Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Switch to Digital Postponed

It's kind of like the country getting an extension on its television homework.

Here's the story.


We at TB are glad nobody in Washington has anything better to do.


And it rolls on.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great Literature--Now Going Quarterly!

This story
about venerable magazine "Mad" switching to quarterly publication brought a tear to few eyes here at Teacher's Brunch HQ in flash-frozen Auburn Hills, Michigan.

It also got us thinking about the nature of literature. Who decides what gets in the canon? Is there space in the average English classroom for "Maus," "Blankets," "Batman," or "Mad?"

Should there be?

We at TB say, "Hang in there, Alfred." Our usual gang of idiots is rooting for a speedy return to monthly status!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Civil Rights Challenge Game

This just arrived, perfect for your interactive whiteboard, or just a stand alone computer, or even as a computer lab activity.

Civil Rights Challenge
is a game that will review all the important names, faces, and events in the American Civil Rights movement.

PC users can download a sample here. Those of you who are Mac-inclined, the sample is here.

This game is the perfect companion for our Civil Rights Movement PowerPoint presentation.

So, use the one to teach, the other to review, and have happy (and better-informed) students!

A sample of the PowerPoint is here for the PC-people, and here for you wacky Mac'ers.

As always, let us know what you think and how you use them in your classroom.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Peaceful Transfer of Power

Today, the Teacher's Brunch office here in tranquil Auburn Hills, MI turned off our usual mix of '80s pop, contemporary club beats, and "Weird Al" Yankovic to listen to the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Regardless of your party affiliation (and by the way, TB has made a great presentation about the history and development of America's political parties that includes a clip of the convention speech that thrust Obama into the national spotlight), you can awe in the process our country has repeated now 43 times (Obama is the 44th man to be president).

No guns.

No violence.

A huge group of people brought into D.C. not to fight or protest but to celebrate, and the nearly 60 million people who voted for another guy or girl (Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney, you're welcome!) let them.

What a great teaching point. Not just for your students, but those in the world who would question our country's commitment to our founding principles.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Interactive Whiteboards: The Future of Education, or Boondoggle?

For the last 2 years or so, we here at Teacher's Brunch have been making stuff teachers can use on their interactive whiteboards. SMARTboards, Promethean, our very own Vboards--just like Kleenex is to tissue, all interactive whiteboards basically work the same and run our games perfectly.

But we were talking today about the stories we've been hearing from some schools. Stories of grants being written, boards being purchased, boards being tucked away into storage rooms adjacent to media centers all across the country. We started wondering about interactive whiteboards, and how--IF!?--they are getting used the way we think they can be used.

We hope our customers are taking advantage of their technology. If not, they can drop us a line, and we're happy to help.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Teacher's Discovery Catalogs Hitting

Catalogs for all of our divisions at Teacher's Discovery are just about in the hands of teachers across the country.

For those of us who work hard creating and finding great stuff for teachers, and then work hard to get it all between the covers of our catalogs, the catalogs hitting always mark the end of one long process and the beginning of the next one.

Games and books and posters that aren't in the most recent catalogs are already in the works for the next ones, waiting to make big debuts in the Fall.

One of the neatest aspects of the making of a catalog is picking our covers. Our Foreign Language division has one for each language we support, English has two, Science will have five, and Social Studies has five. That's a lot of time spent sifting through tons of great pictures.

If you've gotten your catalog, drop us a line and tell us what you think. If you'd like one, give us a call and we'll be happy to send one to you. Our contact information is here.

By the way, I am partial to the U.S. History cover, but that's just me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Funny Comic Strip

Ah, so true. Though I am pretty sure the macaroni smiley face I made in Mrs. Tessmer's kindergarten class prepared me to write this blog.

More information about "Stone Soup," the comic strip shown above, can be found at the creator's website here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Periodic Table of World Literature Chart

This just arrived--our Periodic Table of World Literature.

Are You Teaching Something Special for Black History Month?

February is just around the corner.

If you're an English or Social Studies teacher looking to supplement your materials for Black History Month, Teacher's Brunch has some things that you might like.

Our African American Authors PowerPoint presentation is a great way to explore the depth and breadth of African American writers' contributions to American literature.

The CD includes a teacher script, two classroom activities, and loads of great extra images.

Everyone you think should be included, IS included, along with lesser-known writers.

We also have a three-presentation set about the Harlem Renaissance.

The first presentation covers the authors of the Harlem Renaissance.

Our second piece covers the musicians of the Harlem Renaissance. It's a great chance to reach across content areas.

Our last piece covers the Harlem Renaissance's artists.

As with the African American Authors PowerPoint, each of our Harlem Renaissance pieces comes with activities, a script, and extras right on the disk.

Each one is ready to go, right out of the case, or you can customize it using PowerPoint.

Give us a call if you have any questions!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Are You Happy?

This article got us thinking:

How happy are you in your job?

Feel free to comment in the comments!