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Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Each chapter of Stop Leading Like It’s Yesterday gives an example of “yesterday’s way of thinking” and offers a new strategy for pursuing change, assessing success, and having critical conversations. MS administrator Tamekia McCauley plans to try several.
Media literacy educator Frank Baker wants “to help today’s media-saturated students realize the lengths that political consultants will go to get (and keep) our attention.” As the “polioptic” presidential race begins, Baker shares insights and lesson ideas.
Given the current focus on reading & writing across the curriculum, Janet Allen’s cogent & concise book on vocabulary will be useful to non-ELA teachers, who may not be as familiar with strategies for teaching literacy skills, says reviewer Susan Schwartz.
Amber Chandler describes a PBL unit, built around the dystopian novel The Giver, that takes students deep into the book’s ideas by having them create and debate their own ideal communities and explore unintended consequences. Tips and handouts included.
As Mary Tarashuk anticipates the second round of PARCC testing this spring, she tackles stacks of paperwork and teacher evaluation forms. She’ll also make sure her 4th graders celebrate Earth Day, revisit engaging writing prompts, and enjoy some fresh air.
Kevin Hodgson brings his ramble through Maine marshlands to his sixth graders as they write poetry together. From rough drafting in class to experimenting with bringing his poem alive using digital tools, he shares the process with his students and with us!
What do middle school students gain and lose in a thematic history curriculum? Sarah Cooper relays her experiences with both theme and chronology approaches, finding strengths in each, as national standards shift from facts and dates to skills and big questions.
If you need content-rich short nonfiction texts to support social studies lessons, this spiral bound book is for you. “The American Revolution and Constitution” also provides online access to a ‘trove’ of lesson-ready images and resources, says reviewer Linda Biondi.
In “Loving Learning” Tom Little showed a keen awareness of trends in best practices, connecting progressive pedagogy to 21st century evidence-based teaching, says reviewer Eric Moore. How Little’s concepts take hold in public schools is not demonstrated.
Opening with Darrell Scott’s message after his daughter Rachel’s death at Columbine High, Awaken the Learner offers Robert Marzano’s strategies to expand student learning by helping them understand how they think and make choices, says Laura Von Staden.