Teaching Tools

March 01, 1998 5 min read

Student Contests.

Scott Pendleton’s The Ultimate Guide to Student Contests, Grades 7-12 describes more than 300 contests open to students in areas such as photography, essay writing, computing, and geography. Published by Walker and Co., the 364-page collection details contest eligibility, deadlines, entry fees, and prizes. Cost: $15.95, plus $3.75 shipping and handling. Contact: Walker and Co., 435 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014; (800) 289-2553; fax (212) 727-0984.

Networking Classrooms.

Former middle school teacher Scott Christian has written Exchanging Lives: Middle School Writers Online, a teacher’s guide to the benefits of on-line literary exchanges between students in geographically diverse classrooms. Published by the National Council of Teachers of English, the book is intended primarily for English language arts teachers in grades 6-12. Cost: $11.95 for NCTE members, $15.95 for nonmembers. Contact: National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Rd., Urbana, IL 61801-1096; (800) 369-6283.

Ancient Rome.

Ancient Rome I and Ancient Rome II, two new volumes in Cobblestone Publishing’s series Teaching With Primary Sources, are available for teachers of grades 5 and up. Editor/writer Rosalie Baker has collected images of the sculptures, wall paintings, and ruins of the Roman Empire and designed activities to compare life in ancient Rome to life in modern America. Included are customized binders, more than 20 activities for students, approximately 100 documents, and notes to the teacher. Cost: $24.95 each, plus shipping and handling. Contact: (800) 821-0115; e-mail;


Raja Nasr’s Applied English Phonology, published by University Press of America, is a guide for teachers of English as a second or foreign language. It offers basic information about helping students master the phonological system of English and sharpen their knowledge of unfamiliar sounds. Cost: $21.50. Contact: University Press of America, 15200 NBN Way, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214; (800) 462-6420; fax (800) 338-4550.

Classic Books.

The Boston Globe publishes “Classics for Young Readers,” an annotated list of all-time best books and stories for children and young adults. The 24-page booklet offers brief descriptions of 140 books and stories organized by age. Each age-group listing is arranged by genre, including picture books, poetry and rhymes, folk and fairy tales, and stories and legends. Cost: $2.95. Contact: Boston Globe, Public Relations Department, P.O. Box 2378, Boston, MA 02107-2378.

White House Guide.

A Kid’s Guide to the White House takes children on a tour of the president’s house. Artwork from the White House Historical Association’s collection of rare photographs and historic drawings illustrates Betty Debnam’s account of the mansion’s evolution, from the laying of cornerstones in 1792 to its status today as a family home, office, museum, and national symbol. The book also comes with puzzles and games with a White House theme. Cost: $8.95; discounts for bulk purchases are available. Contact: Andrews McMeel Publishing at (800) 642-6480.

Teacher Taxes.

The Educator’s Income Tax Guide is designed to help teachers understand tax laws and prepare their taxes. Now in its 31st year, the guide discusses IRS requirements as well as deductions commonly available to teachers. Cost: $10.95. For more information, contact: Teachers Tax Service, P.O. Box 8809, Chico, CA 95927-8809; (916) 896-1929.

Math Shortcuts.

Math Shortcuts To Ace the SAT illustrates 34 math strategies to help students preparing for the College Board’s achievement tests. Published by Achievement Publishing Inc. and written by Kurt Trenkmann, the book covers divisibility, fractions, averages, quantitative comparisons, algebra, geometry, and word problems. It also offers a glossary of terms and answers to all exercises. The first copy of the book is free to educators and school administrators. Additional copies cost $12.95 each, plus shipping and handling; discounts are available for bulk orders. Contact: Book Masters Inc., Order Department, P.O. Box 338, 1444 Route 42, Ashland, OH 44805; (800) 247-6553; fax (419) 281-6883; e-mail;

School Plays.

Getting Your Acts Together, by Frank Priore, is a step-by-step guide to writing, publishing, producing, and selling plays for schools. Published by Toad Hall Press, it offers tips about character development, plot, dialogue, manuscript format, and revisions. It also lists publishers specializing in plays for schools. Cost: $14.95, plus $4 shipping and handling. To order, call Associated Publishers Group at (800) 327-5113.

Criminal Justice.

“On Trial” is a criminal-trial simulation activity designed for students in grades 4-6. Using the case of the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs, students assume traditional trial roles and present information about the pigs’ disappearance. A jury of students then weighs the evidence to decide the wolf’s guilt or innocence. Published by Dandy Lion Publications, written by Margaret Schweitzer, and illustrated by Mary Lou Johnson, the book aims to introduce students to the judicial system and spur the development of communication, cooperation, and evaluative skills. Cost: $8.95. For more information, contact: Dandy Lion Publications at (800) 776-8032.

Youth Fitness.

The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation Inc., a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to reducing youth sports injuries, has released “Youth Fitness Guide: Conditioning, Drugs, and Nutrition.” Published in cooperation with the American College of Sports Medicine, the booklet includes information about endurance, cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, and drug use. Cost: $7, plus $2.25 shipping and handling. For more information, contact: National Youth Sports Safety Foundation Inc., Department YF, 333 Longwood Ave., Suite 202, Boston, MA 02115-5711.

Attention Deficit Disorder.

A.D.D. WareHouse, a division of Specialty Press Inc. specializing in products for children with attention deficit disorder, has released The Affirmation Web, written by Lori Lite and illustrated by Helder Botelho for ages 5-11. It tells the story of a spider who teaches a young girl to appreciate the good in all living creatures. Cost: $9. For more information, contact: A.D.D. WareHouse, 300 N.W. 70th Ave., Suite 102, Plantation, FL 33317; (800) 233-9273; fax (954) 792-8545; e-mail;