The second edition of John F. Barell’s “Why Are School Buses Always Yellow?” shows teachers how they can inspire young minds to think beyond the text, to ask questions and to wonder, achieving inquiry learning while meeting standards, says reviewer Linda Biondi.
Category: Book Reviews
Professional books reviewed by educators
Bambrick-Santoyo’s Get Better Faster offers a convincing argument and a comprehensive program for developing new teachers. Retired principal and teacher educator Mary Langer Thompson finds the 90-day plan sensible, fast paced, demanding, and dense with resources.
Those eager to share “pristine” nonfiction text with students may appreciate the Kilgallon’s mentor sentence choices, which cross genres, topics, and cultures. But ELA teacher Amy Estersohn finds their workbook approach at odds with her workshop vision of teaching.
Ariel Sacks says teachers who read The Flexible ELA Classroom will get to know “an enthusiastic, skilled teacher” effectively applying “many of the best current teaching trends.” Amber Chandler’s practical, student centered ideas include flexible differentiation, PBL infusion, family involvement and more.
Bring exploration, fact-gathering and deduction to grades 3-5 life science classes with Stewart and Chesley’s “Perfect Pairs.” Full of standards-based lessons aligned to fiction/nonfiction picture books. Literacy coach Pam Hamilton eager to share it with teachers.
Middle School Motivators is a magnet for the teacher who wants to make lessons come alive, reinforce what is being taught, and have the students anxious to come back the next day. Reviewer Linda Biondi loves the book’s practical, at-your-fingertips organization.
Arguing that empathy is composed of teachable habits that can be practiced and developed, Michele Borba offers parents and teachers many tools to help children grow in their awareness of the needs of others. Mary Thompson finds the age-aligned ideas helpful.
The fully developed strategies and techniques Susan Edwards offers in Active Learning in the Middle Grades Classroom are simple to use and will have students engaged in active, purposeful learning across content areas, says teaching consultant Anne Anderson.
In her blended classroom, reviewer Nicolette Lesniak finds the tools included in DIY Literacy – demonstration notebooks, teaching charts and visual note taking – help students recall what was taught and motivate them to work harder, to the best of their abilities.
Gretchen Morgan’s Innovative Educators: An Action Plan for Teachers is a good, concise book for teachers who want to innovate in their classrooms, especially through action research, and aren’t really sure how to go about the process. Reviewed by Laura Von Staden.