Chalkboard Books Revisited

A few years ago, I shared a Canadian company that I found while wandering through our local teacher supply store. That company was Chalkboard Publishing – a company that offered a large variety of workbooks for all sorts of school subjects.

I’ve always been impressed with the offerings of Chalkboard Publishing, so when they asked if I’d be interested in getting some copies of their products to look at and use with my kids, I was excited. It took me a while to decide what I’d like, since they have so many useful products.

I ended up with 3 books – all on subjects that I wanted to be teaching my kids but hadn’t found great resources for yet: media literacy and cursive writing.

cursivewritingThe cursive writing book is designed for students in Grades 2 to 4, and intended for daily writing practice. The first few pages offer teaching ideas and tips to make it easier for kids to learn. Then it’s down to business – tracing and practicing writing cursive capital and lower case letters, writing words, practicing signatures, and lots of blank pages to write on your own.

My only complaint is that the lines are fairly small for beginning writers, but I’m sure as they get more comfortable with the movements of cursive, it will be easier to smoothly write in smaller spaces.

medialiteracyI ended up with two editions of their media literacy books – one for K-3 and one for 4-6. I wanted something a bit more of a challenge for my son in Grade 5 range, because he too often gets stuck doing easier stuff with his younger brothers.

Both books challenge kids to take a look at what is media in their world, and what it all means (or implies). They have black line master reproducible worksheets and questions – examining marketing, advertising, learning to decipher is messages are real or not, and more. There are a lot of detailed activity ideas, and critical thinking opportunities.

The book for older kids also helps them to learn to analyse and evaluate their digital world – websites, texting, and other online safety. This book offers much more detailed worksheets that require kids to think and write. We are using these books right now in our school days, and I’m excited to see what they think and know about media – as we haven’t really tackled this topic yet. It’s been a great way to start conversations about what they see, hear, and watch every day, and how it affects them.

In addition to these great workbooks, they have bulletin board sets – and I was thrilled to see they have a great one all about nutrition, one of the subjects we’ll be tackling in the spring (when the farmer’s markets come back!) It’s been incredibly challenging to find good quality Canadian resources for a nutrition unit, so this is perfect.

20150101_083455 (299x400)This kit includes a combination of big and small full colour posters:

  • The Canadian Food Guide
  • What a Serving Size is
  • Nutrition Labels
  • Glossary of Important Words
  • and 4 fun little signs reminding kids of what they need to stay healthy: eat healthy, learn and have fun, get enough sleep, and exercise.

Plus there is a single sheet inside full of ideas to help you teach about Canada’s Food Guide. It includes activities, discussion starters and websites to visit.

What I’m impressed with is that the big posters have creases in them, making it possible to fold them when they aren’t needed – a GREAT storage feature!

Chalkboard Publishing was started by a Canadian teacher and parent who knew that the need was there for quality materials based on Canadian curriculum. Today, the company offers a large collection of great workbooks in both English and French.

2 thoughts on “Chalkboard Books Revisited”

  1. Well I’ll pass on the Food Guide propaganda kit, since it’s got very little to do with healthy eating and more to do with politics and lobbying. 🙂 But the media literary books sound intriguing, I’ll definitely be checking those out.

    Hey — it’s all connected. Being media literate helps one to figure out not to take the Food Guide as infallible gospel. 😉

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