||Merit Software News
Ben Weintraub (212-675-8567)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENew Reading And Language Arts Web Site: Book Punch
A Fresh Approach to Teaching Literature in the Classroom
Merit Software just introduced Book Punch - www.bookpunch.com - an interactive web site that takes students through the steps of thinking and writing about well-known children's books. With Book Punch, students learn to write an organized response to literature, a critical skill that will help them succeed in school. Book Punch gives teachers the structure, and students the tools, needed to develop pupils' reading, writing, and thinking skills.
Book Punch is a groundbreaking use of educational technology based on research at Marshall University and developed by Merit's team of reading and curriculum design specialists. The program evolved from Merit’s popular Paragraph Punch and Essay Punch products, which have been recognized for excellence in teaching students to write effectively. Marshall University researchers have demonstrated that students using Merit, including the Punch programs, show improvements in reading and writing skills.
Book Punch helps students to connect to books more personally, and to think critically about what they have read. As a classroom tool, Book Punch enriches reading activity and is a supplement to writing instruction. It complements state and local curriculum standards for reading and writing. The program is also designed for use individually, in small reading groups, or with an entire class.
For each book, Book Punch offers three types of online exercises: In the Text-to-Self section, students write about their own experiences, based upon themes from the book. In the Evidence and Inference section, students connect details to ideas in the book, and develop a deeper understanding from their reading. In the Reading Check section, students write about important facts or events from the book, allowing parents and teachers to ensure that they've read and understood the literature.
Book Punch includes printable vocabulary activities, graphic organizers, and writing rubrics. Hundreds of built-in tips and supports help to guide students step-by-step as they work through the program. Book Punch automatically saves each student's work and also includes an intuitive teacher management system that makes it easy to view and comment on each student's work.
The program currently supports 20 of the most popular trade books read in schools today, including Because of Winn-Dixie, The Trumpet of the Swan, Frindle, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Chocolate Fever, and Sarah, Plain and Tall. Ten additional titles will be added to Book Punch shortly. New titles will be added based on customer requests.
Book Punch is web-based and will work with any Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer with Internet access and a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer 6.0+ (Windows) or Firefox 2.0 (Windows, Linux and Mac). One full year's access for one book costs $29 (US). Affordable multi-student and multi-book pricing is available.
A full-working demo of one of the Book Punch activities is available, with no login required, at www.bookpunch.com/activities.php. Lesson plan aids and teaching guides for each Book Punch title are available at www.bookpunch.com/books.php.
Leading contemporary educators such as Keene & Zimmerman, Fountas & Pinnell, Langer, and Graham have noted the importance of combining writing and literature instruction to teach reading and language arts skills. Prior to the introduction of Book Punch, this was a difficult strategy to effectively implement in the classroom.
For more information, contact Merit Software, 121 West 27th Street, Suite 603, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 675-8567 Fax: (212) 675-8607 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.bookpunch.com or www.meritsoftware.com.
Other Merit Software writing sites include
www.paragraphpunch.com, www.essaypunch.com, and www.businessletterpunch.com.
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Editorial Evaluation Account Available on Request
About Book Punch:
Book Punch is based upon Merit Software's popular Paragraph Punch and Essay Punch products, which have been recognized for excellence in teaching students to write effectively. Marshall University researchers have shown that students using Merit, including the Punch programs, show improvements in reading and writing skills.
Book Punch and Paragraph Punch are recommended by the Utah Instructional Materials Commission. Paragraph Punch and Essay Punch are recommended by the California Learning Resource Network.
Since 1983, Merit Software (www.meritsoftware.com) has been producing educational software that addresses the core competencies that students require to succeed. The emphasis is on strengthening students' ability to read, analyze data and communicate their ideas.
Merit Software's programs are known throughout the industry for providing context-sensitive tutorials for students and convenient record management features to aid teachers, tutors and parents.
Visit www.meritsoftware.com to examine the company's library of educational applications currently being used in thousands of educational facilities worldwide.
Merit's educational software has been the subject of rigorous, independent, scientific-based research. These studies have concluded that Merit's software provides an effective supplement to everyday instruction. Research findings are available on www.meritsoftware.com/research.