In “Read Talk Write” Laura Robb provides strategies that can grow students’ ability to have rich, accountable conversations, leading to productive, engaging writing. Reviewer Linda Biondi especially appreciates the mentor texts, detailed lessons, and reproducibles.
Cathie E. West packs her book with key concepts and skills, charts to help explain these, engagement strategies and step-by-step activities, all to help achieve teacher – and subsequently student – engagement. Literacy coach Janice Rustico finds it a keeper.
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.
Students’ teaching and learning recently came together in Allison Fink’s health classes. Working in groups to decide lesson goal, content and presentation, her students also helped develop rubrics and reflected on their work. A project for your classroom?
What’s one of the best things a school day can offer? Exposure to newly learned words – provided that exposure is in context, well-timed, multisensory, and question-based. Literacy expert Amy Benjamin suggests five ways to achieve these “durable learning” goals.
Frank Buck remembers the joy of playing the Tonette with 4th grade classmates. Today, any teacher with access to a set of iPads and a free app can introduce all students to elements of music, enjoy the kids’ hands-on sound experiments, and build engagement and a more vibrant classroom culture.
Responsive Classroom’s 50 brain breaks give kids a chance to rest their brains by redirecting their minds. Some are calming, some are energizing, and all help students refocus & release stress. Quick, easy and student approved, says teacher Linda Biondi.
Ariel Sacks’ Whole Novels for the Whole Class is “the ultimate teacher-friendly manual for accommodating all students around a single book,” says ELA veteran Mary Tedrow, who finds Sacks’ practical specificity convincing and her confidence infectious.
While reviewer Rita Platt agrees with the authors’ sincere hope that classroom redesign can strengthen learning, she finds the book falls short of being helpful to teachers in their everyday quest to make their classrooms warmer, smarter, and better.
Explaining that middle school is “the unspoken linchpin in establishing a positive trajectory for career and college success,” Principal Robert Messia shares eight tested strategies for helping students understand and begin to prepare for the possibilities ahead.