Category: Book Reviews

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A No-Angst Approach to Teaching Poetry

Teachers who want to combine deep reading of poetry with the joy of discovery will find engaging lessons and activities in Georgia Heard’s Poetry Lessons to Meet the Common Core. Reviewer Linda Biondi praises the book’s strategies to “live with a poem for a week.”

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Numbers & Operations for Advanced Students

In Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Numbers & Operations, Jerry Burkhart offers advanced students challenging activities with increasing levels of difficulty. Math teacher Maia Fastabend finds it well suited to high level readers in grades 7-9.

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Harness the Experts Inside the School

The authors make the case for the Peer Observation Process (POP) – teams of teachers observing one another – as an inexpensive PD alternative that builds supportive collegiality. Reviewer Dina Murphy highly recommends the research-based book, which offers many implementation resources.

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Tools for Schools with Instructional Coaching

Jim Knight’s Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction focuses on school leaders working with an instructional coach in a partnership model, says principal Matt Renwick. But he finds value in the book for other leaders who lack a coaching model.

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A Book to Enliven Family Reading Night

Family Reading Night gives schools everything they need to present enjoyable monthly reading and literacy activities for young students and their families. Reviewer Mara Southorn notes this 2nd edition includes Spanish translations of activities. Middle schools may need to adapt.

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A Rich Colonial Times Resource Collection

Working to bring America’s Colonial Period to life in the classroom? Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis’ new toolkit will help history teachers engage students with primary sources, digital links and visual guides. “A gold mine!” says reviewer Linda Biondi.

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Good Tools for Analyzing Fiction and Nonfiction

Stressing the need to provide wide fiction and informational text choices, the authors consider the needs of all readers while offering extensive activities for all classrooms. Reviewer Jenni Miller found the book “wonderful” – both informative and encouraging.