Daniels and Steineke walk teachers and students through creating a supportive community for academic discussions and learning, from the very basics of working in small groups to the complex tasks of group projects. Kevin Hodgson plans to implement their strategies.
Category: Book Reviews
Eric Jensen provides research plus easy-to-implement strategies around 4 key mindsets for learning – relational, achievement, classroom climate, and engagement – that can help poor students succeed. Consultant Anne Anderson calls it “must” summer reading.
Starr Sackstein shows ways to maximize the benefits of having students reflect on and self-assess their work – for example, by writing actionable goals for later reflection. Reviewer Susan Schwartz likes the ideas but notes activities target older students.
With 184 lessons building on Writers Workshop principles, Stacey Shubitz provides guidance in mentor-text-based literacy instruction that can result in independent and proficient writers. Linda Biondi expects Craft Moves to be part of teachers’ “go-to book” collections.
Susan Udelhofen’s discussion of mapping is very useful for identifying the process of curriculum building, with each step outlined in sufficient detail to provide clear and explicit direction. Kathy Foster recommends it to any district developing its curriculum.
In “The Principalship from A to Z” Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer a detailed, practical resource that works as PD as well as an effective manual to help all educators navigate the challenges of leadership, says assistant principal Mike Janatovich.
Assessing Students’ Digital Writing provides teachers with a clear path to examine the compositional moves of young writers working with various media in a way that makes sense to the teachers and still gives meaningful feedback for kids, says Kevin Hodgson.
Educators who read “Best Practices at Tier 1” will look at curriculum differently, says ELA teacher Mark Domeier. With its tight focus on grades 7-12, the book clarifies how differentiation can work in classes characterized by student collaboration and group work.
At the heart of Differentiated Lessons is the desire to assist educators in embedding a self-reflective learning process in the classroom while providing students in all subjects continual opportunities to individualize their learning, says ELA teacher Jennifer Wirtz.
John Spencer’s book on tools for language acquisition will likely be most useful to teachers who are new to working with ELLs but not new to using technology in their lessons. ESL educator Susan Schwartz would have liked fuller explanations for various strategies.