Thursday, August 25, 2011

3-D Magna Tiles Have Many Uses!

My name is Rebecca Patterson and I am one of the buyers in the Merchandising Department at Discount School Supply. One of the categories that I manage is Manipulatives. My favorite product by far in this category is the 3-D Magna-Tiles® (MAGNA100). 3-D Magna-Tiles® is a favorite for use in designs, building and imaginative play.

You may not believe this, but 3-D Magna-Tiles® were inspired by the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras of Samos (560 – 480 BC), who was responsible for many important discoveries in mathematics. It was his belief that the entire world could be better understood through a greater understanding and appreciation of the relationships among numbers. Pythagoras may never have envisioned Magna-Tiles®, but they offer a wonderful way to explore many of those complex relationships he felt were important. Whether through directed instruction and guidance, or through open-ended creative play, Magna-Tiles® allow young minds to experience and understand basic math and science and yet to still have fun!

Magna-Tiles® are unique magnets that attract on all sides, even when flipped around. Children needn’t worry about poles as they build with these magnets. Children will learn through interactive play about geometric shapes, symmetry and other basic math concepts with these colorful pieces.

Other activities and skills that can be explored are stacking, splitting stacks to work with halves, matching shapes, observing symmetry, covering larges shapes with smaller shapes, creating enclosed shapes and observing angle relationships.

You can also use Magna-Tiles® to explore magnetic attraction with other metal items such as paper clips, silverware, metal file cabinets, refrigerators, car doors, etc.

By far, this is one purchase that you will be glad to have as a teaching tool in your classroom!

Check this video out for more information!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Refillable Window Blocks Are Diverse!

Hi, my name is Nancy Maycroft and I live in Cary, IL. I work for Discount School Supply as a Sales Consultant for the state of IL.

I love thinking up new ideas for the Refillable Window Blocks (FILL). They are well constructed and the screws make it safe so that the children cannot open the blocks. The set is made up of large blocks consisting of four triangles, four rectangles, and four squares. The corners are all rounded for toddler safety. They are large enough that it is easy to fill them. These are a great add-on to any large unit block set.

Refillable Window Blocks can be used in many ways. They can be used to store and protect things that are fragile. Children can still observe items front and back without crushing or breaking them, such as dead insects and fragile flowers. This makes them a great asset to the Science Center. They are wonderful for theme days, such as color days, holidays and beach days. This product inspires the imagination of both teachers and children!

But Refillable Window Blocks can really be used in every aspect of learning, such as the Science Center I mentioned earlier. Another great area of use is the Nutrition Center. The refillable blocks can be filled with rice, pasta, beans and any other dry good you would like to show -- all without the chance of spilling! You can also use the Refillable Blocks to store art products like feathers, beads, sequins, or foam shapes. Or use them in the Social Studies section for dioramas. Your Math Centers will come alive when you use refillable blocks and fill them with items used for counting. Have fun! The possibilities are endless!

Check out this video!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Delightful Pat Bells

I’m Genie, one of the Sales Directors here at Discount School Supply. I taught school for nine years, as well as having taught music and movement classes. Music is one of my favorite areas in the curriculum, and I love the Pat Bells.

The first time I saw the Pat Bells (AP8090J) in the Discount School Supply catalog, I realized that some teachers might find the cost a little more than expected. However, I ordered them and I played with them, and I was just delighted. I realized I had made an investment for life.

Pat Bells are of very high quality; they have perfect pitch; and, with very little effort, they create a beautiful tone. Teachers, parents and children will all enjoy playing songs using the eight notes in the major scale. Each bell is a different color, and the set comes with a color-coded song book. If one child creates a song by color, another child can play it back by matching the color order. These wonderful Pat Bells come in a beautiful box and will be a special treat and treasure for your early childhood classroom.

Watch the video below for more information!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rock On!

My daughter’s very first cradle had rockers that allowed side to side rocking, and that gentle rocking motion helped to soothe her quickly in those first days after we brought her home from the hospital. To this day, when I hold an infant in my arms, I find myself swaying, unconsciously and oh-so gently, from side to side. I suspect I am not the only one who moves this way with a babe in arms; it is soothing for both the swayer and swayee!

I am Julie Fraser, buyer for the Special Needs category at Discount School Supply. One of my favorite items in the Special Needs collection is the Body Rocker (AP93211J). Rocking is a wonderful way to soothe children when outside stimulus becomes overwhelming. A back-and-forth rocking chair or a swing are the items that first come to mind to provide this soothing motion, but both can be impractical in a classroom setting. At 36” long and 23 ¼” wide, the vinyl-covered foam Body Rocker takes up far less space than a swing, and with no rockers to pinch indiscriminately placed fingers and hands, does not pose the hazard of a standard rocking chair. Plus, the Body Rocker’s unique design allows full-body rocking in a cushioned, laying position, or upright rocking in forward and back or lateral motions, all while exercising a child’s sense of balance.

Numerous researchers, such as the late A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., and Lindsey Biel, OCR/L, presenter and co-author of Raising a Sensory Smart Child, suggest incorporating rockers into a child’s environment for the calming benefits of the rocking motion. While they suggest rocking be an integral part of sensory therapy for children with special needs, all children may benefit from this soothing motion when life around them gets too hectic. The same is true for many of the other sensory products we offer in the Special Needs section at Discount School Supply. I invite you to consider how the Tactile Air Cushion (AP9531J), the Classroom Light Filters (AP92301J), or the Senso-Dot Balls (AP15174J) (among others) might help soothe the children in your life as they go about the very important work of learning!

You can watch a video about the Body Rocker here: