Friday, November 1, 2013

New Characters Go Viral

The EnteleTrons™ spread the message that logic and respect are better ways to solve conflict than violence, bullying, and weapons.  Though their efforts in their books, these endearing characters show children about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) topics while modeling strong moral behavior.  Young readers learn how the natural world works while they also learn valuable lessons in human interaction.  

Entelechy Education, LLC needs your help to spread this message in two ways:
  1. Support our Indiegogo campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/entelechy-education-llc/x/3889538.  You will get lots of fun "rewards" just in time for holiday gift-giving.  An added bonus will be the satisfaction that you will be helping us to create more books in the series.  Want to suggest your own topic for the next book?  Do you have a pet peeve you'd like to see as the next focus?  Then scroll down the Indiegogo page to the Ning's Team and the other Enteletrons' teams. Add that level of support and we will incorporate your ideas into our next book!
  2. Follow our Thunderclap effort at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/6101-enteletrons-new-characters.  All we ask is that you click on the "follow this organizer" button and then share this information on your Facebook or Twitter page.  When we reach 100 followers by November 14, 2013, the EnteleTrons will go viral through the Thunderclap network.
We appreciate all of our supporters, followers, and customers who see the potential for greatness that we see in helping children to understand STEM topics while they learn  about character education.  See more information at our website: www.entelechyed.com.

Please join us on our path to creating The EnteleTrons™ Cartoon Series!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Character Education for Christmas?



They knew it would be there. Under the Christmas tree. That small, colorfully-wrapped gift. Each child knew I had chosen it especially for her. I considered each girl’s interests, wants, and needs. The care I took selecting this present rivaled the care given by a surgeon when selecting an instrument. It was their yearly book that I added to their personal libraries.
One girl might have gotten a book on home chemistry experiments. Another got a book about basketball plays. And the third got a book of crafts. On another year, I chose fiction books that carried a strong moral lesson: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where each entrant with poor moral judgment is eliminated from the quest for the golden ticket. Charlotte’s Web, a tale of friendship and acceptance of the inevitable. And Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room to show how cooperation can accomplish great tasks. I didn’t have to teach them anything included in these books – the authors did that for me!
Today, each girl has made a wonderful mark in her world. One was a philanthropy chair in her sorority. Two earned Outstanding Teacher Awards. And they all are strong, caring wives and parents to my six grandchildren. Certainly, the books were not the only influence that caused them to be so morally and intellectually successful, but I’d like to think that the hours I spent choosing their books contributed to that success.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m about to make your life easier. In my retirement from education, I have begun a line of books and games with a co-founder that combines nonfiction intellectual lessons with moral lessons found in fiction. Toss in a literacy component and you have the recipe for a winning Christmas present under the tree. I challenge you to find any other book series with this valuable combination of attributes. Where’s Green? shows young readers how a rainbow is formed, the power of cooperation within a group, and includes a play on words with alliteration. What’s the Matter? explains the cycle of solid, liquid, and gas, while showing children about acceptance of change and includes a variety of participles. Each book features endearing characters called The EnteleTrons™.
Your children deserve a strong literary presence under the Christmas tree, too! At www.entelechyed.com, you will find these books and extended activities you can do with your children long after the wrapping paper has gone to the recycle bin. In addition, you’ll find educational games that also include that important character education component of cooperation.
Certainly, there are other books you can get your children that will show them intellectual and moral lessons, so shop around and find the one that’s just right for your child or teenager. Don’t stop until you find one that practically has your child’s name written on the cover! Many years later, your child with thank you for the lessons you indirectly taught him or her with the books they got under the Christmas tree.
Start your own Christmas tradition this year! It’s not too late to build your child’s library with academic, moral, and literacy lessons, especially if you can combine them all in one wonderful book.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rainbow Literacy Backpack

Literacy backpacks have found their way into lower elementary classrooms as a way to increase the knowledge of a single topic.  The backpack idea appeals to kids who think it’s “cool” to take home a special backpack and bring it back to school in a few days.  Teachers like that their students are learning some extracurricular topics outside the realm of Common Core Content Standards and PARCC testing restrictions.  And parents like that their children are gainfully employed while they explore the contents of the backpack.

Each backpack contains 3-5 books that relate to a single topic with a laminated list of suggested activities on one side and a bring-back checklist on the other side.  The activities relate directly to each book.  The checklist makes sure none of the books or accompanying materials gets left home for the next backpack borrower.  
To support this effort, Entelechy Education, LLC offers the following Literacy Backpack lessons to go with their hardcover book, Where’sGreen? which presents the concepts of rainbows, cooperation within a group, and alliteration.  Each of our books always combines a STEM topic with a character education lesson, and a language literacy component.  

Here are some suggested activities that might go with including Where’s Green? in your literacy backpack on the rainbow theme:
  • Create a pop-up rainbow card to give to a senior citizen or sick relative.
  • Find all the alliteration in Where’s Green?
  • Make a list of all the things Green might have done when he left the rainbow.
If you add an inexpensive prism to the backpack, include it on the list of items to return and then add some activities to go with that prism:
  • Hold the prism in front of a window on a sunny day and watch the rainbows dance around the room
  • Hold the prism in front of a window on a cloudy day and notice the difference.
Have fun adding both fiction and nonfiction books to your literacy backpacks!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

STEM education influences career plans

There’s a growing drumbeat regarding the need for improved STEM education --- education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  And rightfully so. There are now over 7 billion people inhabiting this Earth --- all competing for resources, sometimes creating conflict, and certainly contributing to our collective advancement as a truly global society.

Given the nature of the STEM topics, “hands-on” programs are essential --- and there are a lot of good people doing a lot of good work developing new programs --- but mainly focusing on high school and middle school teachers and students --- with far less attention given to elementary school children.

Since there will always be a need to teach children to read --- what if we were able to teach basic science concepts, at an earlier age, in a way that is engaging, taking full advantage of our schools’ standard reading and literacy curriculum?

We know this is possible --- so we are taking a different path --- and here’s why:

1. We know that early exposure to STEM fields strongly influences career plans.

2. We also know that character development is equally important for members of a global society --- character development makes a huge difference in how children’s brains develop --- and when children use positive character traits to solve problems, conflict decreases.

3. Finally, we know that when children are in a fun, comfortable environment, they learn more quickly.

So we have created a new category of children’s books --- TheEnteleTrons™ series, in hard copy and e-book versions --- which blend both STEM topics and character education themes in a fun environment. The EnteleTrons™ are three, basic sub-atomic particles that come to life and lead young readers through adventures around the universe, teaching wholesome and scientifically-sound material.

We are now poised to expand the series, translate to different languages, and move into newer, multi-media and animation formats to enhance appeal by combining education with entertainment --- and we’re excited about the broad and long-term possibilities.

Thank you for visiting Entelechy Education… Turning potential into reality through education.

Teach your kids to THINK!

Entelechy Education, LLC looks to the future by preparing children to THINK creatively about STEM topics, language literacy, and character education.
CEOs, including Logitech's Bracken Darrell, Aetna's Mark Bertolini, Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, and Intel co-founder Andy Grove have emphasized how important language literacy is to a STEM education. Consider the new game Creative Connections – STEMEdition, developed by Entelechy Education, LLC. In this unique, stimulating game, children are encouraged to create connections between two or more STEM topics.  This is easier said than done, because children typically wait patiently for the teacher or parent to provide the answer, when they take too long to respond.  According to Entelechy Education, LLC c-founder RenĂ©e Heiss, our children are a generation of spoon-fed learners.  They need to be innovators and take charge of their education.
The literacy support to the STEM topics in Creative Connections – STEM Edition, appears in the second round of this card game.  That’s when players must use the connections they have created in the first round to develop a story in the second round.  Again, this is easier said than done because kids generally don’t see further than the primary function of an object.  They also generally see that item as the subject of the sentence.  Challenge the young player to use a simile or a metaphor in addition to the “creative connection” and they fail to see the “connection.” 
According to one mother of a nine-year-old, “Creative Connections – STEM Edition challenged my son to go beyond the obvious to devise unusual connections between two common objects.”  Her son agreed.  He said, “This cool game made me think! Can we play it again?” Music to a mother’s ears! 

So, how do you teach children to THINK?
Trigger the creative thought processes with a minimum of information
Harness the natural curiosity of kids with incentives to consider natural connections
Ignite their interest with a fun, challenging game or motivation
Nourish their love of STEM, language literacy, and character education with food for thought
Kindle the ability to think by offering a minimum of answers to their questions

When teachers and parents use the THINK process, they will produce children who are better able to solve problems, both intellectual and emotions.  They will produce children who are achievers and leaders rather than blind followers.  And they will produce children who will be strong, active members of their school and community


Are you ready to help you child THINK?  Then order a copy of Creative Connections – STEM Edition at https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/creative-connections-stem or Creative Connections - Picture Edition for nonreaders of all ages at https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/creative-connections-picture-edition   Or if you would like to receive one of these games as part of a Fundable reward, then check out your options at http://www.fundable.com/entelechy-education.  You will be able to help your own children develop better thinking skills, or you might consider donating the reward for an underprivileged child through the Care Bags Foundation.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Help for stressed teachers

It's the end of the school year.  You have a bazillion final exams or essays to grade, many students to process through the digital grading system, several reports to file with your supervisor, and assorted signatures to secure on your sign-out sheet.  Top that with your duties at home, and it is no wonder you're stressed.  Here at Entelechy Education, LLC, we understand and appreciate the challenges you are experiencing right now, so we offer the following suggestions to ease your life:

  1. Eat right - research has proven that a diet filled with fast food and carbonated beverages causes our bodies to destroy the ability to effectively deal with stress.  Instead, revise your shopping list to include whole grains, plenty of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and unprocessed foods.  In other words, shop mostly  in the perimeter of your grocery store.  But, you say you don't have time to make all that fresh food?  Consider using the almighty slow cooker!  Make a big pot in the morning by tossing in all the meat and fresh veggies.  By dinner time when you're exhausted, you'll have wholesome food waiting for your return home.
  2. Meditate - Call it prayer, meditation, or downtime, but it is still an escape from everyday reality.  Ten minutes - that's all it takes to recondition your mind and body to cope with everyday stresses.  Consider finding a picture of your favorite vacation or a picture on the Internet of your fantasy vacation.  Focus on that while you slip away from reality for a while.  You'll emerge from the experience refreshed and renewed.
  3. Exercise - Ah, those endorphins!  Those feel-good chemicals that block pain, and are also responsible for our feelings of pleasure. They are released with exercise.  So before you go home, run a lap around the track or head to your gym.  You'll be better able to cope with the pressures at home after a stressed day at work.  
  4. Sleep - You don't think you have enough time to sleep because you have too much to do?  Think again!  You should be getting seven hours of sleep each night.  Get too little sleep, and your work becomes sluggish, taking longer to complete the task.  Get enough sleep and you become an efficient grading machine!
  5. Plan - If you have those bazillion essays to grade and you have two weeks in which to get them done, then set aside time to several each day.  That makes the task more manageable and less odious.  Also plan time to spend with your support group - family and friends who care about you.  Be in the moment - don't spend time with them while you worry about clearing the clutter in your room by the end of the school year.  Enjoy your time with others - laugh, play, sing, or simply sip tea and talk (but not about work!)
  6. Overlap - Try to find things you can do together,  like straightening your room while you exercise (bend over five times before you pick up that piece of paper on the floor!)  And when you plan your elementary book list for next year, add EnteleTrons™ titles because our books combine STEM topics with character education in the literacy curriculum! www.entelechyed.com/entelestore 
When you put this plan in place, you'll have a less stressed end of the school year.  Enjoy your summer and return in September ready to educate the next class of students who are eager for your words of wisdom on intellectual, social, and moral topics!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our view of the perfect world with character education

In a perfect world, children would be tested on their ability to:
  • Empathize with people in pain
  • Develop creative solutions to their own problems
  • Accept that everyone should be appreciated for their differences
  • Save money and spend wisely
  • Read and follow directions
  • Respect authority
  • Assist anyone in need
  • Complete a task, even one that is distasteful to them
  • Beautify their world
  • Be proactive about their own health
  • Seek and accept help when needed
  • Assure their safety and the safety of others
Because when children learn these basic principles, learning academic and practical subjects becomes so much easier.  At Entelechy Education, LLC, we are helping to create that perfect world because we feel that character education and academic education should be integrated into a single learning experience, whether that is a book, game, or even a lecture.  See how we do that at www.entelechyed.com.

If you agree, add your own new abilities to be tested below....

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten K-5 STEM-C™ free or inexpensive websites for teachers


At Entelechy Education, LLC, we embrace the K-5 STEM-C philosophy, which combines STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education with character education in the K-5 literacy curriculum.  Here are some of our favorite websites that support our current and planned titles.

  1. At Entelechy Education, LLC, teachers will find a host of teaching aids related to the STEM/character education titles.  After reading Where’s Green?, download the FREE accompanying learning guide at EnteleKey™ Learning Guides.  (Grades K-1)

  1. Find interactive simulations at http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/by-level/elementary-school, which show children how many things work. After reading What’s the Matter? (pub date Summer 2013), show this video on the basics of the states of matter: http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/states-of-matter-basics  (Grades 2-3)

  1. The Character Education Partnership offers many resources for teaching about character education.  After reading Oxygen Finds Friends (pub date Fall, 2013), and discussing tolerance and differences, try this lesson plan on celebrating differences: http://www.character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/elementary/allen-creek-elementary-school/  (Grades 4-5)

  1. NASA has many FREE teaching aids at http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/ After reading The Patient Planets (pub date Winter 2013), supplement your unit on the solar system and space exploration with this lesson plan: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/educ/docs/Lesson%202%20Grades%201-3_FINAL.pdf  (Grades K-1)

  1. The Coral Reef Adventure film website at http://coralfilm.com/ has many teaching aids and games for children to help them learn about the ecology of reefs.  After reading The Rhythm of the Reef (pub date 2014), show them the associated video available at http://coralfilm.com/dvd.html.  (Grades 2-3)

  1. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has links to lesson plans on money and financial planning at http://www.treasury.gov/about/education/pages/Lesson-Plans-for-Teachers.aspx After reading A Money Garden (pub date 2014), download “Money Math: Lessons for Life” at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/tools/tools_moneymath.htm and learn how to become a millionaire! (Grades 4-5)

  1. The Texas Tech University T-STEM center offers many lesson plans for teachers, including a unit on robotics at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/robotics_content.php .  After reading A Robot Did My Homework (pub date 2014), download an ethics lesson plan at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/ethics_robotics.php  (Grades K-1)

  1. Renewable energy will fuel the future.  Find lesson plans on solar, wind, hydroelectric, and other renewable sources of energy at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/tstem/curriculum/robotics/robotics_content.php. After reading Ellie’s Electric Engine (pub date 2014), study the advantages of renewable energy at http://www.infinitepower.org/pdf/No2_96-806B.pdf. (Grades 2-3)

  1. Crayola has developed many lesson plans for teachers using their materials at http://www.crayola.com/for-educators.aspx.   After reading The Balanced Bridges (pub date 2015), create your own prototype bridge for the EnteleTrons using this lesson plan: http://www.crayola.com/lesson-plans/bridge-builders-lesson-plan/  (Grades K-1)

  1. For a myriad of free and inexpensive teaching aids for all subjects and levels, go to www.teacherspayteachers.com. Look for STEM-C resources to help you teach character education to children of all ages like “12 Guides to Speech and Action with Children” at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/12-Guides-to-Speech-and-Action-with-Children.  Also find other aids for older students such as “Creative Options for Writing Assignments in Middle School Science” at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Creative-Options-for-Writing-Assignments-in-Middle-School-Science. Or explore literacy topics like “Comma Sense” at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Comma-Sense.

To get information when each Entelechy Education, LLC titles is released, sign up here:  http://www.entelechyed.com/contact_us.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Weave STEM education into your Literacy Curriculum with The EnteleTrons™

STEM education focuses on an active student-centered learning environment. But how do you introduce STEM topics to children who have had little exposure to the S, T, and E? Because of extensive testing of math and language arts, children seem to feel that these subjects are the only important subjects in their educational development. Teachers struggle every week to find time for science lessons in their overloaded curriculum plan. Entelechy Education, LLC has a plan to help teachers connect their literacy lessons with STEM concepts and character education in one fun, easy-to-read series featuring appealing characters called The EnteleTrons™.

How does this work? Using one of our books, find where it fits into your curriculum. For example, Where’s Green? could be used in the literacy lesson on alliteration. (shimmering shadows, little leaves) It can also be used in the Science Discovery Center for a unit on rainbows. Still not sure where this book will fit in? Then consider the valuable lesson of cooperation within a group that the characters present to young readers. (When "Green" leaves the rainbow, many problems arise for the rest of the colors.) So there you have it: Alliteration, rainbows, and cooperation all in one 32-page book for readers in grades K-2.

But remember the first sentence of this blog? STEM education focuses on active learning. Help your children to understand the order of colors in a rainbow in this fun, active lesson: Attach streamers in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple to a yard stick. Swirl them around to feel like "Ellie the Electron" in the middle of the tornado.

Still not convinced? Look below at this chart outlining the lessons you can present with just one of our books.  Each book aligns with Core Content Standards. Find more ideas for active STEM lessons at our EnteleKey Learning Guides.




Monday, April 15, 2013

Early Literacy = Early Nurturing

According to Dr. Barry Zuckerman, founder of Reach Out and Read, "Research has shown that the first five years of life are critical to a child's language development. Reading to a young child, even before a baby can hold a book, will help the child develop a love of books because she will associate them with being on her mother's lap and hearing her mother's voice."

Wow - that sounds like classical conditioning to me. How can a kid lose if he or she associates reading with early nurturing? What a simple, yet important concept for new parents to understand!

Reach Out and Read brings books to children in doctor's offices who give them age-appropriate reading material. It will expand to 100 U.S. bases by 2013, in support of Joining Forces, a White House initiative to honor and support America's service members and their families. What better place to begin helping children than with those who must accept a parent's deployment. Those parents can easily record a story for a child and then have the home parent play the recording while the child looks at the book.

Watch this video to see the 2011 information and read EnteleTrons books to your children - they develop critical thinking and personal interaction skills.


Friday, April 12, 2013

START NOW to Encourage Children to Read Summer Book Lists

Summer time will soon be here! Sun, fun, swimming, barbecues, camping, fishing, and .... da da da daaaa....summer reading lists. What? Your kids don't want to do the required reading before fourth grade? They have better things to do than read a book when the sun is shining and the fish are biting? The latest research shows that students who read at least four books over the summer will maintain or increase their vocabulary and reading skills. Here are some ideas to help your children appreciate the value of reading during the summer, even if their incoming teacher did not send them home with a list of books.
  1. Model. If I could offer only one way to encourage kids to read, it would be to read yourself. I have fond memories of sitting in my back yard with my mother as she read her novel and I read my library book.
  2. Create a summer reading club. Invite others in the same grade and reading level to come over once a week to discuss the book they're reading. It doesn't have to be the exact same book! In fact, having all the kids read different books will encourage the others to pick up that book, as well.
  3. Keep a chart. Have your children make a chart of the books they have read. When they have finished a book, they can add a sticker to their chart. They will love seeing the progress they made. I'm not an advocate of competition, so consider keeping track of their personal best per week for books or pages read, rather than competing against siblings.
  4. Read aloud. Your childen will get just as much out of a book if you read aloud, even if they are perfectly capable of reading on their own. This will motivate them to continue the story long after you have finished reading them the first chapter.
  5. Make it fun. Each time your child finishes a book, put another star on a dark blue poster board. Have fun making constellations, which will encourage the completion of a number of books. For extra fun, see if you can categorize the books into the constellations - books about bears for ursa major, for example. What fun!!
  6. Join the library reading incentive program. Most local libraries have incentives for summer reading. Find out what your library does for the children in your area.
  7. New words wall. Make a treasure hunt of new words. When you child comes across a new word, help him or her to define the word, then post it to your word wall (refrigerator door?). Encourage use of the new words throughout the summer.
  8. Encourage variety. Try to get your children to read different genres: Fiction, nonfiction, biography, science, history, mystery, etc. Categorize the books they read so you can see where their interest lies.
  9. Make your own list. Kids love to have control over their own lives. (Don't we all!) So, instead of simply using the school's suggested reading list, intersperse that list with your child's own list of books. Go to the library and get some ideas. Look online for book reviews for children. Or shop at yard sales for great summer reading bargains. They will be more likely to read the required books if they can choose different titles between them.
  10. Reward. This is way far down the list because I don't think children should receive monetary or food rewards for a job well done. However, if this is the only way to jumpstart your children's summer reading, then offer a small monthly reward - ice cream treat, $1 on a debit card for each book read, or a set of three books for younger readers (to be used at the end of summer), etc. As an alternative, if there is a movie based on the book, tell your kids you'll rent the movie when they finish the book! Compare notes after the movie.
Books will open your child's world to a new dimension. Remember to "catch 'em being good." If you find your child reading a book, wait until he puts it down, then give him a pat on the back for reading for the past half hour. Positive reinforcement goes a long way to encouraging a continuation of that positive behavior.

And I would be remiss if I didn't recommend my own books (and one by a friend) for children and teens:
  • PreK-2nd grade: Ducklings in a Row - Will Duck 10 ever get to lead the line?
  • K-2: Where's Green? Why did Green leave the rainbow?
  • Grades 3-8: Woody's World - The story of one boy's efforts to help his family during The Great Depression. Based on a true story.
  • Grades 2-6: Somebody Cares! - A young girl plans a very special birthday party.
  • High school: Crash into Me by Al Borris - Four misfit teens on a suicide mission discover the meaning of life.
Happy reading!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Help your child establish his or her own Reading Cave


Dad has his “man cave” if he’s lucky.  Mom has… well… the rest of the house.  Kids need their own special space for reading exploration.  We call it the EnteleCave™.  Here’s how it works:

1.      Start with an enclosure.  Consider these options in order of $$ spent to implement:

·        An unused closet (but who has those in their homes?)

·        A table covered with a sheet

·        An old leaky tent (after all, you’ll just be using it inside)

·        A crafty transformation of an old playhouse (see http://craftydiy.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/booknook.jpg)


Believe it or not, my father made me a reading “boat” from found materials and a sheet sail.  I wish I still had a picture of it outside of my own memory.  But you can see what an impact that simple act had on my future as a reader and an author!

2.      Ask your child to help personalize his or her EnteleCave™. 

·        Pillows for relaxing

·        A light so he or she can see the books. CFLs contain mercury; LEDs contain carcinogens. Ordinary electric lights contain zaps. Batteries can get expensive. What's a parent to do? You can make your own decisions, but we think that the Dorcy 41-1035 Rechargeable Industrial Lantern would serve nicely! 

·        Stuffed animals to share stories with

3.      Add books

·        Naturally, you’ll begin with Where’s Green? our premier book in The EnteleTrons™ Series!

·        Add other books on a variety of topics.  Try to expand your child’s knowledge by adding fiction and nonfiction; science and biography; adventure and history.  Note: I recommend that you read each book before you put it into the EnteleCave™, judging it for violence, racism, and appropriate reading level. 

·        Rotate books regularly by trading with friends or using the local library’s discarded book section.  Certainly, you can use real library books in your child’s EnteleCave™, but they might get lost in there when it comes time to return them.  Discovery Kids Cardboard Color and Play Play House

After you implement this fun and easy encouragement to read, see how excited your child becomes when you say, “TV off, EnteleCave™ on!”  We would love to see your child’s reaction posted here on this blog!