MiddleWeb has published about 1100 reviews of professional books for teachers and school leaders since 2012 – each written by a K-12 educator. In this article we’ve curated our 23 most-read reviews posted during 2021. Click on a headline to read our reviewer’s take on the book.
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In Giving Students a Say principal Myron Dueck details key research-based reasons why students should have a say in assessing their progress. Dueck’s helpful tools and strategies can be used to effectively create student-centered assessments, writes reviewer Jennifer Wirtz.
After making a strong case for small group instruction during the writing process, Jennifer Serravallo shares how to implement and develop six types. Teacher Jennifer Wirtz loves the access to videos of groups in action and the printables for students. Highly recommended.
Literacy experts Robb and Harrison draw directly from their current middle grades teaching practice to identify the causes of reading hesitancy. Their tested lessons focus on improving student reading and vocabulary using videos and high-interest texts included in the book.
Todd Stanley’s units of study address the need of today’s students both to problem solve and present findings to an audience. Jennifer Wirtz implemented a well resourced Oral Presentation unit and will use more of the easily adapted projects with her 7th graders.
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.
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.
Connecting Your Students with the World encourages teachers to step out of their comfort zones and incorporate do-able collaborative online projects to improve communications and encourage both student and teacher creativity, says MS educator Jennifer Wirtz.
Margaret Mary Policastro & Becky McTague offer real-world experiences in detailing how & why the New Balanced Literacy School is vital as schools move toward full CCSS implementation. Their book centers on grades K-5 but is helpful for teachers of higher grades.
In Lessons and Units for Closer Reading, Nancy Boyles dives into curriculum design, explaining the creation of units starting with a theme, an author, a genre, and more. Reviewer Jennifer Wirtz appreciates the book’s usefulness to middle grades teachers.