“Close Reading in Elementary School,” by Betsy and Diana Sisson, offers upper elementary teachers a framework for creating lessons; ways to link close reading, writing and talking; a model for gauging text complexity, and a reasonable approach to rigor, says reviewer and 4th grade teacher Linda Biondi.
Category: Book Reviews
“How Teachers Can Turn Data into Action” is an excellent guide to planning, ordering, and running data talks that lead to better instruction. Teacher-reviewer Dina Murphy also recommends its appendix, filled with protocols, flow charts and checklists to help get your team started.
“Common Core in the Content Areas” not only makes a convincing case that content-area teachers can be “literacy teachers” when it serves their purposes, says reviewer Sarah Goodis-Orenstein, it also provides “a bunch of teaching and planning tools” and collaborative learning tasks.
Sean Ruday tackles some of the more challenging grades 6-8 ELA standards, giving detailed explanations using mentor texts in mini-lessons to gradually build student understanding, says reviewer Rebecca Crockett. He has also written for grades 3-5.
Be ready to launch 3-5 graders on instructional journeys using 21st century skills with the new book Unleashing Student Superpowers. Reviewer Laura Von Staden finds the easy-to-follow book well suited for self-contained classrooms.
Can Pop Culture and Shakespeare Exist in the Same Classroom? The answer is “yes,” says reviewer Judi Holst. All that prior knowledge can help students understand and discuss complex text. The authors show how to make complex text pop.
Shirley McPhillips’ Poem Central invites students to move through poetry that we might not know exactly how to teach and to live with those words on their own terms – not needing us to facilitate all meaning and experience for them, says Jenni Miller.
In the 2nd edition of Better Learning Through Structured Teaching, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey use specific classroom examples and deep knowledge in the field to explain how students can become independent learners. Sarah Cooper says read it now!
Teaching with Text-Based Questions: Helping Students Analyze Nonfiction and Visual Texts is precisely what teachers will need to jumpstart critical thinking, high quality conversations, and tight writing, says reviewer Tess Alfonsin.
Teachers, coaches, administrators, and teacher educators will want to keep Nancy Boyles’ Closer Reading Grades 3-6 nearby, says reviewer Linda Biondi, because it shows “how to teach the art of close reading” from start to finish across content areas.