Anyone who follows my show, Learning and Laughter with Louise! will know that I am passionate and a bit of a zealot when it comes to supporting educators and families. I even try to make my enthusiasm contagious which is why when people within the educational realm listen and respond to the show, I get really excited. So, imagine my excitement when two super companies called today saying that they wanted to give unbelievable giveaways during the next couple of weeks! Read below to see who and what is being offered!
First, next Wednesday, August 18th I will be talking to Giulia Giovanelli, Product Manager for the super company- CANSON. They have developed the PAPERSHOW. What is the PAPERSHOW and why did it get my attention? In essence, the Papershow is a digital writing solution that enables the teacher to instantly display handwritten notes from the paper to the screen. For a classroom, this is breathrough technology compared to what has been available in the last ten years. A teacher can write from anywhere in the classroom and keep their eyes on the students! Also, CANSON offers on their website many constructive examples of the application for the Papershow within the classroom.
Here is the GREAT NEWS! One lucky educator can win the TEACHER’S EDITION STARTER KIT for their classroom (VALUE $249). Included in this kit is the following:
1 PAPERSHOW Bluetooth® digital pen.
1 Bluetooth® 512 MB USB key containing the PAPERSHOW application.
1 large 128-page interactive book with small squares.
30 sheets of letter interactive printer paper.
1 detachable and interactive EXTRA ruler with colours and calculator.
Accessories: 1 binder, 1 carry case, 1 AAA battery, 3 ballpoint pen refills, and rings to personalise the USB key and pen.
How can you be eligible to win this great prize?
There are three ways you can be eligible to win. You may leave a comment on all three website to increase your chances to win. You MUST write why you want to be the winner for this wonderful prize! (We will use a random service to pick the winner and contact the winner by 9 p.m. August 19th)
Want to see Papershow in action! Here is the video!
Secondly, meet our generous friends from
I first “met” Sandy Kemsley via a mutual friend, Shara Lawrence-Weiss of MommyPerks.com. I was happy to be introduced to a “hands on” site for teachers. I even bought my niece a year subscription for her birthday last year and she was thrilled! Sandy and I recently were talking about her Wednesday, August 25th segment for Learning and Laughter with Louise! She generously offered not one, not two, but TEN one-year subscriptions to her website- abcteach.com ! Ten lucky winners will be able to use a pleth
ora of online resources to use within their classroom or homeschool environments. (My favorite section is ABCTools! Here you can create what you need for the classroom setting! WOW! )
How can you win? Easy shmeezy… go to the links above and tell us why you want the abcteach subscription. We will pick FIVE WINNERS on AUGUST 18th and FIVE MORE on AUGUST 26th (9p.m.EST).
I think that it is only appropriate that a radio program dedicated to helping foster learning sets aside an entire set of programs to the best products available to students, parents and educators. July 21st will be the first of these shows with our focus on STUDENT CHOICES! The products have been pitched. The students ages 4-21 have made their selections and reviews and now we have THE BACK TO SCHOOL 2010 AWARDS TO ANNOUNCE.
NOTE- products are being DONATED to children and school programs. I received ZERO compensation for endorsing or reviewing these products.
My son begged me to break my rule about not keeping these cool products- because he flipped when he saw the great TI-nspire! What a super multifunctional calculator that caught the eye of half a dozen of our teen reviewers, many who are college bound. They loved the touchpad functionality and the USB connector was a hit. The fact that saving and printing their work was a breeze also received high praise. Our reviewers also were excited that they could “share” work with others, including their teacher, without leaving the comfort of their home or dorm! This product was popular and the price tag – $150- didn’t seem to phase these kids (“Cheaper than many of my college books and they are not at all cool like this!”, said one reviewer)
GRASSHOPPER PRESCHOOL KITS- THREE STYLES FOR DIFFERENT SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Grasshopper Preschool Kit- This series is a three parter. We previewed the comprehensive Following Directions and ABCs – Simple Shapes container.
Adorably presented with a bright plastic box with a handle that was easy for the four year olds little fingers to grasp. Inside the kit included a book with easy directions for kid friendly activities. Their eyes locked on a series of LETTER fish of different colors. There also was a fishing pole that I am sure would have been hours of endless entertainment. The goal- pick up a fish with the magnet on the pole and then follow the directions to complete the letter game.
As an educator, I liked that the game was interactive, fun for both the kids and myself and not too pricey. Families that homeschool and preschools may really enjoy that this kit has a lot of activities and seemed to meet many preschool goals for basic pre-reading and shape identification. The cost was not too bad- $49.95 I am sure it was that much due to the durable construction of the kit and the materials used. If I had a preschool child at home I would buy this in a flash.
I am a HUGE Eric Carle fan. Always loved the books and was truly grateful to his kindness when he agreed to write our daughter, Natasha, a note to help commemorate her becoming a Bat Mitzvah. (Actually he sent her a note and a whole pack full of goodies!) So, when Canson approached me about these products I said yes, without asking any of the kid reviewers. The one and only time. I KNEW that these drawing pads would be VERY POPULAR! I was right! Nearly had to stop a war between a set of siblings!! The older elementary kids loved this product, too! And if you are a fan of Eric Carle, visit this website http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html
EVERY KID I SHOWED THESE PRODUCTS TO RAN TO OUR DESK AND STARTED DRAWING! Each pad was made with eco-friendly paper and kids loved the Eric Carle recognizable drawing on the cover. All sizes for all aged kids. Here are some smiling photos to prove that these very inexpensive pads are worth the investment.
As a person who has conducted countless hours of therapy with children, especially with kids who had difficulty with language, this is a great product. Another winner by our team of panelists! Each doll (character) has a pocket. Little “faces” can be inserted in to the pocket which identify feelings such as JEALOUS, HAPPY, SAD, LEFT OUT… and so on. Squishy, fun and fabulous! Or in the words of one of our young reviewers “Cool!” We have one photo in ASL below, too!) Buy this very reasonable addition to a classroom or your home on AMAZON.com. Age range varies, but I can see Kimochis being very applicable to the special education population to help to identify and role play feelings and social stories.
These lunchboxes are FUN! Made of durable plastic with containers for a sandwich and two smaller for foods such as crackers, cheese, yogurt or raisins. A great addition was the ice pack made with a fun shape that added to the flair of this interactive lunchbox. You see… the front inserts could pop out and be interchangeable. Our little reviewers loved it and Mateo managed to carry it with him almost EVERYWHERE the day of our product photo shoot. High praise from a first grader! Check out your smile for yourself!
Ok- I have a small complaint about the bioME5 t-shirts. They do not come in large adult sizes. Truly, when the t-shirt arrived at the door I was hoping (fingers crossed kind of hoping) that it would be in my size. Sadly no. But my loss will be a great treasure for a child who wears a size 4T. Check out our model- Frankie- sporting this gorgeous and educational shirt (learn letters and animals)! And of course, it was very comfortable to wear- according to Frankie (“No scratchy tags”) Prices vary depending on shirt sleeve lengths and size. BIG SALE on NOW– check them out at www.biome5.com
OFFICE DEPOT–I love shopping at OFFICE DEPOT. Reasonable prices and lots of selection. Which is good during the Back to School season. They were kind to send a selection of their products including the ATIVA 4G USB FLASHDRIVEwith exceptional designs. I loved their green series with trees),GAMER CALCULATORfrom Swinton Avenue Trading and PROJECT BACKPACK– a winning design from seventeen year old Jerry Delgado. ( We hope to have him on to ask how he created the winning design). All very cool and reasonably priced.
Carolina Pad- You have to LOVE a company that gives back to the community- big time. These folks make quality products for Girls (and as it happens to be, also guys!) Many of our student reviewers loved their pads, notebooks, journals and ring binders. I loved the colors. We enlisted our older elementary school reviewer, Sam, to make a great little video about how he wished for a set in GUY COLORS! Available EVERYWHERE ( I saw them at Kmart in a remote town in Upstate New York!) Their motto for their GIRLS ON THE RUN SERIES: learn. dream. live.run Go to www.GirlsontheRun.org to learn about their philanthropic arm of their company. Their products were perfect for the older elementary, middle school or high school student. (Or adult radio show host)
I have a son going off to college in a few weeks. I am really concerned about the integrity of his dorm mattress. Then in my list of pitches this past Spring came one from PROTECT – A – BED. I wish I could find a way for all of you to FEEL this mattress protector. It has parts that are terry cloth and cozy. Other portions are smooth like silk. And the fit on the TWIN XL beds was perfect. Designed to create an anti-allergy sleep zone. Available at www.protectabed.com $59.99 And the son-he approved!
Teens girls who had cell phones and college students with ID cards and bus passes that needed to be “on them” all day and night- were thrilled with PORTA-POCKET. Another hit with our reviewers! (And nurses who loved the ability for the Porta-Pocket to hold an epi-pen discretely or important ID info- discretely)
The company provided this synopsis: “PortaPocket is a streamlined, lightweight system that keeps small valuables and other essentials ON the body without risk of theft, loss and inconvenience. Versatile as designed for use on thigh, calf, ankle, arm or waist and under/over the clothing. Detachable; interchangeable. Ideal for IDs, cash, cards, keys, cell phones, ipods, small cameras, passports, lipstick, tampons, inhalers, insulin pumps, Epipens, more. Don’t necessarily ditch the separate purse or bag…just don’t put anything you can’t afford to lose in there! Keep your purse/bag for fashion; use portapocket for valuables-safekeeping function.”
See the photo of this busy mom, who wanted to carry her phone with her to the bus stop without dragging along all her purse items. (And you know that moms often carry the kids backpacks and lunchboxes, too!)
Note that PortaPocket offers peace of mind & convenience for working out, going out, traveling, and everyday. Inexpensive, too. Kits range $8.95 to $24.95 and are available at select retailers, on amazon and at www.portapocket.com And they were “cushy” and comfortable- first hand experience says so!
CADOOZLES * Z-GRIPS *REGAL ROLLERBALLS! WE GOT GREAT WRITING TOOLS HERE!
I must admit that for the past few weeks I have been writing (when I am not typing) with my new fave mechanical pencil – the CADOOZLE. I also have a really cute Z-Grip Daisies pen in purple! Then I recently found this great display with all three products. And our reviewers- well the girls went nuts for the Z-Grips and the Cadoozles were GONE before I could stop them (yes, I managed to grab one and I had to buy more for our GIVEAWAYS!) The REGAL ROLLERBALLS were saved for donation. Go to ZEBRAPEN.com for more info!
Who doesn’t have a memory involving their MASTER LOCK. I used one throughout school for my main locker and gym locker. And my bike was always secured with a MASTER LOCK. Now that was back in the “dark ages” before cool styles and colors. We got to check out two different models. The Precision Dial and the Speed Dial. The pitch was as follows: The Precision Dial and Speed Dial let your little student CREATE THEIR OWN PASSWORD (or big students as they’re great for high school and college), making it easy to remember. The Speed Dial also features technology (first of its kind) that opens with directional movement (up, down, left, right) – making it even harder to crack.”
Now this is what our team liked- if you have a learning challenge- such as Learning Disabilities- the Speed Dial allowed you to remember direction or motion versus a set of numbers. This was very well received! I liked the Speed Dial so much that I will reiterate my endorsement during our August 25th show dedicated to products for classrooms and students with exceptional needs. The Website is easy… www.MasterLock.com
OMG- World War III also started when the reviewers found out that this backpack was to be donated to a local middle school and not up for grabs! They LOVED it. Here were some words used to describe the TARGUS – CRAVE LAPTOP BACKPACK-
“Cushy” * “A lot of room for all my stuff” * “Straps are really comfortable” * My large laptop will fit in here – no problem” * “Outside side-pocket great for dorm swipe key card and my college ID” * “HUGE!”
Sam liked it too- see this cute promo video that he did as an ad lib!
ROSETTA STONE- LANGUAGE SERIES- Most of our August 18th show will be dedicated to this amazing language learning company. Lane Sutton- KidCriticUSA will be joining me at the end of the show to announce a few more “must haves” for BACK TO SCHOOL, also!
Texas Instrument TI-NSPIRE CALCULATOR- the newest technologies for high school and college level math. Great touch screen- amazing capabilities.
How to Pay for College Without Going Broke- by Reecy Aresty We will chat about this fun and informative book that many parents should read YEARS BEFORE their kids are applying to college. Available at the author’s website: http://www.paylessforcollege.com/
We will have two copies for GIVEAWAYS!! Show date will be August 3rd.
WELCOME! Hello everyone and thank you for joining me on my new BLOG, well actually VLOG! Why is that? Because, I tend to video blog much of what I want to convey for my friends who are anxious to learn, practice or communicate with American Sign Language!
Like many people, I don’t just wear one hat! I created my own business- Signing Families™, have worked in education for like a “zillion” years, blog on other sites at maniacal speed, host a radio show on the HerInsight network titled- Learning and Laughter with Louise (Yep – it is both Educational and FUNNY!) and have time to spare for my family…. (more about them later).
However, it is important to note that this blog is mostly for us to have a forum to share and learn from each other. I will be posting my weekly Learning and Laughter with Louise updates here from now on! So, look forward to flying fingers as I sign my little heart out!
And from time to time I will post favorite material from others, as well.
Comments are welcome…. but we all need to be adhere to a few rules… be nice, play fair and no negativity.