I spent a week in San Diego in July listening to some of the best educational publishers in the marketplace showing off their new books for fall. Usually there is a trend, some topic area that nearly all the publishers are trying to hit. Last year it was Going Green and lots of books on economics. This year it's a little harder to spot a specific trend. With the Olympics in London next year, there are plenty of new books on that subject. And the Titanic is having an anniversary. But the buzz word that keeps popping up, no matter who's talking, is common core. As states across the country adopt the new Common Core Standards, publishers are striving to make sure their new lists give educators the tools to meet the new guidelines.
Common Core Standards Initiative - The official site.
Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project - Is a Gates Foundation project that wrote curriculum maps for (English Language Arts (ELA) core standards. They are intended to be a road map for teachers to implement the CCSS standards in ELA curriculum. This link will take you directly to the grade level maps.
There are lots of new science books, both in the traditional library bound format, and in paperback for classroom use. In Georgia, and other states may soon follow suit, science is now the second indicator for CRCT testing (state testing). In then past, a school attained adequate
yearly progress based on the math and reading scores of students, with a secondary indicator of attendance. That is changing, and as a result schools are going to be looking for new ways to build science content into math classes and English language arts.
Lerner Publishing is introducing something they call Lerner Publisher Services. It's books from a
group of four small presses that Lerner with be carrying in their line. I was delighted to find that Gecko Press, an award-winning New Zealand based house is one of the presses, and Lerner will be publishing one book a year from author Joy Cowley. Love her books. Love her. Writers, if you've been to the Highlights Chautauqua conference, you'll recognize her name.
And by the way, I received a very complimentary rejection from Lerner editor, Andrew Karre, on my middle grades novel. I knew they were focusing on their new YA line right now, but it was worth a try.
We're working with a new publisher this year, called Weigl, who have come out with a very cool concept for pairing library bound books with book specific technology, for the price of the library book. They call them AV2 books. This is a good product for both libraries and classroom. You can pull up the videos, info, and games on a whiteboard in the classroom.
And of course, ebooks are still a big deal. More publishers are getting on the bandwagon and getting their act together a little better than last year.