Category: Book Reviews

Professional books reviewed by educators

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Student Choice: MINDful Reading in Content Areas

Stretching Beyond the Textbook develops a MINDful reading unit, from an initial focus question to students’ culminating dialogue. Although the post-literature-circle techniques suit in most content areas, the book relies on social studies examples, says reviewer Abbey Graham.

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Grading Smarter Not Harder Is Liberating

Myron Dueck’s new book, Grading Smarter Not Harder, not only explains what fair assessment is but provides the teacher with student friendly strategies to achieve it. Reviewer Joanne Fuchs says the book is “the map for your assessment journey” and provides lots of useful details!

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A Well-Lit Path to Better Writing Asssessment

Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions can help K-8 educators at the grade, school and district levels develop effective collaborative writing programs, says reviewer Linda Biondi. Teachers will find extensive resources to build student ownership of writing.

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SmartNotes for Better Independent Reading

Despite its title, “Independent Reading in the Age of the Common Core” has a narrow focus – a note-taking strategy to strengthen independent reading instruction. Reviewer Tyler McBride plans to implement several of the teacher-authors’ 25 mini-lessons.

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Using Grammar to Build Better Writers

In “Grammar Matters,” Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty make the case for embedding grammar in Writing Workshop and across the curriculum. Our reviewer recommends this hands-on exploration of mentor texts and engaging instruction and its many useful resources.

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Meet Writing Challenges in All Content Areas

With Common Core discussions as a sturdy frame, Heather Wolpert-Gawron provides solid commentary about how writing and literacy relate to all curriculum areas, says reviewer Kathleen Pham. Central to the sample lessons: project based learning.

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Videogames in the Classroom?

Bridging Literacies with Videogames asks if students’ playing videogames in school can yield literacy skill acquisition, and looks at invented worlds, 2nd language learners in multiplayer games, and more. Kevin Hodgson suggests students build games.