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Column One: Curriculum

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The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development has become the publisher of an authoritative guide to educational software that officials say will complement the association's existing array of guides to effective curriculum materials.

Only the Best: Annual Guide to Highest-Rated Educational Software/Multimedia for Preschool-Grade 12 is a listing of exemplary software across the curriculum, including the arts, social studies, early-childhood education, mathematics, and other areas. The evaluative listing had been published since its inception in the 1980's by the California-based Education News Service.

George W. Neill, who with Shirley Boes Neill had served as co-editor of Only the Best, said the A.S.C.D.'s interest in software represents a growing awareness among curriculum developers of the importance of computers as instructional aids.

The association's Curriculum/Technology Resource Center will distribute Only the Best both in print and as a cumulative data base for Apple Macintosh or MS-DOS computers.

Site licenses, which allow for the unlimited distribution of both versions, as well as a version suitable for telecommunications, are available.

For more information, call the A.S.C.D.'s Technology Resource Center at (703) 549-9110, ext. 514, 516, or 519.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has published a new guide to help teachers use children's books to demonstrate the role that mathematics plays in everyday life.

"How To Use Children's Literature To Teach Mathematics'' is also designed to help children experience the types of math lessons envisioned in the N.C.T.M.'s highly regarded curriculum-standards document.

The cross-curricular approach "is an effective way to stimulate student interest'' in math and its real-world applications, said James D. Gates, the N.C.T.M.'s executive director.

Written by Rosamond Welchman-Tischler, the book employs the story lines of such popular children's works as "The Hundred Penny Box.'' It encourages children to play the roles of characters in the story while at the same time learning such math concepts as classifying, graphing, and measuring. It also suggests ways to use manipulatives to enhance the lessons.

The book, which costs $8.50 per copy, may be ordered from the N.C.T.M., 1906 Association Drive, Reston, Va. 22901, or by calling (800) 235-7566.--P.W.

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