Teacher Choice Awards

For 14 years, the Learning® Magazine Teachers’ Choice Awards have heralded the very best in classroom-tested, teacher-recommended products.

Each year a nationwide panel of teacher-judges names the standouts in books, classroom supplies, educational games, software, Web sites, and more–everything teachers need for their classroom.

After receiving top ratings in two rounds of rigorous judging, here are this year’s 63 winners…

Educational Games, Toys and Manipulatives

Handle-Leg Connectors With Sound Shapes MultiPack
Give color and shape to the music you make! Use these percussion instruments and connectors for math, music, science, and playtime.
Ages 3 and up, $344. Remo, Inc.; http://www.remo.com/.

Pop ’til you drop! Players race to spell words by popping the lettered dice in the poppers until the letters on the dice match the word in play.
Ages 4 and up, $24.95. Poppo Brands LLC, http://www.poppo.com/

Healthy Habits
In this life-size board game, the children are the game pieces, moving card to card. The game stresses nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, and personal hygiene. Set the game up in any format you like.
PreK and up, $39.95. Blue Bucket Games LLC, http://www.bluebucketgames.com/.

Froggy Boogie: The Eye Popping, Frog Hopping, Memory Game
Kids are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from improving their visual perception and memory with this game.
Ages 4 and up, $24.95. Blue Orange Games, http://www.blueorangegames.com/.

Jumbo Reading Rods Classroom Kit
Help little hands make big connections! These oversize manipulatives introduce the key literacy skills kids need to begin reading.
PreK–grade K, $139.95. ETA/Cuisenaire, (800) 445-5985, http://www.etacuisenaire.com/.

Number Chase
In this game, you try to figure out the mystery number before your opponents do! If you guess wrong, the other players get a clue; if you guess right, you get a point.
Grades 1 and up, $7.99. Playroom Entertainment, (866) 999-9654, http://www.playrooment.com/.
Fun With Phonics Letter People Puppet Pack
Students sing their way to the ABCs with the 26 letter people puppets and CD of songs in this set.
PreK–grade 2, $790. Abrams & Company Publishers, Inc.; (800) 227-9120; http://www.abramsandcompany.com/.

Math Noodlers
Add a new twist to math by appealing to multiple intelligences. With this game, students solve math problems in creative ways.
Grades 2–3 and 4–5, $21.95 each. Edupress, http://www.edupressinc.com/.

Fossil Island
Add some adventure to teaching addition! This game, which has three levels of play, has students solve addition problems to race their dinosaurs across the gameboard.
Ages 7 and up, $21.95. White Sand Games, (800) 445-0265, http://www.whitesandgames.com/

Goose Egg for Division & Factoring
Get ready to divide and conquer! This game helps students both learn and enhance division skills and work with factor families.
Ages 8 and up, $11.95. Tah Dah! Inc.; http://www.tahdahgames.com/.

Food Pyramid Bingo, Deluxe Updated Edition
Treat students to some fun while teaching them about basic food groups and healthful choices. With this game, players also learn about activities that encourage a healthful lifestyle.
Grades 4 and up, $26.95. SmartPicks, Inc.; http://www.smartpicks.com/.

Forces, Energy & Motion
Investigate potential and kinetic energy with this racer set. You get lesson plans, motors, instructions, and materials to build11 different models.
Grades 5–8, $125. K’NEX Education, (888) ABC-KNEX, http://www.knexeducation.com/.

Electronics, DVDs, and Videos

Frog Street Live! Educational DVD Program
Get kids off to a smart start with reading and writing. These stories and songs have them singing, reading, and writing the alphabet!
Ages 3–6, $49.99. Frog Street Press, Inc.; (800) 884-3764; http://www.frogstreet.com/.

You’re Mean! When Words Hurt Us
Each vignette on this video illustrates a technique children can use to overcome the power of hurtful words.
Grades 3–6, $99.95. Human Relations Media, (800) 431-2050, http://www.hrmvideo.com/.

This DVD-based math program takes a multisensory approach to numbers and operations, geometry, and measurement. Illustrations, diagrams, manipulatives, or models are part of every lesson.
Grades 4–8, $249 per module. BestQuest Teaching Systems, (866) 882-2665, http://www.bestquest.com/.

Software and Hardware

Lexia Primary Reading
Help all learners master basic reading skills with this computer-based supplemental reading program. It’s designed to make differentiating instruction easy.
PreK–grade 3, prices range from $500 for a single user to $5,000 for 25 simultaneous users. Lexia Learning Systems, Inc.; (800) 435-3942; http://www.lexialearning.com/.

SMART Ideas Concept-Mapping Software
This software makes ideas and connections visual. It enables you to create multilevel maps that take students through concepts one level at a time.
Grades K–12, $59 for a single license. SMART Technologies ULC, (866) 284-2769, http://www.smarttech.com/.

NEO by AlphaSmart
This low-cost laptop has software to improve students’ writing, but none of the distractions—email, Internet access, or games—found on other computers.
Grades K–12, $199. Renaissance Learning, Inc.; (888) 274-0680; http://www.alphasmart.com/.

Cassettes and CDs

The “Sing & Read” Nursery Rhyme Collection
Build language, vocabulary, and listening skills with this new big-book collection. The CD includes a dramatic reading of each story.
Ages 3–6, $145.99. Frog Street Press, Inc.; (800) 884-3764; http://www.frogstreet.com/.

School Supplies and Classroom Organization

Royal Reading/Writing Center
This easel has it all: a removable/adjustable magnetic dry-erase board, four open tubs that slide out for easy access, “page paws” to hold big-book pages in place, and more!
Grades K–5, MSRP $289.99 Copernicus Educational Products, Inc., (800) 267-8494, http://www.copernicused.com/. Available through the Copernicus dealer network.

Classroom Magazines

Welcome wildlife into your classroom! Early readers get a vivid introduction to animals with this series.
Ages 2–6; $4.99 for a single issue, $25.95 for a one-year subscription. Wildlife Education, Ltd.; (800) 477-5034; http://www.zoobooks.com/.

Weekly Reader, Edition K
Take a break from textbooks! This magazine helps build children’s general knowledge and increase literacy. A subscription includes 28 issues.
Grade K, $4.99 per year per student (for orders of ten or more). Weekly Reader Corporation, (800) 446-3355, http://www.weeklyreader.com/.

The Write Stuff
Take a mini-vacation from rote rules and standard English textbooks and workbooks. This publication uses humor, puzzles, and up-to-date examples to teach good writing.
Grades 4–8, $4.95 per student for nine monthly issues. The Write Stuff, LLC; (888) 235-0157 or (800) 289-8289; http://www.writestuffnews.com/.

Supplemental Materials

The Infant/Toddler Photo Activity Library
These sturdy cards feature color photographs of people and objects that youngsters encounter every day. The back of each card has a vocabulary list and activities.
Infant–age 3, $49.95. Gryphon House, Inc.; (800) 595-9500; http://www.ghbooks.com/.

Fine Motor Fun: Hundreds of Developmentally Age-Appropriate Activities Designed to Improve Fine Motor Skills
From fingerplays to play dough to reproducible lacing cards, the activities in this book help develop children’s fine-motor and visual perception skills.
PreK–grade 1, $15.99. Key Education Publishing Company LLC, (800) 321-0943, http://www.keyeducationpublishing.com/.

KidCentered Learning Toolkits
These tool kits provide plenty of hands-on activities to help young children learn letters and develop phonemic awareness.
PreK–grade 2, $93.50 and $125.50. Pearson, (800) 321-3106, http://www.pearsonschool.com/.
Math Assessment Tasks
The standards-based assessments in these books are ready-made and scripted so they’re easy to use. Assessments include colorful cards and mats.
PreK–grade 2, $24.99. Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, (800) 777-4362, http://www.evan-moor.com/.

Little Red Tool Box
Create a classroom full of hands-on literacy opportunities! The components in each set cover developmental skills for that grade level.
PreK and grades K, 1, 2, and 3; prices range from $357.94 to $604.88 for a grade-level set. Scholastic Teaching Resources, (800) SCHOLASTIC, www.scholastic.com/teacherstore.
English Picture Dictionary for Spanish Speakers
This picture dictionary uses a multisensory approach and self-paced learning to help English language learners boost their vocabulary development.
Grades K–5, $144. LeapFrog SchoolHouse, (800) 883-7430, www.LeapFrogSchoolHouse.com/ELD.

Words Their Way: Word Study in Action
Deliver a hands-on approach to phonics and word study! This program provides all the materials you need, including picture and word cards, sorting grids, and gameboards.
Grades K–5, classroom sets range from $249.50 to $257.50. Pearson, (800) 321-3106, http://www.pearsonschool.com/.

Building Fluency Through Reader’s Theater: My Country & Early America Themed Set
Improve students’ fluency by giving them a purpose for reading and rereading. These thematically based scripts help make reading appealing and promote collaboration.
Grades 1–8, $539.99. Teacher Created Materials Publishing, (888) 333-4551, http://www.tcmpub.com/.

R-Com Mini Incubator & EZ Scope Package
Watch chick embryos develop as the eggs are incubating! This easy-to-use digital incubator and scope make it possible.
Grades K–8, $189. Brinsea Products, Inc.; (888) 667-7009; http://www.brinsea.com/.

Flip for Comprehension
This collection of 55 ready-to-use comprehension activities works with either expository or narrative texts.
Grades K–5, $27.95. Maupin House Publishing, Inc.; (800) 524-0634; http://www.maupinhouse.com/.

Vocabulary Visits Grade 2 Dual Theme Package
These simulated field trips provide a context for anchoring new content words to the vocabulary and concepts children already know.
Grade 2, $179.95. ETA/Cuisenaire, (800) 445-5985, http://www.etacuisenaire.com/.

Britannica Student Encyclopedia
Satisfy every curious learner with the more than 2,300 articles in this encyclopedia. “Did You Know?” features encourage children to keep learning, questioning, and wondering.
Grades 3–6, $449. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.; (800) 621-3900; http://www.eb.com/.

Science Skill Builders Grades 2-3
You’ve got science covered with this reproducible book! It helps develop science vocabulary and concepts with articles from Weekly Reader’s publications and includes classroom experiments.
Grades 2–3, $15.95. Weekly Reader Publishing, (800) 446-3355, www.weeklyreader.com/estore/.

The Incredible Human Body Flip Charts
There’s more to see and more to learn about the human body with these flip charts and acetate overlays. The 12 charts are approximately 12″ x 19″.
Ages 7 and up, $19.99. KIDZUP Productions, Inc.; (888) 321-5437; http://www.kidzup.com/.

The Trait Crates
Teach with the traits! These kits include picture books with lessons to help you teach the traits of writing—ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.
Grades 3, 4, and 5; $125 each. Scholastic Teaching Resources, (800) SCHOLASTIC, http://www.scholastic.com/.

Sundance Comprehension Strategies Kit
These kits focus on six comprehension strategies to help students become successful readers. Each kit includes modeling transparencies, interactive practice cards, leveled selections, take-home readers, and a teacher’s guide.
Grades 3–5 and up; $279 for each fiction or nonfiction kit, $545 for a complete kit. Options Publishing, (800) 782-7300, http://www.optionspublishing.com/.

The Electronic Field Trip Series
Take students back in time with these dramatizations of life during Colonial days. Kids can even call in to talk with the characters and email questions to historians!
Grades 4–8; $500 for the series of seven plus yearlong teacher and student online resources. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, (800) 761-8331, www.history.org/trips.

Theme Sets: Our Solar System
Address reading levels while students learn standards-based science. The books in this set cover the same key concepts at four different readability levels.
Grades 3–8, $261.08 for eight copies each of four titles. National Geographic School Publishing, (800) 368-2728, NGSP.com.

New Horizons and Our Changing Solar System Bulletin Board Set
This bulletin board set focuses on technological advances that pave the way for new celestial discoveries. It includes cross-curricular activities and a reproducible space science notebook.
Grades 3 and up, $12.99. Frank Schaffer Publications, (800) 417-3261, http://www.frankschaffer.com/.

Blood Components Model
What do the components of blood look like? This 3-D model answers that question and explains each component’s function.
Grades 5 and up, $99.75. HEALTH EDCO, (800) 299-3366 ext. 295, http://www.healthedco.com/.

TI Graphing Calculator Strategies—Middle School Math
Enhance students’ graphing calculator skills and mathematical understanding with lesson plans that explain, demonstrate, and apply concepts. The book includes extension ideas and strategies to simplify the lessons.
Grades 5–9, $29.99. Shell Education, (877) 777-3450, http://www.shelleducation.com/.

Nutrition Curriculum Module
Grow healthy and responsible students. This module covers nutrients, daily requirements, serving sizes, healthful fast-food selections, heart-healthful decisions, and more with hands-on activities.
Grades 6–8, $550. HEALTH EDCO Curriculum, (800) 299-3366 ext. 200, http://www.healthedcocurriculum.com/.


Discovery Education Science
Encourage exploration! These interactive videos, virtual labs, and science simulations encourage critical thinking and deepen understanding of physical, life, earth, and space science.
Grades 5–8, $1,995 for an annual subscription. Discovery Education LLC, (800) 323-9084, http://www.discoveryeducation.com/.

Pokémon Learning League
This standards-based, educational suite of animated, interactive lessons now has a school and classroom management system to help you assess student progress and individualize instruction.
Grades 3–6; $145 for a classroom subscription, $990 for a school subscription. Pokémon USA, Inc.; http://www.pokemonlearningleague.com/.

Science Explorations
Through this program students participate in authentic, standards-based science investigations with real scientists using primary documents and genuine artifacts in the American Museum of Natural History’s collections.
Grades 3–10, free. American Museum of Natural History and Scholastic, scholastic.com/scienceexplorations.

Enciclopedia Universal en Español
Say “Hola” to this Spanish-language encyclopedia that features more than 47,000 articles; more than 9,000 images, maps, and tables; a dictionary; an atlas; and timelines.
Grades 3–12, $0.28 for each student. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.; (800) 621-3900; http://www.eb.com/.

Professional Books

Play, Projects, and Preschool Standards: Nurturing Children’s Sense of Wonder and Joy in Learning
These playful projects and activities put standards and bench­marks into practice while helping children develop critical social and preacademic skills.
Preschool–PreK, $25.95. Corwin Press, (800) 233-9936, http://www.corwinpress.com/.

Intelligent Life in the Classroom: Smart Kids & Their Teachers
Written by a teacher and a parent, this book provides insight into the nature, quirks, and vulnerabilities of gifted kids. Includes an extensive list of resources.
For teacher use, $16.95. Great Potential Press, Inc.; (877) 954-4200; http://www.giftedbooks.com/.

Reprinted with permission from Learning ® Magazine, January 2008
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