Learning® Magazine

11th Annual

Teachers’ Choice™ Award Program 2005

Teachers’ Evaluation Comments


The comments listed below were provided by Learning® Magazine’s 40 teacher evaluator teams from across the United States who reviewed the game and curriculum, Branch Out!® for the 2004 Teachers’ Choice Award Program.


What aspects of the product did you like the most?


I love this product.  What a great product to get students interacting and see connections of school and home.


The theme, product durability and versatility, works for any age and all in a handy tote bag!


The product fits into a duffel bag for easy storage.  The great question cards in the game are very motivating.  The DVD was very handy.


I liked the variety of ways this product could be used.


I like that the product helps students to learn about themselves and others.


The extensive and compelling research base PLUS it’s colorful and inspiring.


It’s colorful and useful, easy to use, too.  Kids are drawn to it.  I checked out the website, and it’s very useful as well.


I loved the large “game board” and playing pieces.  I believe that this helps the game to be more interactive.  I also enjoyed the questions themselves.  They were interesting and great conversation pieces for the students.  Also, I loved the lesson plans that came with the package.


How did your students react to the product, if applicable?


The students were surprised at how they shared so many traits.  Some students who do not like to share in the classroom were much more open and were able to share with the hands-on game.


They loved the product.  It helped everyone with their language/speech skills.

The students loved using the manipulatives and found the game very fun and non-threatening.


They really liked it.  They liked how casual it was so they did not get made fun of because they could all agree or disagree.


Cautiously interested at first, then gung ho over the ‘toss the toy” and m&m segments.


They really enjoyed it.  They loved answering the questions and sharing things about themselves that they don’t often get to.


What skills could this product teach?


This game allows the student to gain insight into their feelings.  The game helps students build self-awareness as it teaches appreciation of diversity in the classroom.


Self-discovery, self-esteem, career potential, interpersonal skills, tolerance


Personal management, goal setting, character education, intrinsic motivation


Inter/intrapersonal, communication, self-esteem, tolerance, organizational


Listening, teamwork, cooperation, empathy, self-awareness


This product would help promote valuing of yourself as well as others.


Friendship skills, social skills and communication skills.  This was great for those students who want to fit in but who don’t like to talk.


Do you feel this product effectively helps you meet state/national standards?


Yes.  Social Studies– cultural and personal similarities and differences; Language Arts– oral communication; Health-emotions and managing them.


Yes, this game gives the students a sense of belonging and at the same time lets them know it is fine to be different.  This activity definitely teaches social skills.


Yes, it would assist me in knowing if students are meeting the requirements established by our curriculum.


Yes.  This product does not directly relate to state objectives, however, it would contribute to obtaining objectives through building students’ self-concepts.  Also, this product lends itself easily as a spin-off for writing and reading activities.


I think this product would very easily help teach the standards.  It is so adaptable for all grades.

Yes, this game would be very helpful for meeting state/national standards for guidance in relation to assisting students with self-esteem and communication skills.


Not directly, but it helps create a classroom climate where students can best achieve learning objectives in the standards.


No, but it will make any classroom climate more appropriately focused on learning the objectives with maximum efficient use of time and energy- it will help students get along and relate better.


If funds were available, would you purchase this product OR recommend this product for the teacher at the appropriate grade level?  Why or why not?


Yes, I would.  I feel this activity could be used by a classroom teacher and also a counselor who works with groups of students.  This is a very creative game.  I would like to see our school purchase more than one set.


Yes, I can see the many possibilities of how to use it.


I would recommend this product to any teacher, at any grade level because there is a definite need for students to accept themselves as well as others.


Yes, I am suggesting my other schools get this product, it is that good!  It is wonderful for all grades and all social situations.


Yes.  The program as presented is very thorough and bound to produce positive results, and it would be easy to adapt the product for many other uses, even classroom management.


Yes.  It’s great for all ages.  It can be used as is or teachers can choose sections for specific needs.  It would be a great asset for a guidance department, classroom, or after school program.


Yes.  It can really be used in any classroom setting in conjunction with any subject, to benefit every student.


Yes, if funds were available, I would chose to purchase this program because it is a wonderful tool to use that helps students to open up with both each other and the adult assisting them (teacher, counselor, etc.)  It also allows them to interact in a way that they probably have not had a chance to before.