performance than IQ. This ability varies among students, and interventions can change low-resisters into delayers. This webinar will describe ways educators can incorporate guided opportunities into existing units of instruction to strengthen the neural networks that resist immediate gratification and promote goal-directed habits in students at all grade levels.

Flipped-Mastery Learning Model: Students in Charge of Learning, Part II, presented by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams on September 12, 2012. Join the co-authors of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day as they walk through their transformation from classroom lecturers to flipped-mastery learning pioneers. During this presentation, participants will learn how a flipped class can transform today's educational climate. Bergmann and Sams will examine appropriate formative assessment systems and share specific objectives on how to use assessments to help students determine their own level of mastery. Using their own experiences, the presenters will cover the ups-and-downs of implementation, using summative assessments within school guidelines, and more.

The Teacher Evaluation Conundrum: Value-Added or Devalued Teaching?, presented by Heidi Hayes Jacobs on September 25, 2012. The controversy is raging around the role of testing in determining the quality of teaching and what it reveals about learning. Heidi Hayes Jacobs contends that the current focus on the narrowness of old style testing is actually working against the needs of 21st century learners. In this interactive session, Jacobs will raise concerns about the narrow focus of specific isolated tests in providing useful feedback for teachers and administrators. This webinar is based on Jacobs's wildly popular ASCD EDge blog post.

To learn more about the 2012 Summer Boot Camp webinar series, ASCD membership, or ASCD's other programs, products, and services, visit

Source: ASCD,

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Facts On File Announces New 'Issues and Controversies in American History'  

Infobase Learning's Facts On File has relaunched its Issues and Controversies in American History database, greatly augmenting its value for classroom use, homework assignments, and student research.

This major redesign and content enhancement significantly strengthens the database's key objective-building a deep and balanced understanding of vital topics in American history. Issues and Controversies in American History features special, enhanced topic articles, each introduced by an original, three-minute video giving essential visual context to the issue or controversy covered by the article-and bringing history to life for the YouTube generation of visual learners. These enhanced articles include additional educator support material such as an overview of the topic, learning objectives, activity handouts, and self-assessment quizzes.

Highlights of the Redesign:

  • New, specially created educator support material-All articles covered by the database now contain original instructor materials such as discussion questions and academic standards correlations.

  • Enhanced lessons with original video introductions-Select articles have been turned into enhanced lessons, each introduced by an exclusive, three-minute, iPad-friendly video that brings the issue to life in the context of its time and sparks in-class discussion. In addition, the enhanced lessons are supplemented with additional educator support material such as an overview of the topic, learning objectives, activity handouts, self-assessment quizzes, and more. Enhanced lessons cover core topics such as the Salem Witch Trials, Constitutional Convention, Secession of the Southern States, and Atomic Bombing of Japan, among many others.

  • Improved navigation-Users have more convenient browsing options with the two new drop-down indexes. The new full subject index provides a thematic approach to issues across historical periods, and the new era index groups the topics by historical period.

  • Enhanced search technologies-Search improvements include a helpful new Search Assist feature for quick access to key information, the ability to search all lessons by educational standards, an improved advanced search that allows users to limit search results by subject and era, and enhanced search results.

  • Curriculum standards correlations-Users can easily find appropriate educational material tied to Common Core, state, and national standards.

  • Special features-Three rotating articles on the home page highlight a different topic each month.

  • New dynamic citations-Dynamic citations in MLA and Chicago Manual of Style formats.

The enhanced content and new features add to the primary source documents, timelines, background articles, biographies, bibliographies and Web sites, encyclopedia content, and other rich material that have made this acclaimed database so widely used.

For ordering, pricing, or other information, please contact our Online Sales Department at 1-800-322-8755 or

Source: Infobase Learning,

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myON reader Expands Publishers Program

Capstone Digital has announced an expanded Publishers Program designed to provide students with access to more digital books throughout the year. The developer of personalized learning environments for students has added a dozen more publishers to its popular myON reader platform. Already the largest integrated library of digital books with multimedia supports, myON reader will gain new upper-level titles and books for young readers and preschool students.

Recent additions to the myON reader Publishers Program include Youth Communications, Reference Point Press, Teacher Created Materials, August House, Mikaya Press, and Rourke Publishing. These publishers join Orca, Saddleback Educational Publishing, Sylvan Dell, Bellwether Media, and others on Capstone Digital's partner roster to bring an additional 1,000 titles for schools to choose for their students. myON reader also features books from Capstone's imprints: Capstone Press, Compass Point Books, Picture Window Books, Stone Arch Books, and Heinemann-Raintree.

Each title added to the myON platform is required to go through a rigorous process to be converted into an interactive digital book. Based on age-appropriate material and through a proprietary engine, Capstone Digital publishes each digital book with the same design as its printed counterpart, along with added reading supports. All books are aligned with The Lexile Framework for Reading and feature end-of-book quizzes to assess reading comprehension.

myON reader provides online access to more than 2,500 books with multimedia supports (embedded dictionary, highlighting and audio), customized to a student's interest and reading ability as measured by The Lexile Framework for Reading. Accessible at school or home, the platform creates a collaborative reading environment where students, educators and parents work together to support student reading performance. Students also have access to a safe, social network where they can read, rate, review and recommend books to classmates.

For more information about myON reader, visit

Source: Capstone Digital,

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Curriculum Associates and PCI Education Partner to Serve Special Education Students

Curriculum Associates and PCI Education have aligned two of Curriculum Associates' leading BRIGANCE assessments with the PCI Reading Program to help special education teachers integrate developmentally appropriate reading curriculum with personalized, differentiated instruction for each student in the classroom.

The assessments in the BRIGANCE Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills II (CIBS II) Reading/ELA and CIBS II Standardized help special education teachers determine each student's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP). Assessment results can then be aligned to the systematic progression of learning within the PCI Reading Program by level and skill area.

Using the jointly created BRIGANCE • PCI Reading Program Placement Guide, teachers can optimize reading instruction and increase reading skill retention for their students by establishing reading goals and selecting appropriate lessons for instruction, in addition to monitoring student progress in key reading skills. The Placement Guide supports data-driven instruction by leveraging BRIGANCE assessment results to help educators determine a student's level for the PCI Reading Program.

The creation of a bridge product between Curriculum Associates' BRIGANCE assessments and PCI Education's PCI Reading Program is the first step in a partnership in which both companies will continue to find ways to make it easier for teachers to help students make meaningful progress.

The BRIGANCE Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills II (CIBS II) includes a Reading/ELA Inventory and a Mathematics Inventory for students at Pre-K to grade 9 levels that assess skills and strategies reflective of state and national standards. The criterion-referenced assessments provide a complete range of information on students' academic skill levels and allow teachers to accurately pinpoint a student's present level of performance. The CIBS II Standardized features reading, writing and math standardized assessments. Both the CIBS II and CIBS II Standardized help educators determine instructional goals for IEPs by identifying students' individual skill levels, while also supporting ongoing progress monitoring. For more information about the BRIGANCE family of products, visit

The PCI Reading Program is a scientifically research-based curriculum created specifically to teach students with intellectual or developmental disabilities, autism and significant learning disabilities to read. Designed as a three-level system with 62 controlled-vocabulary books, the program helps nonreaders learn to read step-by-step, first through whole-word visual discrimination and then through basic decoding using onsets and rimes. For more information about the PCI Reading Program, visit

Source: Curriculum Associates,

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Learning Resources Announces Winners of Nationwide Teacher Grant

Learning Resources has announced the winners of a nationwide teacher grant. Hosted by the online community WeAreTeachers, the grant program is designed to provide teachers with an opportunity to win portable interactive technology for their classrooms, while collaborating and sharing lesson plan strategies with educators across the country.

More than 600 educators responded to the grant that challenged: "How would you use portable interactive technology to create collaborative lessons?" After applying, they invited colleagues and friends to vote for their favorite lesson idea. All of the grant submissions are available online to provide a forum for teachers seeking new ideas and best practices for implementing technology into the classroom.
The three grand-prize winners earned 10,094 votes total, and the 612 total entries generated over 18,000 votes total. Each will receive a set of three now!Boards along with three GeoSafari Tuff Cams, a prize package valued at $2,000.
The three grand-prize winners are:
--Elizabeth Lozano, 2nd grade reading coach from Kendale Lakes Elementary School in Miami, FL, for T.I.G.E.R.S.
--Holly Hawley, pre-K/kindergarten teacher from Centennial Elementary School, in McKeesport, PA, for Caps & Hats
--Kimberly Smith, 5th grade math teacher from Victoria Magathan Elementary School in Adelanto, CA, for School in Space-VMES
Additionally, two merit-based winners selected by a panel of teachers will each receive a now!Board and GeoSafari Tuff Cam, a prize package valued at $700.
The two merit-based winners are:
--Jennifer Katrein, 5th grade English language arts teacher from Munhall Elementary School in St. Charles, IL, for Shared Storylines Extreme
--Blu Beckers, 10th grade math teacher from Warrensburg High School in Warrensburg, MO, for Mathematics World Tour

now!Board turns any flat surface into an interactive whiteboard. With its compact size and simple set up, now!Board can transform any teaching space into an interactive learning environment for students within minutes. The portable technology works in any room, and is compatible with any projector and a computer. In addition to being flexible and versatile, now!Board is an affordable alternative to an installed interactive whiteboard.

With the GeoSafari Tuff Cam, students can safely and easily shoot their own video footage using a durable, kid-tested camera. Featuring a tough, rubber casing, intuitive point and shoot trigger, and easy-view screen, the 12 MP digital video camera is ideal for kid-produced video and still images. The GeoSafari Tuff Cam is perfect for class projects, field trips and other classroom implementations across the curriculum.

For more information about the Simple Technology product line, visit

Source: Learning Resources,

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MindConnex Learning Launches Fifth Shakespeare In Bits Title - Julius Caesar

MindConnex Learning has launched "Julius Caesar" in its flagship "Shakespeare In Bits" series.

The fifth play in the series, Shakespeare In Bits: Julius Caesar is the third product launch for the company in nine months, having launched Hamlet in January 2012 and A Midsummer Night's Dream in September 2011. Its other titles include Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet.  

Shakespeare In Bits is a multimedia resource designed to enable educators and students to experience, understand and appreciate The Bard's plays in bite-sized chunks, or "bits."

Described by Common Sense Media as an "invaluable study guide brimming with supplemental material," each Shakespeare In Bits play includes:

  • The original unabridged text as The Bard intended

  • A fully animated and voiced performance, bringing the play to life

  • In-line translations for modern meanings of archaic words at a click

  • Notes and analyses to ensure a thorough understanding of the text

  • Character biographies, relationship maps, and interactive cast list

Available on iPad/iPhone, PC/Mac and online via school subscription, Shakespeare In Bits has received significant market recognition by being awarded Readers' Choice Award for best K-12 edtech product by eSchool Media, Best in eLearning by Nokia Digital Media Awards and Best Content Provider Solution by EdTech Digest.

MindConnex Learning is currently finalizing production plans for subsequent Shakespeare In Bits titles, as well as new digital product lines focused on English Language Arts subject matter areas.

The company is offering English teachers a free two-week trial of all its plays on Shakespeare In Bits Live!, the online, subscription-based version of the app series. To avail of this free trial, email: or visit:

Source: MindConnex Learning,

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