Category: Book Reviews

Professional books reviewed by educators

A System to Teach Short-Response Writing

Literacy coach Amber Bartlein finds Alan Sitomer’s “Mastering Short-Response Writing” to be “a quick read with practical ideas that can be implemented tomorrow.” His Three C’s System has already helped all of Barlein’s writers, including the ones who struggle most.

How to Write Better Lesson Plans

Ben Curran offers a future classic on lesson planning as a reflective, deliberate, on-going practice built with precision and thought. Teacher Linda Biondi thinks pre-service teachers, teacher educators and classroom veterans will all benefit from his practical advice.

Build Logical Reasoning in Content Areas

If a school can agree to have both ELA and content area teachers use the ideas in “Strategic Journeys for Building Logical Reasoning” there is potential for students to achieve more intense thinking rather than surface learning, says reviewer Mary Langer Thompson.

Monitoring the Progress of School Initiatives

You may not be able to stem the tide of Shiny New Things coming your way, but using Woodson and Frakes’ book you will be able to show which reforms are making a difference in the lives of your students and which are just passing fads, writes teacher Alex Valencic.

Everything You Need to Develop Skilled Writers

A book to treasure! All of Jennifer Serravallo’s engaging 300 lessons are fully developed and easily adaptable for differentiation. The premise of the book is to meet the students where they are and not to teach each of the skills in isolation, writes Linda Biondi.

Hacking Engagement: 50 Useful Tips and Tools

Educator James Alan Sturtevant is ready with quick, low cost or free hacks for those days when teachers need to generate curiosity and enthusiasm. His 50 tips and tools are clearly laid out and further explained through individual podcasts, says teacher Linda Biondi.

Blending Leadership: Leading Online and Off

Stephen Valentine and Reshan Richards outline core beliefs they believe can strengthen leadership by blending online and face-to-face communication. Mary L. Thompson notes the technical information may become dated quickly but finds the response to change valuable.

Helping Students Believe They Can Learn

Teacher Kathee Lamberies finds High Expectations Teaching by Jon Saphier a good read for teachers looking to better themselves professionally and learn about how to impart the growth mindset to students. Also a book study candidate for a PLC or staff development.

Page-to-Stage Writing Workshop for Students

After using Page-to-Stage Writing Workshop for Students with her 7th graders, ELA teacher Nicole Waychol is convinced that once you read the book, author Kwame Alexander is going to have you saying “yes.” Yes to jazz. Yes to writing. Yes to poetry. Yes to publishing.