Get to Know Us! Featuring Product Manager, Nancy Balter

How long have you worked at Educational Insights?

I started here in 2005, so eight years.

What drew you to working here?

I was a teacher. I had been a teacher for 11 years and I really enjoyed it, but I was ready for a change. I wanted to stay in education, and I found this job off monster.com and it looked interesting. That’s how I wound up here!

So, you taught math and science, right?

Yes, 7th and 8th grade. It’s fun because the kids are old enough to talk and interact with the teacher, but they’re young enough to come running into the room and say, “What are we doing today, Mrs. Balter!”

What was your favorite toy growing up?

It might have to be my stuffed rabbit, Marshmallow, which I still have in my closet.

What’s your favorite toy here at EI?

My current favorite might be the Solar System Mapping Tool, just because that’s my idea. I find it useful, and I think it’s fun and cool to take your class out. I love the idea that you instantaneously understand relative distances in the solar system with it.

In terms of my kids, my favorite toy is the Wonder World Map. It’s a gigantic map with velcro locations that you take on and off; it’s a map of the world. That thing has been growing with my kids since day one. As babies, it hung over the changing table, so when they were frustrated with their diaper changes, they could just pull the pieces off and throw them on the floor. And now as they’re getting older, they’re interested in what’s on the map, where things go, and where we live. My sister’s been doing that with her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter (I gave her one). That map is just super cool. It looks good on the wall! It’s a really great product.

Are there any products that you got the okay for, but never got manufactured?

Oh yeah, there are a whole bunch of things. Last year, we had a math game that the inventor of Inching Along sent us that I liked that involved using a balance scale, and that never got manufactured.

How is your life outside of work? What is life like for Nancy outside of the office?

Chasing two children around. That is all I do. I do love it—sometimes it’s boring, but most of the time I love it. I either pick up the kids or have my husband home with the kids, and we chase them around or try to get them to consume something and change their diaper, or usher them into the potty!

How old are your kids?

I have a 3 –year-old and a sixteen-month old. They’re perfect and they stand around being cute all day.

Do you have any kind of thing you do that gets your creativity flowing?

Right now as my kids are getting older, watching them and seeing what they’re interested in and seeing what they’re doing in school helps a lot in terms of my creativity and coming up with product ideas. Searching online helps a lot. Just before I came here I was actually just looking on YouTube to see what people are doing with the metric system. Seeing what teachers are doing now also helps a lot.

I sometimes laugh that the only free time I have is when I shower or when I drive. And, honestly, that’s when I come up with most of my ideas because you can’t do anything else but think when you’re in the shower or driving. That’s pretty much where I get my inspiration.

List of Favorites:

Favorite animal?

Rabbits.

Favorite color?

Blue.

Favorite season?

Well, I was born on the first day of spring, so spring.

Favorite movie?

I love The Shawshank Redemption.

Favorite food?

There’s a coconut soup that I love at Thai restaurants…and really good pizza. Chocolate, always. The hip things that I love at the moment are goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. Over the summer, blackberries and mangoes.

Math Comic Relief

Much has been said about the use of humor to facilitate a better learning environment.  When there’s humor, it nurtures creativity and increases the capacity for memory retention!

So here at EI, we took this to heart and created  Math Vocabulary Comic Relief.  Here’s a sample from our Grades 4-6 set:

What’s a Parallelogram?  Do you know?

Math Vocabulary Comic Relief

Math Vocabulary Comic Relief for Grades 4-6

Check back soon for more fun math vocabulary!

September 21, 2012 Deal of the Day: See ‘N’ Solve Visual Calculator

<br><i>Displays whole equations on a large, easy-to-read LCD screen.</i><br><br>
Today’s Deal of the Day is the See ‘N’ Solve Visual Calculator!
This one-of-a-kind, child-friendly calculator displays equations in the same format students write them. Great for kids ages 6-10, it provides an age appropriate introduction to calculators with its oversize LCD screen, large buttons, and bright color-coded buttons.  This calculator features four functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), and it shows the entire equations rather than just the last number entered.
Get it today (until midnight PST) for only $17.99. Include promo code EIFREE and you’ll also get free shipping at http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/see+–39-n–39-+solve+visual+calculator.do

August 31st, 2012 Deal of the Day: Check Math! Game

We featured this product a few weeks back for Deal of the Day, and it’s back again today! Check Math!® is a two player game ideal for kids ages 8+. This strategy game is a great way to review multiples and factors! Players place their numbered tiles on opposing sides of the board and take turns advancing to any spot in their next row that is a multiple of their starting tile. Capture your opponent’s pieces to win!

Still don’t get how it’s played? Here’s Nancy in our earlier Deal of the Day promo breaking it down:

This game normally sells for $19.99, but it’s yours today for just $9.99 until Midnight PST!
Get your copy of Check Math! here: http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/check+math!–174-+game.do?from=Search#

August 27th, 2012 Deal of the Day: The Martian Multiplier

Happy Monday! Today’s Deal of the Day is our fabulous Martian Multiplier—a fun way to self-check multiplication facts for numbers 1–12 with an out-of-this-world assistant.

This alien contraption invites students to point the Martian’s feet at 2 numbers, multiply them in their heads, and check the answer that appears in the Martian’s hands!

Normally $9.99, you can get your own Martian Multiplier for just $3.99 at: http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/martian+multiplier.do

Don’t forget about our EIFREE promo code to get free standard shipping on your Deal of the Day order!

August 19th, 2012 Deal of the Day: Jumbo Mathmagnets

It’s Sunday August 19th, 2012 and today’s Deal of the Day is our 42-piece magnetic Multicolored MathMagnets®!

Great for ages 4-7, these are the highest quality magnetic manipulatives available. This set features more and stronger magnets than other magnetic number sets to ensure each piece stays where you want it and doesn’t slip! All 42 pieces in 6 colors measure 2.5″H each so they’re easy for small hands to manage and provide tactile reinforcement of early math concepts. It includes math operations signs to practice building and solving equations and it all stores in a durable, stackable tub for easy cleanup!

These Multicolored MathMagnets® can be yours today for just $7.99 (regularly $14.99) PLUS free shipping with promo code EIFREE.

Get your Mathmagnets here: http://www.educationalinsights.com/product/mathmagnets-reg-+jumbo+multicolored+magnets.do?sortby=ourPicks&sortby=&&from=Search

August 10th, 2012 Deal of the Day

If you are an animal lover, a teacher or just a fan of beautiful embroidery, you will love today’s Deal of the Day. It’s Friday August 10th, 2012 and our deal of the day is on our Animal Numbers Activity Center!

This over-sized cloth activity center not only makes a beautiful wall decoration, but it also includes 10 different species of adorable embroidered animals to guide hands-on number learning. Simply attach the engaging self-stick animals to the chart to practice matching, numbers and sets, counting, comparing numbers, and simple addition and subtraction. In addition, the variety of animals provide young learners with the opportunity to sort and classify species. Great for ages 4-6, you get 55 animals and an activity guide. This is perfect for class demonstrations and small-group play.

Animal Numbers Activity Center is usually priced at $44.99, but for 24 Hours today until midnight PST, it’s price is only $13.99. That’s a 68% discount! For an even greater steal, we’ve decided to ship this item to your home for free as long as you enter EIFREE at checkout. Check out www.educationalinsights.com for more details and order today!