High School Chemistry Textbook

Focus, Focus…uh, what?

Well, here’s one of my “mom’s perspective” blog entries. My son is now finishing the 6th grade, my how time flies, and with any luck he’ll make it to 7th grade. Just kidding, he’s still a good student, but something seems to happen to sixth grade boys’ brains about midway through the year…they fall out. Anyone else experienced that? I know I’m not alone. They lose focus, they look at you like you’re speaking a foreign language, etc. I know, it’s normal, they all go through it to some extent, but still there is plenty of focus for some things that he deems important, Xbox being chief among them. I’m thinking that an educational publishing company, like my very own employer, Kendall Hunt, might have a great new digital delivery mechanism for all sorts of eLearning products…if we could just make them all into video games, which is already being done, but feed them through those portals they think are “cool.” 

Seriously, what about tying digital mathematics programs into Call of Duty where you have to find the solution to math problems to advance in the game, or to even start the game?  Put the high school chemistry textbook, in ebook format, into Xbox and maybe they’ll read it with their friends…?  That’s it!! Make it so I can program the video game console to only let him through to his games after he’s done math and science!!  I know, I’m grasping at straws here, but with this digital generation, with whom we seem to need to speak only in 11 second sound bites, can learning materials within the PlayStation/Xbox/Wii platforms be far behind?  Is anyone doing it already?



On the CBS show Undercover Boss last week Tim White, Chancellor of University of California, Riverside visited a chemistry course in a lecture hall where they had invested heavily in technology. The Chancellor pointed out how involved the students were during the lecture.  Why?  They participated via technology. 

The professor used Clickers to get student feedback on her questions.  The students participated and were engaged in the course content.

What about your course?  Kendall Hunt Publishing offers custom opportunities to bring a digital learning environment and Clickers to any college course.

Writing a textbook isn't what it used to be.  Now, you can write some of your own material, and borrow selected chapters from our current material and put it into a single book that fits just for your course.  You are teaching what you want, and students aren't paying for material they don't use.

Click here to find out more about our custom publishing program.

On Our Way to NSTA!

Are you going? Kendall Hunt will be there! The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference takes place in San Francisco March 9-12. The Kendall Hunt booth is number 1729, so be sure to stop by. You also won't want to miss our two workshops, one on BSCS Biology: A Human Approach, and one on our exciting new digital learning environment, Flourish.  You can find more information about those here.


Flourish will be in the spotlight, along with the four high school science programs, BSCS Biology: A Human Approach, Forensic Science for High School, Global Science, and KH Chemistry that are currently available in Flourish. Flourish is home to an ever-growing list of online course materials and digital learning resources and at NSTA you’ll see how affordable these products are when purchased digitally either as a complete curriculum, eChapters, or eUnits. When you visit our booth, you can sign up for a free trial of the program of your choice, and everyone who registers will be entered in a daily drawing to win a free classroom license for Global Science, Forensics or A Human Approach!


If you are unable to attend NSTA, we’ll miss you, but you can sign up for a free trial of Flourish at http://www.kendallhunt.com/freeflourishtrial. You’ll also find the same product-specific information we’ll be sharing in the booth through our free Inside Look  Webinar  series.


NSTA is always an exciting week. We get to visit with so many of the teachers using our science programs and share our programs for the first time with many others. Not to mention, of course, that the Moscone Convention Center is in the heart of fabulous San Francisco. We hope to see you there, so don’t forget to visit us at booth 1729!


The Second and Seven Foundation Scores with Every Book

The Hog Mollies and the Pickle Pie PartyIn my last post I introduced you to the amazing work the Second and Seven Foundation is doing to promote literacy. We usually talk about high school chemistry textbooks and gifted education books here, but none of that matters if students lack basic literacy skills. That's why 2nd and 7 is Tackling Illiteracy.

The Hog Mollies and the Rocky Relay RaceThroughout each school year, 2nd and 7 visits schools and gives books to second grade students. In the 2008-2009 school year alone they provided their books to approximately 4,000 students in 53 schools in Central Ohio, as well as nearly 12,000 more children across the country. That's 16,000 second graders who received a brand new book of their own from 2nd and 7!

And it's not just any books they're giving out. 2nd and 7 has developed a series of age appropriate books for second graders. Right now the The Hog Mollies and the Zooming Zackle ZoitFoundation has three books available: The Hog Mollies and The Pickle Pie Party, The Hog Mollies and The Rocky Relay Race, and The Hog Mollies and the Zooming Zackle Zoit. Each book focuses on a new adventure of the Hog Mollies, Hoppy, Sprout, Harley and Duke, fun little characters that work together as a team to tackle challenges that they face. With humor, engaging storylines and beautiful, full color illustrations, children are drawn right into the story, never even realizing that they are improving their literacy skills with each word. Each of the three books is available in paperback or hard cover from Kendall Hunt Publishing. Click here to go to Kendall Hunt's Hog Mollies page and order yours today! All proceeds benefit the 2nd and 7 Foundation's efforts in Tackling Illiteracy. Once you see these books for yourself, you'll want to get one for every child in your life!

Don't forget to visit 2nd and 7's website and see how you can support their efforts!

You can also follow 2nd and 7 on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/2nd-7-Foundation/105340035060.


I just have to say this...

As a follow-up to the fun and learning Kendall Hunt Publishing employees were a part of on the inaugural National Lab Day, there’s something I really want to get off my chest. Yes, Kendall Hunt is an educational publishing company, we sell educational materials and solutions. Books for gifted students, high school chemistry textbooks, teacher edition textbooks, online learning solutions, and more…we make it, and yep, we want to sell it.

But as I saw my fellow employees participate in and react to their National Lab Day experiences, it made me feel really good. Because for us, it really is about the kids. It’s about them learning, and growing, and, eventually, making the world a better place. And we know we can influence that, we can help them along the way, we can make a difference for them. We’ll never be a giant monolithic publisher who sells more high school biology books that everyone else combined. But we don’t want to be that. We want to help teachers, real classroom teachers, from kindergarten through college, find the best solution for their students.

I think it’s just that we care about the kids, we believe in what we do, and we hope to make a difference. It’s what keeps each of us going every day. As loyal readers, I just thought you might like to know what drives us.


On the subject of student teachers

I know this is student teacher time. How do I know this? There's a student teacher in my son's class right now. So when I came across this book the other day, I thought I should share some information about it. It's not a high school chemistry textbook, or even a teacher edition textbook, but it might make a great thank you gift for a student teacher. 

Anyway, it's called Getting Hired: A Student Teacher's Guide to Professionalism, Résumé  Development and Interviewing. The book is designed to accompany a student teaching experience and provides step-by-step guidance through student teaching, interviewing, and into a job. It's set up in three phases:

Getting Ready -- Prepares individuals for the teacher job search by making the most of the student teaching experience.  It includes insider advise on multiple topics, 100 things employers will ask about you, and maintaining a professional web presence.

Getting There -- Teaches the essential tools of the teacher job search including résumés, cover letters, interview portfolios, and tips on where to find jobs.

Getting Hired -- Provides strategic interview responses, knowledge of various interview settings, common interview questions and sure-fire tips to make you stand out above the rest with a knock'em dead interview.

Each book comes with individual access to the Getting Hired Companion Website, which contains a plethora of resources, including: ePlanner Activities: Templates for résumé/letter writing, philosophy statements, common interview questions and topics, and success planning.

Interview Portfolio: Build an Interview Portfolio that can easily become an ePortfolio showcasing standards-based teaching abilities, as well as a tremendous interview preparation tool. The 10 Interview Portfolio templates comprise a powerful self-promotion and interview success tool.

Videos: Watch sample interviews for all levels of instruction, listen in as employers give job seeking advice, and key interview questions and topics.

This book can be used for student teaching courses through college or universities, or to support a job search for an individual in the education field. So if you can't decide what to get your son or daughter who is beginning their student teaching, the student who has helped you create lesson plans for your gifted and talented students for the past three months, or the friend who will be student teaching in the Fall, check out Getting Hired on the Kendall Hunt Publishing website: http://www.kendallhunt.com/gettinghired


It's a Barn-Raising...for Inquiry Based Science!

So, as I think I've mentioned before, I'm the eMarketing Coordinator for Kendall Hunt Publishing. Part of that role involves managing the content on our website. So this week I received a request to put a link on our site to National Lab Day, which is billed as "A Barn-Raising for Hands-On Learning." I went to the site, http://www.nationallabday.org, and, wow, this is going to be amazing!

Here's a little more information taken right from the website: "National Lab Day is more than just a day. It's a nationwide initiative to build local communities of support that will foster ongoing collaborations among volunteers, students and educators. 

Volunteers, university students, scientists, engineers, other STEM professionals and, more broadly, members of the community are working together with educators and students to bring discovery-based science experiences to students in grades K-12."

There will be a nationwide celebration of this in early May with activities across the country. If you click on the "Projects" tab, you'll find that projects are posted from literally one end of the country to the other: Alaska to Florida, and California to Virginia. What a great way to encourage inquiry based science and the use of elementary school science textbooks, middle and high school chemistry and physics textbooks that use that learning model!

Kendall Hunt supports National Lab Day, so don't forget to check out all our inquiry based science programs! I'll keep you posted on what's coming up in the May celebration!


NSTA Workshops sponsored by Kendall Hunt

Kendall Hunt has some really good workshops coming up at NSTA National Convention at Philadelphia in March.  If you are headed there, make sure to check these out:



9:30-11:00 a.m.

Room 304

Teaching chemistry without hearing "When am I ever going to need to know this"!

Come learn how an inquiry-based, college prep chemistry curriculum is completely thematic and taught in contexts that interest your students!  Your students will be more motivated and interested in learning about the chemistry involved in airbags, sports drinks and glow in the dark and learn the same content you need them to understand!



Room 304

Forensic Science for High School: An Inquiry-Rich Curriculum

Participants will learn about this exciting curriculum designed specifically for high school students. They will engage in several hands-on, inquiry activities involving blood, bugs, and bones! Handouts provided.


12:00-1:30 p.m.

Room 304

Building Inquiry with BSCS Science: An Inquiry Approach

BSCS Science: An Inquiry Approach is a 3-year multidisciplinary science program for high school. Students get every science every year through constructivist learning and inquiry activities. This workshop will give you an introduction to the program as well as a look at several learning strategies used in the program to help students make sense of scientific concepts.


2:00-3:30 p.m.

Room 304

Building Inquiry with BSCS Biology: A Human Approach

BSCS Biology: A Human Approach is based on inquiry-based activities and constructivist learning strategies. Students transition from activities that explicitly guide their inquiry to doing their own inquiry. Along their journey, students learn how asking questions, conducting experiments, gathering data, forming explanations, and communicating their explanations are valuable skills.


ROAD TRIP!!! Who's going to NSTA-NCSE in Philly?

Well, Kendall Hunt Publishing is for sure! And we’re taking some of our top authors, including Kelly Deters, author of Kendall Hunt Chemistry! So if you want to learn more about inquiry based science, any of our high school science textbooks and programs, or perhaps you’re interesting in discussing science textbook publishing with one of our reps, stop by and see us at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, March 18-21. And find out all about the special events planned by checking our convention schedule here.


Kendall Hunt Chemistry Workshops Draw Crowds

It appears that many high school chemistry teachers are looking for innovative secondary school textbooks for their classrooms.  At the NSTA regional conference in Phoenix, AZ earlier this month, author Kelly Deters presented Kendall Hunt Chemistry: Discovering the Chemistry You Need to Know to a full house.

Teachers listened with great interest as Kelly detailed how her experience as a classroom teacher, combined with extensive research, led to the development of this highly-engaging high school chemistry textbook.  Attendees were extremely impressed with the program's concise, practical approach to teaching chemistry.  They said it was so unlike the encyclopedia-type of textbook published by other educational book companies.  They knew their students would be able to make real-world connections with this high school chemistry textbook.

Dr. Deters truly showed how this approach allows teachers to teach chemistry without hearing "When am I ever going to need to know this?" (which just happened to be the title of the workshop).  I enjoyed speaking with many attendees following the session, and look forward to working with them as they implement the program in their schools next year!

KH Professional Development Affiliates with The Partnership for 21st Century Skills

I thought I'd share a little more information on our outstanding Professional Development department. They have recently become an affiliate of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is the leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education.  The organization brings together the business community, education leaders, and policy makers to define a powerful vision for 21st century education to ensure every child's success as citizens and workers in the 21st century by providing tools and resources to help facilitate and drive change.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills Professional Development Affiliate Program equips individuals and organizations with resources and assistance in integrating 21st century skills into their professional development practice.
Kendall Hunt is a professional development affiliate of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills which supports the integration of 21st century skills into all aspects of teaching and learning.

Kendall Hunt's Professional Development experts can help with training and support for any of our programs, including our talented and gifted resources, and our science programs, from elementary school science textbooks, through our high school chemistry and physics programs. Check out what they can offer you!


Who’d Have Thought…Physics…Fun???

Okay, I know I’m no Spring chicken, and the way they taught science when I was in high school is a far cry from the way kids learn inquiry based science today. And I also know that anything beyond my high school chemistry textbook was too much for my little pea brain. I never made it to, let alone through, physics. Waaaaay too much math (another area of weakness for me) I thought.


So imagine my surprise when someone asked me to post a sample chapter from our Physics That Works program. I opened the file and was immediately drawn in by the fun, color picture of an old-fashioned, wind-up tin toy rocket, driven by a character who bore a striking resemblance to George Jetson! So, I thought, “Okay, I’ll read the first page, even if it IS physics.” (BTW, no offense to anyone who loves, teaches or does physics, I only wish I were smart enough to join you!) Alright, so this chapter is going to teach me about toys in motion while I construct and test a toy called a Creepy Crawly?? Whoa, cool!! Read a little farther…I’m going to do a feasibility study for the toy. Hmmm…pretty soon I’m totally sucked in. The chapter is 23 pages long. I’ve made it to page 10 so far (I do actually have to work during the day, sort of limits my “fun” time), and I get it!! I’m reading a high school physics textbook!  At least one chapter. But it’s all making sense to me so far.


I’ll keep reading, and give you an update next week. In the meantime, check out the chapter yourself. Go to http://www.kendallhunt.com/ptw and click the link called View a Sample Chapter under the Additional Information heading.


Forensic Science AFTER high school?

One of our most in-demand secondary school textbooks is Forensic Science for High School.  It offers an extremely engaging context for students to learn science through inquiry.  Concepts that are often taught in high school chemistry textbooks, physics, biology and even mathematics and statistics courses are brought together in this integrated program.

As I was browsing my local newspaper this morning, I was excited to see an article about a school here in Denver that is involved in the FBI's Adopt-a-School program.  This program brings FBI agents into the classroom to talk to students about the real-world applications of their education in Forensic Science.  The school is Career Education Center (CEC) Middle College of Denver, and guess what book they use in their Forensic Science course?  That's right, Forensic Science for High School!  It was wonderful to read about how students at this school are looking forward to careers in science and investigation.

Congratulations to teacher Stacey Hervey and her students on the article and excellent Forensics program!

Click here for the article:

Click here for more information on Forensic Science for High School:


Learning Portals in PreK-12

In response to my post To e-Book or Not To e-Book, one of our readers, Marixi, posted a comment (check out the comment here) wondering whether it's safe for students to be accessing primary school textbooks via the Internet.  I explained that most e-books, whether elementary education books, middle school textbooks or other textbooks, are accessed via a secure portal which is often the only thing the child can login to on the school computer. 

But I'm wondering, for those of you whose school districts use e-books, do they use them exclusively or is there, a printed version of, say, that high school chemistry textbook, and the e-book is just an option.  And is it more common with high school textbooks, or primary school textbooks? And when they do use e-books, are they part of a learning portal? Is that portal proprietary to the school district, or do your school textbook publishers offer access to their portal upon adoption? Wow, lots of things I want to know!

Inquiry Based Science - Feature by Feature

Have you been reading Susan Rusts’ posts here? She’s been taking us through the essential features of inquiry based science one step at a time. I always thought I knew what inquiry based science was - you know, hands-on, engaging, get students to actually “do” science. But Susan’s posts really describe the nitty gritty of what’s makes science truly inquiry based. 

Step by step it’s become clearer to me how each of these features, when incorporated in a high school chemistry textbook or in elementary school science textbooks can help students develop a real understanding of science. What could be more important in science class than that? I’ll be awaiting the next feature, Susan!


Secondary School Textbook Manufacturing Standards

Previously I posted information regarding the various steps to turning a manuscript into a secondary school textbook. The same process would also apply to primary school textbooks up to this point. From here it depends on what type of binding you plan to use.

Some of our titles are perfect bound (paperback or softbound) and some are case bound (hard cover). There are also other types that we may use for different uses, for example, wire or plastic coil (spiral bound), saddle stitched (all pages are folded with staples at the fold), side-stitched, loose leaf for a three-ring binder, and so on. Most of our secondary science textbooks are case bound. It doesn't matter what specific discipline applies (physics, chemistry, biology, etc).

Our student textbooks need to meet the manufacturing standards and specifications for textbook (MSST) NASTA (National Association of State Textbook Administrators) Guidelines. This is a requirement for state adoptions. These are various rules and regulations for several states pertaining to funding school book's budgets. It ensures that the books are physically sturdy and of high quality and will withstand several year's usage.

The various rules apply to printing, paper type, binding and cover requirements and include specifications for the different types of books. The requirements primarily apply to the physical attributes of the textbook, not the content.

The guidelines are contained in a document that is almost 100 pages long!


An Alka Seltzer Cannon? COOL!

Forensic Science for High SchoolHere at Kendall Hunt Publishing we talk about inquiry based science a lot. But even I didn’t realize how cool some of our inquiry based science programs are until I was going through a couple of them looking for some specific information the other day. For instance, our Forensic Science for High School program isn’t typical of high school science textbooks. It not only teaches elements of chemistry, physics, math, technology, life science and social studies, making it truly multidisciplinary, it has a great website with really engaging virtual labs letting students engage in the same types of activities they can see on the popular crime scene investigation shows. I would have LOVED a high school science textbook/program like this when I was in school!

Kendall Hunt ChemistryThen I looked through Kendall Hunt Chemistry, again, not your typical high school chemistry textbook. Now, to be honest, I barely passed chemistry, and we had open book, open note tests! It wasn’t for lack of intelligence (at least I don’t think it was!), but is was just…so…DULL. I was completely uninterested in it. But much of how we learned was from the book, and when we were in the lab, the experiments were rarely about anything that had any application to my life at that point. But when I looked at KH Chemistry, one of the first things I saw was the Alka Seltzer™ Cannon. What? A cannon? In Chemistry class? AAAAWESOME! ---was all I could think (yes, my thoughts often sound like those of a 14 year-old boy). I want to do it. In the process I’ll apparently learn about acids and bases. All I need is an empty film canister, water, and an Alka Seltzer™. Assuming I don’t put my eye out (always wear eye protection, kids!), I’ll let you know how it goes when I try it this weekend!


To e-Book or Not to e-Book...That is The Question

Okay, so that’s pretty bad paraphrasing of The Bard, but my point is, what do you think of e-books anyway? Certainly the electronic book reader a certain online book vendor has taken off, but that’s more in the trade book market. I like the idea of going on vacation and taking one little rectangular, electronic thing instead of a stack of books. But what about when it comes to textbooks for elementary school, or high school science textbooks?

My son’s fourth grade math book is available online. They sent home the access instructions this week. Kind of a cool idea, especially with a fourth grader who forgets to close the freezer, feed the dog, and take his shoes upstairs (and that’s just the first five minutes after dinner!). He can forget his book at school, but still get his homework done.

I can see where having your high school chemistry textbook online would be a great option to lugging it home. Is there a certain level for which it works best? Maybe education textbook publishers should be making all elementary education books available in e-book format. Or perhaps it’s more appropriate for high school science textbooks, and middle school math. I don’t know. What do you think?


Chemistry You Need To Know

How many times have you heard, why do you need to know this stuff? I'm sure that if you had a nickel for every time you heard it, you would be rich. I'm happy to say that Kendall Hunt Publishing has a chemistry textbook that will answer that question. Kendall Hunt Chemistry is engaging with a new thematic approach to help students discover chemistry in their lives. Core concepts are introduced within 12 real-life chapter themes. The chemistry needed to understand the theme is Kendall Hunt Chemistryintroduced within each chapter so that students see the relevance and cross-concept connections of chemistry in their everyday lives.

The textbook is designed to engage all students and provide an application-based approach that is college-preparatory in its rigor. In the end, this program includes real inquiry- both students designing their own experiments and students being guided by careful questioning to discover concepts before lecture/reading about them.

Click Here to take a look at the Kendall Hunt Chemistry textbook.


Step 4 Permissions

In previous posts regarding developing a high school science textbook at Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, I've touched on acquisition, planning, manuscript development and copy-editing, cover design and interior design.

I was going to discuss composition at this stage; however, I want to touch on a very important step having to do with manuscript and art package development: permissions! Whether it’s a high school chemistry textbook or a primary school textbook, we use the same permissions process.

Copyright Law

While writing and developing art packages, our K-12 authors have to be aware of the rules of permissions regarding copyright laws. KH has a permissions department that helps our authors understand the copyright laws and helps them with these needs. Basically, if they are utilizing any material beyond what they are creating, they need to request permission for the borrowed materials.

Copyright protection extends to the authors of all original works including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual material. The law of copyright gives the owner the sole and exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work in any form and to authorize others to do so.


The following chart provides a quick reference to copyright duration.



Description of Work

Copyright Status

Published before January 1, 1923

Public domain, copyright expired

Published after 1922 but before 1964 and properly renewed (assume renewal)

Ninety-five years from date of copyright publication

Created, but not published, before January 1, 1978

Life of the author + seventy years

Created after January 1, 1978

Life of the author + seventy years

Works published anonymously or pseudonymously

Ninety-five years from publication or 120 years from date of creation— whichever is shorter

Works made for hire or by corporate authorship

Ninety-five years from publication or 120 years from date of creation— whichever is shorter

Next time I’ll talk about “fair use” and “public domain.” You’ll be a permissions guru before you know it!