Friday, November 2, 2012

Educator Reviews - Benita Bruster, Ph.D


Benita Bruster, Ph.D.

"Southwestern Advantage has hit an absolute “home run” with the new Social Studies and Language book. This resource guide contains critical elements to build student success in Social Studies and Language Arts. The publisher provided a comprehensive package to prepare students for achieving their educational goals; the book, the on-line Web-based support, and the software are all inclusive elements included with this text.

One of the most impressive parts of this book is the organization. Students need to be able to find information easily and quickly; this book is easy to use with multiple ways to access information. The color coding on the edges of each page will guide students to the areas needed without flipping page by page. Simply turn to the color-coded section and the information you are seeking will be there. The index is also extensive and well organized. The index topics are in bold print with color in the center to facilitate searching for a particular topic extremely fast, and [it is easy] on the eyes.

The Social Studies and Language Arts content are unparalleled. The Social Studies content is divided into six strands with an uncomplicated color-coded guide to direct students to the area they are studying. The six strands cover all of the important topics for Social Studies: United States History, Canadian History, Government, Economics, World History, and Geography. Throughout the Social Studies section, the colorful guides, time lines, extensive maps, charts, and stories not only provide an excellent overview of content, but will engage students in reading to learn more. The “Now You Know” summaries provide students with the gist of the important in only a few lines. These features are critically important for struggling students or students who are English Language Learners.
 
The Language Arts content is well organized and contains elements of all the language arts: reading literature, writing, complete with grammar and organization tips, listening and study skills, speaking, and viewing. This Language Arts guide provides information for students that will improve their writing skills. In-depth examples of common grammatical errors, spelling examples of many confusing words, and word usage are at the tip of your fingers. The “Watch Out” feature will improve students’ awareness of common errors in writing and is woven throughout each section to provide a quick reminder for students. The “FYI” tips are extremely helpful and provide a clever way to entice students to reflect on their learning. The readability of this resource is extremely reader-friendly. The bold text, color, frames, tables/charts, and the placements of items on each page will encourage students to use this guide.

This Social Studies and Language resource guide is an integrated collection of information that is critical to student success in school and in life. This comprehensive resource text, the on-line support, and the Web-based materials will support lifelong learning and achievement for students."

Associate Professor of Reading and Literacy, Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education
(M.A., University of North Texas; Ph.D., Texas Women’s University)