Online Math, Language Resources Available For Teachers

Core Learning has made available over 1.5 GB of new online math and language arts learning resources for access by teachers worldwide. The content can be accessed and subscribed to through the web portal, and is managed by the Global Grid for Learning, a Cambridge University Press company. The portal gives teachers and schools access to full lessons and other instructional materials and practice sheets on fundamental math and language arts topics.

In addition to instructional materials, the Global Grid for Learning web portal also contains images and other learning objects for classroom use by teachers. Access is provided by subscription and is based on the amount of digital content downloaded from the web portal.

New Audio Book of Original Bedtime Stories

Creator of Bedtime Stories My Kids Love, early and popular children's podcaster, Mark Linder, has reached an agreement with the newly formed PodShow Press (a division of PodShow, Inc.) to publish in both audio and print form his first book of bedtime stores named, "Bedtime Stories My Kids Love Presents: The Adventures of the Man in the Can."

The new work is a collection of stories about a character named The Man in the Can, and are from the original Bedtime Stories My Kids Love podcast. The stories follow the life of a tiny man that lives inside a soda can in a park. The stories are filled with adventure, intrigue and always a surprise ending. Author and podcaster, Mark Linder describes the new book, "The Man in the Can is one of Bedtime Stories My Kids Love most beloved characters. The tiny man always seems to find himself in impossible situations and somehow, through his ingenuity, steadfastness and the help of his animal and bird friends, always seems to find a way to persevere. This is a great bedtime story that kids will look forward to hearing as an audio series, or hearing you read to them once the book is published."

The audio version of the book can be found on the PodShow Delivery Network at or at The printed version of the book is scheduled for release later this year. The first audio book chapter of the series is available now for listening.

Indigo Finds Booklovers Reading by Example

March Break is the perfect time for parents to read by example suggests the Indigo Family Reading Survey which recently polled Canadian booklover families to discover what they do to make reading a priority for both parents and kids. Survey results showed:

- More than nine out of ten (92%) respondents with children under 12 years old read with their kids whether or not their kids are able to read on their own

- Almost two-thirds (61%) of parents read with their children daily

- More than half (52%) enjoy daily reading time at bedtime

- Nearly one quarter (22%) of booklover families indicate anytime is reading time

- One-third of families (35%) polled offer rewards or incentives to encourage reading

- "More books" is the most popular incentive enjoyed by young readers

As indicated by the Indigo Family Reading Survey, booklovers read together every day and as Steven, proud father of four adult children recalls, bedtime reading "was just what we did, we read together and it drew us close. It was a time of peace every night; it brought closure to the day and introduced all of us to adventure and to knowledge and a shared love of reading."

Indigo operates, an onlineretailer of books, music, DVDs and toys.

Surge in Students Searching Online For Local Lessons

Students and consumers are now relying upon online searches to find services in their local area, finds a recent study by comScore Networks, an Internet marketing data analyst group. It revealed that the Internet is the first place students of all ages go for information concerning lessons, classes, tutoring and other educational assistance. Will Riley, private drum tutor and founder of, says "it doesn't hold true any longer that classified ads and personal referrals can effectively spread the word about any teacher or tutor's expertise."

These latest findings uncovered that the majority of people, 66.67 percent of those surveyed, now use online search as their first source of all local business information. This fact is supported by TMP Directional Marketing (formerly Yellow Pages Online Search and Marketing), which estimates that local online search is a $1 billion market and still growing. TMP's CEO Stuart McKelvey strongly suggests that advertisers compare the allocation of offline resources with online search investments.

This study, the first of its kind, also found that only 33 percent of consumers still use printed Yellow Pages when trying to find any type of local services. Since people appear to be spending more time connected to the Internet than reading the newspaper or watching the news, Will Riley concludes, "If you want to get noticed in today's world then you must advertise where the eyeballs are ... and these days those eyeballs are on the computer screen."

The overwhelming success of Facebook and Myspace sites have re-enforced people's desire to spend an increasing amount of time online. Smart advertisers have caught on to this and are now using the Internet's scope and flexibility to attract a larger target audience.

Will Riley reminds all teachers, tutors and instructors that the Internet is an ideal vehicle for anyone who doesn't have a huge marketing budget. However, even though countless web sites offer free directory set-up for anyone wishing an Internet presence, Mr. Riley warned that majority of these sites only ever provide users with a small spot buried in between tacky advertising.

"There is more to online success than simply being mentioned on any old web site. We give teachers, tutors and instructors their own individual and professional web presence. The only visible advertising is about them, their services, their conditions and their contact information. We also train them how to get this online presence to the top of the search engine results. When that happens, so do calls from prospective students; and that's where the success really lies."

For additional information or a free copy of the report "Tips You Can Use Right Away To Attract Cash Paying Students To Your Lessons" simply visit and find out how easy it is to take advantage of the Internet to attract targeted, local students in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Issues 100,000 Book Reading Challenge is challenging its community members to read an astounding 100,000 books in one year in the 2008 100,000 Book Challenge. When the reading challenge ends on December 31, 2008, Harlequin will make an unprecedented donation of an equivalent number of books to the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL). The estimated retail value of a 100,000 book donation to the NCFL by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. is $700,000 U.S.

There are no hard and fast rules other than participants being asked to have at least 50% of their list be novels published by Harlequin. This allows readers to discover the outstanding breadth of editorial Harlequin has to offer. The other 50% of books can be any genre by any publisher. Likewise, all formats-print, eBooks, audiobooks, etc.-are acceptable, and readers are encouraged to seek them out and give them a try.

The range and diversity of Harlequin readers is not confined solely to the type of books they read or the medium in which they enjoy them. The online nature of the community illustrates the significant power of books to unite readers in a global way. Geographic boundaries have become meaningless in this venture as the challenge brings together readers from countries as varied as Germany, France and the Philippines, as well as Harlequin editors in Toronto, New York and London and Harlequin authors from around the world.

The 2008 100,000 Book Challenge is taking place right now at

Pennsylvania Teachers to Receive Free Educational Resources and Training

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has received a $100,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to train teachers to use the free educational resources available on and to raise awareness of the program within the state.

The Verizon grant, announced Monday (Feb. 11) by the PDE during the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference here, will be part of a three-year partnership with PDE and will help Pennsylvania teachers quickly gain expertise with, and access to, the online resources of is the Verizon Foundation's free, comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 educational resources, including standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and interactive tools and materials for students provided in partnership with many of the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations. offers elementary through high school teachers resources across eight academic disciplines, from science to English to mathematics, to improve student achievement. is designed to help teachers gain access to online resources quickly and requires no passwords or software downloads.

In addition to providing standards-based resources from the nation's leading educational and literacy organizations, also offers a free, robust professional development program for teachers and trainers.


Free Podcasting Guide Available to Students and Educators

PoducateMe: Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education is a comprehensive, fully illustrated guide detailing how to create and distribute podcast recordings to students through the Internet. Students and educators have a new and free online resource available to help them use podcasting in the classroom.

"PoducateMe contains the information I wish I had available to me in one resource when I first started investigating how to podcast," said Micah Ovadia, the guide's author. "I believe people interested in learning the technology will find the information I've assembled very helpful."

With more than 190 pages of searchable, step-by-step instructions, the easy-to-use guide, available now through the PoducateMe website, takes the mystery out of topics including:

* What is a podcast?
* Selecting appropriate podcasting equipment and software
* Recording, editing and polishing a podcast
* Creating an "enhanced" podcast containing links and graphics
* Uploading a podcast to the Internet
* Creating a podcast blog
* Sharing podcasts with students

The entire guide is available to read for free online at

Southern California Teachers Benefit from Grant

PreK-12 educators will be awarded $1 million in grants and scholarships through the 2008 A+ for Energy program, which recognizes innovative energy education programs in the classroom. Awardees will receive a cash grant of $5,000 or $10,000 to implement their program, a full scholarship to attend a three-day Energy Educator Training Conference, and a Science of Energy kit and other classroom materials valued at $500.

BP, a global energy provider, sponsors this unique program, which provides teachers with the resources and tools required to deliver creative projects that excite and educate students about energy and energy conservation. 2008 A+ for Energy winners will join the ranks of nearly 7,000 California area teachers that have been awarded $7 million since 2004.

The A+ for Energy program is available to any preK-12 classroom teacher in an accredited or licensed public or private school within the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego and Kern county areas. Winners are recognized for developing creative and student-focused classroom, after-school, extra-curricular, or summer programs. While these programs must be centered on energy or energy conservation, they can move beyond science to incorporate reading, mathematics, history, geography, the arts, and more.

Applications for the 2008 program have been mailed to all eligible schools. Interested teachers can also find out more about the program by visiting the A+ for Energy website at In addition to the online application, teachers will find valuable resources at the site, including a grant writing tutorial and links to interactive energy education tools and downloadable materials for classrooms. Applications must be postmarked or submitted online by March 7, 2008. Winners will be notified on May 12, 2008.

Schook Kids: Doodle for Google and Win A College Scholarship

Google has launched Doodle 4 Google, a competition that invites school children to design a Google logo inspired by the question, "What If" The winning student’s doodle will be displayed on the Google homepage on May 22, 2008; the champion "doodler" will also win a $10,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for his/her school.

The "Doodle 4 Google" competition is open to K-12 students in the U.S. Participating classrooms can use accompanying lesson plans to help guide students, while also integrating the project into classroom learning. Suggested questions will help students start dreaming and doodling: "What if...I could see into the future? What if....I could build any kind of invention I wanted"

Students' doodles will be judged on artistic merit, creativity, representation of the theme, and other criteria. A panel of independent judges and Google employees will select the top doodles across age groups, from which the public will help select the final four. The grand prize winner will then be selected by Google and announced at an event hosted at Google’s headquarters on May 21, 2008. The doodle will be displayed on the Google homepage the following day.
Teachers can register their class online by going to Registration closes on March 28 and all entries must be postmarked by April 12, 2008.

First Choice Power Classroom Innovation Grants

The First Choice Power Fund reminds Texas teachers they have a little more than one month left to apply for $500 to $3,000 First Choice Power Classroom Innovation Grants before the deadline, March 5, 2008. Teachers can electrify their lessons with an exciting project that spices up the way student's learn.

It's simple to apply

• Applications must be submitted online at by March 5, 2008, to be considered for grants.

• Full-time Texas K-12 teachers and pre-K teachers with an early childhood license in communities served by First Choice Power are eligible.

• The application must include a project description, objectives, budget and evaluation.

8 Tips to Help Your Child with SATs tests This May

If your child is coming up to the ages of seven, eleven or fourteen, they will most likely have to take their Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) this May. These tests, which determine the learning level of your child, are vitally important in helping teachers and parents ensure that each child gets the right learning support for their development.

But these tests, which include Maths, English and Science, can be very daunting and stressful for children, especially amongst 11 and 14 year olds, where the tests become very formal and many children worry. In 2003, a BBC report showed that 6 out of 10 teachers felt that SATs caused high levels of stress amongst children.

As a parent, there are some things you can do help your child prepare, reduce the worry and add some fun to their revision. Here are some top tips from Alison Quill, ex-teacher and founder of, the award-winning children’s educational website, where FREE downloadable SAT test papers for different ages are available for parents to run through with their children.

Alison Quill’s Top Tips for Parents:

Tip 1: Remember your child's education is a partnership. Meet with their teachers as they will know your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and ask them how you can help.

Tip 2: Look through a practice SAT paper together and talk through the answers. Try drawing or acting out answers of difficult concepts such as fractions. You can download these practice papers for FREE on

Tip 3: Explain that the number of marks allocated to each question gives your child an idea of how much time to spend on each one.

Tip 4: Make sure your child is aware that getting stuck is not a problem. Move on and if they have time, come back to the hard ones at the end.

Tip 5: Encourage your child to believe in themselves, "you can do it!"

Tip 6: Remind your child that the tests are important, but that they are not the only way they are to be measured.

Tip 7: Approach a subject from lots of different angles. Software, games, activities, books, flash cards and practical applications all help – make the revision time at home as fun and interactive as possible (see for guidance and ideas).

Tip 8: It is easier said than done, BUT do not put your child under too much pressure. Have fun - they will find things easier to remember if they recall the good times they had learning.

The SAT Stages – and FUN products to help your child prepare at home:

Key Stage 1: From age 5-7. Tests in year 2, at the end of infants – age 7.

Each child is teacher-assessed in Reading, Writing (spelling and handwriting), Maths (number, shape, space, measurement) and Science. Your child’s teacher will set short pieces of work in English and Maths to judge what level of ability your child is considered to be.

FUN learning products: Happy Families for Spelling, the favourite family game now helps children with spelling (£13.99) and Jump Ahead Maths Year 2 – ‘Help CJ save the kingdom’ PC game (£9.99).

Key Stage 2: From age 7-11. Tests in year 6 - age 11.

More formal than Key Stage 1, these written tests (English, Maths and Science) are 45 minutes long and can be quite daunting for this age group. The papers are sent away for marking and the results are known before they leave primary school in July.
FUN learning products: Brightminds’ award-winning On-line Revision Game (closely mapped to the National Curriculum), with computer game animations, progress tracker and printable certificates when your child does well (£19.99) and Science Mania PC game (£29.99).

Key Stage 3: From age 11-14. Tests in year 9 – age 14.

Very formal written exams with 1 hour per paper (English, Maths and Science). These results, which are sent away for marking, are often used to determine which GCSE set your child will be placed in.

FUN learning products: Key Stage 3 Bite-size Interactive Revision with questions and sample answers on CD-Rom in Maths and Science (£7.49 each) and the Encyclopedia of Science on CD-Rom with 3D interactivities (£9.99).

For the free SAT papers and the fun revision products, visit

President Bush Eliminates Funding for RIF's Historic Book Distribution Program

The following is a statement from Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental:

"President Bush's proposed budget calling for the elimination of Reading Is Fundamental's (RIF) Inexpensive Book Distribution program would be devastating to the 4.6 million children and their families who receive free books and reading encouragement from RIF programs at nearly 20,000 locations throughout the U.S.

"Unless Congress reinstates $25.5 million in funding for this program, RIF would not be able to distribute 16 million books annually to the nation's youngest and most at-risk children. RIF programs in schools, childcare centers, migrant program, military bases, and other locations serve children from low-income families, children with disabilities, foster and homeless children, and children without access to libraries. The Inexpensive Book Distribution program is authorized under the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (SEC.5451 Inexpensive Book Distribution Program for Reading Motivation) and is not funded through earmarks. It has been funded by Congress and six Administrations without interruption since 1975.

"Since its founding in 1966, RIF's programs have played an important role in improving literacy in this country. The U.S. Department of Education has shown that the number of books in a child's home is a significant predictor of academic achievement. In addition, RIF programs also support academic achievement by involving hundreds of thousands of volunteers and other caring adults in encouraging children to read for fun. We urge all Americans to contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to reinstate funding for this important program."


More Than $300,000 in Scholarships and Prizes to Young Volunteers

Through the Kohl's Kids Who Care(R) Scholarship Program, more than 7,000 scholarships and prizes totaling over $1.5 million have been awarded to youth volunteers nationwide since 2001. This year, Kohl's plans to award another 1,900 kids ages 6 to 18 with $300,000 in scholarships and prizes. Awards range from $50 to $5,000 to recognize their selfless acts.

To nominate a young volunteer for a Kid Who Cares scholarship, visit Nominations are accepted February 1 through March 15. Two nominees from each of Kohl's 900+ stores will win a $50 Kohl's gift card; 190 of them will win regional scholarships worth $1,000 toward post-secondary education. Ten volunteers will earn national recognition winning scholarships worth $5,000 toward post-secondary education. Kohl's will also contribute $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on behalf of each national winner.

Free Online Resources for Teachers to Bring Black History Month Studies to Life

Whether it's the story of people risking their lives to free slaves through the Underground Railroad, the dynamic message of Dr. Martin Luther King or the historic Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education, Black History Month presents a tremendous opportunity for teachers to share these valuable stories with their students.

To assist educators in finding unique and engaging lesson plans and educational resources reflective of Black History Month, which is observed in February, has created a special section on its home page that provides dozens of resources that bring those lessons to life. is the Verizon Foundation's free comprehensive program and online portal to more than 55,000 educational resources, including grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans, and other student interactives provided in partnership with 11 of the nation's leading educational organizations.

Among the resources in the Black History Month section are:

-- An Underground Railroad interactive online activity for students in grades 3-12. This resource, from National Geographic, allows students to take part in an interactive online journey through the eyes of a slave. The student begins his or her trek on the Underground Railroad, selecting different paths or answers that will help lead him or her to freedom, or back to the plantation. In addition, National Geographic's Xpeditions offers lesson plans to for use in conjunction with the interactive.

-- Exploring the Power of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Words through Diamante Poetry, a lesson plan for students in grades 9-12. This resource, from the International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English's, allows students to explore how powerful words communicate the concepts of freedom, justice and discrimination in Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. This resource includes links to the video, audio and transcript of the speech.

-- Separate is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education, a collection of classroom activities for students in grades 4-12. This resource, designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, takes students through an online exhibit that marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that helped end segregation in public schools. The exhibition features images, videos and objects from the museum's collection. Also included are two virtual field trips, six lesson plans and a bibliography that helps students understand the background of the case.

Kids learn more when mom is listening

Kids may roll their eyes when their mother asks them about their school day, but answering her may actually help them learn. New research from Vanderbilt University reveals that children learn the solution to a problem best when they explain it to their mom.

"We knew that children learn well with their moms or with a peer, but we did not know if that was because they were getting feedback and help," Bethany Rittle-Johnson, the study's lead author and assistant professor of psychology at Vanderbilt's Peabody College of education and human development, said. "In this study, we just had the children's mothers listen, without providing any assistance. We've found that by simply listening, a mother helps her child learn."

Rittle-Johnson believes the new finding can help parents better assist their children with their schoolwork, even when they are not sure of the answer themselves. Although the researchers used children and their mothers in the study, they believe the same results will hold true whether the person is the child's father, grandparent, or other familiar person.

"The basic idea is that it is really effective to try to get kids to explain things themselves instead of just telling them the answer," she said. "Explaining their reasoning, to a parent or perhaps to other people they know, will help them understand the problem and apply what they have learned to other situations."

The research is currently in press at the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Source: Vanderbilt University's Peabody College:

Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Receives Literacy Grant

Random House of Canada has donated $150,000 to the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

Created in 2004, The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation was launched by Indigo Books & Music Inc. in response to the crisis of under resourced elementary school libraries across Canada.

Fifteen schools are selected each year by the Foundation. As of 2008, they will each receive a grant of $100,000 each over three years, $35,000 in the first two years and $30,000 in the third year. Funds are then allocated to the purchase of books or services to improve facilities, inspire students, and encourage a love of reading for elementary students within their school environments and throughout their lives.

Applications for the 2008 Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Grants are available at, with the deadline for applications extended for 2008 until February 14th, 2008.