PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — Aug. 10, 2012 — Every elementary, middle, and high school administrator in attendance at the Staff Development for Educators™ (SDE) first-ever “Favorite Things” giveaway received more than $3,800 in educational products and services. A total of more than $1.5 million of SDE's Favorite Things were distributed during the administrator reception at SDE’s July 2012 National Conferences on Differentiated Instruction, Singapore Math, and I Teach K! in Las Vegas, NV.
SDE executives began by recommending seven products and services on its Favorite Things list. “To be one of SDE’s Favorite Things, the resource had to exhibit something unique and special—something innovative and remarkably helpful,” said SDE President, Terra Tarango. "All the products and services were selected by SDE because they were practical, easily applicable, relevant solutions to our customers’ current classroom concerns. There were no paid endorsements involved.” At the end of the presentation, all attendees received the seven items as gifts or comprehensive trials with deep discounts on extended use.
The items on SDE’s Favorite Things 2012 list were as follows:
— Ten-Frame Trains with Unifix Cubes from Didax Education—considered the most widely used math manipulative in the world.
— DreamBox Learning’sadaptive online learning tool for elementary-level, blended-learning math classrooms - virtual manipulatives that strengthen students’ conceptual understanding of math, and gaming protocols that keep children engaged all the way through to mastery.
— Criterion Online Writing Evaluation, a web-based essay-writing tool that uses automated scoring technology to return annotated diagnostic feedback and a holistic score to both student and teacher within seconds.
— Membership at FlinkLearning.com, where teachers can differentiate instruction via more than 3,000 online learning activities, each targeted to a specific skill and learning style. SDE took particular note of FlinkMake, an easy-to-use authoring tool that allows teachers without programming knowledge to share activities with any group of teachers within their school.
— A trial subscription to Highlights magazine, which features a variety of literacy activities that can fit easily into the school day, supplementing core reading materials and encouraging students to read independently.
— Inquire, a textbook published by Thoughtful Learning that helps students develop skills for problem solving, collaboration, presentation, analysis, and more. The book's three sections cover 21st century skills, the inquiry process, and project creation.
— Strategies for Writers, writing and grammar software from Zaner-Bloser that parallels the Common Core State Standards for writing and language, and offers a management system for creating differentiated writing and grammar assignments, multimedia teaching resources, a virtual file cabinet of teaching masters, and interactive e-books for independent work.
“We were looking for products that support our own educational philosophy and methodology―items that we believe contribute to the development of the Extraordinary Classroom,” said Tarango. “To be successful in today’s classroom, teaching and learning tools have to be engaging and relevant, and we feel that these ‘Favorite Things’ are the best of the best.” SDE plans to continue to evaluate teaching tools in order to expand the Favorite Things list and to provide exciting new tools to administrators at the 2013 national conferences.
SDE is America’s leading provider of professional development for PreK through Grade 12 educators. Each year, teachers and administrators across the country learn real-world strategies and practical, classroom-proven techniques through our seminars, conferences, on-site consulting services, and online learning program. We remain committed to providing the most up-to-date, cutting-edge topics presented by the nation’s top authors and educational experts who know what it means to teach.
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