Category: Book Reviews

Professional books reviewed by educators

Infusing Narrative into Nonfiction Writing

If we want students to be better writers and communicators, we need to teach them real world writing. Liz Prather’s Story Matters is exactly the guide teachers need to blend narrative, argumentative and information writing, says English/history teacher Michelle Voelker.

Hands-On Archaeology: Digs for Youngsters

Help middle graders connect past and present using the easy-to-understand lessons in Hands-On Archaeology. Teacher educator Linda Biondi says the authors show us how giving kids opportunities to ‘dig’ in and out of class can build team skills and cross-curricular learning.

Physical Science Probes Every Teacher Needs

These 32 formative assessment probes, designed by leading authority Page Keeley, are carefully chosen, researched, worded and explained to give students a strong understanding of key underlying concepts in physical science, writes science educator Dr. Laura Von Staden.

How Educators Can Culturize Their Schools

Jimmy Casas’ book Culturize shows how educators can positively impact their school culture and climate by making student needs the top priority. We can all help, writes teacher and aspiring school leader Reid Heller, by putting the book’s principles to work.

Using Photography to Enliven Student Writing

At the heart of Ralph Fletcher’s Focus Lessons, writes Jeny Randall, teachers will find lessons that can help students connect the photographic concepts of tension, point of view, and mood to the craft of writing – so that the idea of sensory details becomes concrete.

The CAFE Book Returns with Fresh Strategies

Based on the first edition’s core concepts for improving daily literacy learning and assessment, The CAFÉ Book has added teacher feedback, hands-on work with students and teachers, and research to strengthen the original practice, writes teacher educator Linda Biondi.

The Next Step in Making Word Study a Breeze

The Next Step Forward in Word Study and Phonics offers resources that will convince even the most skeptical that word study can be done quickly if done intentionally. Teacher Michelle Voelker likes the lessons targeting multiple reading levels and the many how-to videos.

Using SEM to Develop Student Mathematicians

After detailing the processes and skills needed for math, the authors discuss how the Student Enrichment Model may be implemented in a wide variety of environments, writes educator Michael Hernandez. New to SEM, he finds lots to use in his math and algebra classes.