Friday, March 23, 2012

Leading Educational Publisher Launches New Online Version of Best-Selling SAT-Prep Vocabulary Program

February 20th, 2012, Smyrna, DE — This week, Prestwick House, Delaware’s leading educational publisher, is proud to unveil Vocabulary Power Plus Online — a digital version of the company’s best-selling Vocabulary Power Plus for the New SAT series. This new program will include all of the exercises and resources from the series in an easy-to-use, cloud-based format that puts an interactive version of the books directly on student screens.

Over the past 29 years, Prestwick House has become one the leading publishers of educational materials in the country by consistently developing new products for English teachers. In recent years, a focus on technology in the classroom has led Prestwick House to publish over 1,500 different downloadables, including e-books based on best-selling Literary Touchstone Classic editions and individual eLessons.

“We’ve always been focused on how teachers can use technology in the classroom. In the past, we’ve emphasized using the power of the Internet to make it easier and cheaper to get ready-to-use resources into the classroom, but we’re finally reaching a point in which access to computers is pervasive enough that teachers will be able to make technology a core part of their classroom,” says Keith Bergstrom, head of the Prestwick House Digital Division.

“As I speak with teachers about Vocabulary Power Plus Online, I’m learning a lot about what they’re looking for in terms of online resource. Many companies are making online programs full of cute animations that may entertain, but they’re not actually teaching students. We’re committed to developing pedagogically sound resources that empower teachers to do what they do best – make a personal connection with students and foster learning.”

With this unique vocabulary program, students will gain all of the benefits of the traditional student workbooks, along with added benefits like automatic grading and access to classwork via any computer with an internet connection. The system will allow students to see upcoming assignments, complete homework, practice for tests, and take quizzes and tests online. Teachers will be able to manage grade books, create assignments, and see reports on individual student progress.

The system also gives instant feedback right on the screen, showing where students need to improve as they work through each lesson. Additionally, all grades are reported directly to the teacher, saving valuable grading time on multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions.

“We believe that a teacher will always be the center of a classroom, so we’re at work developing tools that make teachers’ lives easier and their classrooms more effective,” says Bergstrom. “Right now, we’re evaluating tools to improve a teacher’s ability to use our curriculum resources, and we hope to unveil more online resources in the coming year.”

To find out more or schedule a free Vocabulary Power Plus Online demo for your school or district, please call (800)-932-4593 or visit


If you’d like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview, please call Keith Bergstrom at 302/659-2070 x131 or e-mail Keith at

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not: A New Program from Prestwick House

When you handle as many books as we do on a daily basis, there is no way to avoid a few dinged up, torn, and oddly folded copies. Since books like this don't meet our strict requirements for sale, they've always ended up in the recycling bin. 

It pains us to get rid of usable but imperfect books, but we never want to risk shipping damaged books to teachers like you who already have enough to worry about.

In these tight economic times, it occurred to our warehouse staff that teachers might appreciate having a free back-up copy -- even if it is slightly damaged or torn. 

That’s why they came up with new “Waste Not, Want Not…” envelopes. 

These envelopes are added to orders when we happen to have extra copies that are unsaleable but still readable. Each envelope says “Please note that you were not charged for this copy. Since it is slightly damaged and therefore unsellable, we hoped that you might be able to use it as a backup. Sincerely, The Prestwick House Warehouse Staff.” 

At Prestwick House we strive to be on the teacher's side, and are constantly trying to come up with new ways to help you out. We know budgets are tight, and we hope that finding an unsolicited extra copy in a future order might be something that comes in handy in your classroom.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What are Teacher Reviewers Saying About Our Introduction to Literary Theory Presentation?

Recently, we received feedback on the Introduction to Literary Theory Power Presentation from teachers on the Prestwick House National Curriculum Advisory Board.

With this unique PowerPoint presentation, you will be able to give your students the tools they need to understand literature beyond the simple conventions of plot, characterization, and theme. Covering six critical theories through the lens of the classic Cinderella story, Introduction to Literary Theory will help your students to clearly see how literature can be seen from different perspectives. 

Introduction to Literary Theory can be used in conjunction with your favorite Multiple Critical Perspectives guides or as a stand alone addition to your curriculum.

Theories covered include: Feminism, Marxism, Psychoanalytic/Freudian Theory, Archetypal/Mythological Theory, New Historicism, and Formalism.

"I am very impressed with this product. The format is far more teacher and student friendly than a textbook. The amount of information on each screen allows students to take accurate notes quickly before advancing on to additional screens. Visually, the product is easy to view and read."
"I would use this product myself. I am always looking for current, user-friendly materials I feel my students will find as interesting as I do. This product fills that bill."
"The product's format is by far its strongest attribute. Anytime a teacher can use visuals in the classroom, it increases the chances that students will be drawn into the lesson. Here, the presentation can be viewed on a large, overhead screen making it easy for all students to see and take notes from."
- Karen DiBetta

"The accompanying instructions are incredibly clear. Even teachers who are not used to using PowerPoint will be able to navigate it easily."
- Elizabeth Miley

"Each theory is compact and gives an excellent summary of what students should look for when exploring literature from a different perspective. Kudos!"
- Judith Mayersmith

"For any teacher of students who will be heading to university, providing a basis for analysis is useful. It would also be useful for students to examine the various theories before arriving at college, so that it will not be new and foreign to the students." 
- Leticia Geldart

"I have struggled with a clear way of presenting literary theory to my students. This product does exactly that."
- Stephanie Rodevick

"We have been moving toward a more comprehensive coverage of literary theory over the past 2 school years and I see this product as a way to better organize our instruction with our junior and seniors. The consistency of the presentation would help us as teachers to be more consistent as well."
- Cam Matthews

"This product is a wonderful way to spark discussion of a work of literature. The various literary methods addressed in the presentation provide ample opportunity for all students in the class, regardless of ability, to engage in a meaningful discussion of a work."
- Sonya K Shaw

Monday, March 5, 2012

Prestwick House Develops New ACT Prep Program Based on Best-Selling Vocabulary Power Plus for the New SAT Series

This week, Prestwick House will introduce its first vocabulary series tailored to the needs of ACT students, Vocabulary Power Plus for the ACT.

Based on the same techniques used in Prestwick House’s best-selling Vocabulary Power Plus for the New SAT vocabulary series with over 700,000 copies sold since 2004, Vocabulary Power Plus for the ACT is now available for students in grades 9-12.

“This series is based on both NCTE/IRA scientific research and the ACT itself,” says author, Daniel Reed. “Because of this, teachers will be able to give their students quality ACT test prep while simultaneously adhering to best practices in teaching vocabulary.”

“With the number of vocabulary words students are expected to learn, and the limited amount of time available to teachers in the classroom, it makes sense to create a program that can maximize both student ACT scores and word retention.”

While the ACT exam has been taken by students across all fifty states since 1960, reports that the number of students taking the test has grown significantly in the past ten years. In 2010, 27 states reported over 50% of the student population as test-takers.

“With the increased number of students preparing for the ACT test and a lack of ACT-specific vocabulary products on the market, we wanted to make sure that teachers had what they need to help their students excel,” says Prestwick House Brand Manager, Jerry Clark.

Vocabulary Power Plus for the ACT covers not only vocabulary, but also reading, writing, and grammar in a logically structured format. While skills learned through Vocabulary Power Plus for the ACT are universally useful, the series is specifically tailored for use as preparation for the ACT — something that we think teachers of ACT test-takers will find extremely useful.”

In addition to teaching vocabulary, this series provide students with practice on ACT-style questions and provides effective writing strategies that will prepare them for the ACT writing component.

“We provide ACT-style questions so that exam takers will be familiar with the structure of the language portion of the ACT on the morning they take it. The series helps test takers develop the cautious aggression necessary to succeed on any assessment test, whether ACT or SAT,” explains Reed.

“The ACT writing test is about getting your idea on paper in a short amount of time—not editing or proofreading or rewriting, because there’s very little time (30 minutes) for revision. Developing a rapid writing strategy for use with any topic is essential.”

Along with student workbooks, a teacher’s edition, and multiple versions of test packages, the Vocabulary Power Plus for the ACT series contains helpful Introduction Presentations and Practice Presentations. Introduction Presentations familiarize students with words at the beginning of each unit and help them grasp shades of meaning by using words in an authentic context. Practice Presentations ensure that students have a firm understanding of new words provides the practice they need to retain them.

Currently, Prestwick House is looking for school partners to test the effectiveness of Vocabulary Power Plus for the ACT on students’ ACT scores. If you are interested in partnering with Prestwick House to try out this new program in exchange for free vocabulary materials, please contact Keith Bergstrom at or (302)-659-2070 x131.

To learn more about Vocabulary Power Plus for the ACT, call (800)-932-4593 or visit

About Prestwick House - Founded in 1983 by a former Dover High School administrator, Prestwick House is a leader in educational publishing. With a focus on helping English teachers in grades 9-12, Prestwick House publishes the largest selection of literature teaching guides in the country, a line of classic novels, and hundreds of other educational products. Find out more at