Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

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Empower Students to Ask Questions

In “Q Tasks,” Carol Koechlin & Sandi Zwaan argue that the key to learning, understanding & thinking critically is the Question. The book’s 50 or so lessons help students generate & use questions for learning & evaluating information, says Laura Von Staden.

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Inquiry-Based Lessons in U.S. History

Teachers looking for new ways to incorporate primary sources into history lessons covering 5 centuries will find great ideas in Jana Kirchner and Andrew McMichael’s Inquiry-Based Lessons in U.S. History, says social studies teacher Michael DiClemente.

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101 Tips for New Teachers and Veterans

In the 3rd edition of “101 Answers for New Teachers and Their Mentors,” Annette Breaux adds ideas for using tech in lessons, connecting via social media, and reflecting regularly. “Practical and easy to use” by all teachers, says PD consultant Anne Anderson.

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Media Literacy: The POTUS Primary Debates

Plans for Republican and Democratic primary debates are well underway. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker is ready with guidelines for engaging students in classroom research and discussion. Baker’s first focus: the very crowded GOP debates scheduled for this fall.

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Do We Really Have High Expectations for All?

When it comes to high expectations, learning consultant Barbara Blackburn says actions speak louder than beliefs. Using her own classroom mistakes as a backdrop, she points out the teacher behaviors that signal struggling learners whether we mean what we say.

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Expanding Our Approach to Reading Strategies

When reading strategies include a series of actionable steps, students can follow them as they learn to master skills. Using the teaching of tying shoes as an analogy, literacy expert Jennifer Serravallo offers examples of the kinds of supports teachers can offer learners as they travel the path to automaticity.

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Closer Reading Units For (or By) You

In Lessons and Units for Closer Reading, Nancy Boyles dives into curriculum design, explaining the creation of units starting with a theme, an author, a genre, and more. Reviewer Jennifer Wirtz appreciates the book’s usefulness to middle grades teachers.

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School Reform in Your Own Classroom

In What Schools Don’t Teach, the authors provide strategies to make reasonable changes within our own classrooms that will help students grow the skills, attitudes and characteristics they need to be successful in a changing world, says Laura Von Staden.

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Beyond “Unpacking” the Math Common Core

Common Core Sense: Tapping the Power of the Mathematical Practices supports the incorporation & implementation of the Mathematical Practices into daily teaching. It features real teachers, real examples, and real student reflections, says reviewer Linda Biondi.