Category: Book Reviews

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Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless

Using hacks from her mostly AP and high school classes, Starr Sackstein makes the case for moving beyond traditional grading to concentrate on students learning. Reviewer Toni Rose Deanon sees herself using the suggestions to begin conversations and respond to pushback.

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Excellence through Equity: Courageous Leadership

With their strong focus on the presentation of real school stories blended with research based strategies, Alan Blankstein, Pedro Noguera and Lorena Kelly offer practical solutions leading to an equitable, high quality education for every student, says Tamekia McCauley.

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Solving the Puzzle of Standards Based Grading

Writing from her experience attempting to implement Standards Based Grading at her middle school, Jennifer Wirtz admits to frustration and looks to Schimmer’s “Grading From the Inside Out” for ways to consistently hold students accountable while promoting mastery.

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Easy Ways for Educators to Get Organized

Frank Buck provides a total organizational system for the busy classroom or administrative leader. Mary Langer Thompson reports his paper and digital strategies, all presented in a user-friendly and supportive tone, cost little and can be implemented immediately.

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Writing and Reading with 50 Mentor Texts

In “Text Structures From the Masters,” educators Gretchen Bernabei and Jennifer Koppe did the hard work for English and social studies teachers of grades 6–10 when they collected 50 quality, nonfiction mentor texts and created an easy-to-follow lesson structure for each one.

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Interactive Writing in the Middle Grades

Interactive writing can help teachers to differentiate and integrate. In “Interactive Writing Across Grades” Kate Roth and Joan Dabrowski detail effective ways to use a familiar K-3 writing strategy in grades 4-6, says reviewer and literacy coach Pam Hamilton.

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Role-Plays Can Enliven ELA & Social Studies

Though David Sherrin’s lessons and examples are especially helpful to English and social studies classes, any teacher wanting to try the engaging strategy of role playing will appreciate his book full of how-to ideas, says 7th grade teacher Emily Prissel.

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Teaching Reading to a New Generation of Students

In Who’s Doing the Work? Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris ask important questions about how literacy teachers should approach reading instruction for a new generation of students. Reviewer and former literacy coach Nancy Chodoroff has high praise for their insights.