For any educator interested in offering student choice but unsure of how to begin, Laurie Westphal’s Differentiating Instruction With Menus approach offers a strategy that will ease fears about loss of control and assure quality work, writes teacher Erin Corrigan-Smith.
Focusing on the elements of the epic hero, this activity from author and 2019 PA TOY Marilyn Pryle helps students learn about literary elements while reflecting on their own lives, goals, and obstacles as they consider the hero’s backstory, good qualities, flaw, and quest.
For those with positive stories, social-emotional learning helps reinforce the skills they need to succeed. For those with stories of trauma, SEL can help balance negative experiences with positive ones. Author-educator Marilee Sprenger shows how brain research can help.
April Wells tackles inequity in gifted education by sharing the story of an urban district that redesigned its gifted programs and took aggressive steps to remedy the lack of racial, economic and language diversity. Teacher educator Sarah Pennington finds the book timely.
Making the case to move from best practices to design thinking in schools, Alyssa Gallagher and Kami Thordarson provide a clear, concise guide to the steps of the design thinking process. Teacher leader Laura Von Staden recommends their book to all educators.
As teachers work to offer SEL support during remote learning, they can also adapt assignments to provide students with academic challenges that engage them in higher order thinking and teamwork. Barbara Blackburn and her colleagues share examples across content areas.
Gilmore and Deos’s Integrating Technology targets teachers in its early chapters and IT leaders later on in its broad messaging. The authors present a useful theoretical model, says reviewer Jeny Randall, short on “how to” examples but long on vision for the future.
The Caring Teacher asks educators to reexamine how and why they teach the way they do, to record reflections, questions and thoughts toward the goal of reducing bias and increasing student success. Linda Biondi believes every moment spent in reflection will be worth it.
How can we stretch younger students’ excitement for inquiry into the middle school years? After tutoring a 9-year old this summer, MS teacher Mary Beth Nicklaus hopes the power of pursuing their simple questions will energize the quiet kids among her 6th graders this fall.
Rather than approach math using only a curriculum that follows textbook lessons, we can boost learning by teaching math as a science. Middle grades educator and NBCT Kathleen Palmieri is learning how to incorporate data studies to help students relate math to the real world.