Category: Book Reviews

Professional books reviewed by educators

How Can We Create a Dynamic Classroom?

Serena Pariser and Victoria Lentfer answer teachers’ questions about how best to establish dynamic classrooms, offering practical ways to build routines, minimize off-task behaviors, and engage students in truly meaningful ways. A great resource, says NBCT Kathie Palmieri.

Add Comics and Graphic Novels to All Classes

Using engaging strategies and many examples, teacher Tim Smyth makes a convincing case for viewing comics and graphic novels as literacy tools, helping build reading and critical thinking skills. Kevin Hodgson is glad that Smyth also shows how kids can create their own comics.

Bring Language Patterns Alive for Young Writers

Patterns of Power for grades 6 – 8 is a teacher-friendly, easy-to-navigate book that uses the invitation process to help students move beyond the traditional study of grammar so they can appreciate the patterns of language and conventions, writes consultant Anne Anderson.

Learning Spaces That Affirm Students’ Identities

In Identity Affirming Classrooms: Spaces that Center Humanity, Erica Buchanan-Rivera provides teachers with the background knowledge, reflection tools and actionable practices needed to create identity-aware, student-centered environments. For all educators, says Katie Durkin.

Writing in Class with Choice and Community

Are you looking for lesson plans and ideas to engage your students as they learn to be confident writers? Lisa Eickholdt and Patricia Vitale-Reilly offer a step-by-step plan to develop writing clubs with variations to keep community interest high all year, says Dawna Brandt.

Educating for Equity in the Wake of Injustice

Alyssa Hadley Dunn’s Teaching on Days After offers research and narratives on how teachers can respond equitably on days after cataclysmic events so that they and their students “reach the full measure of their humanity.” Sarah Cooper recommends Dunn’s pedagogical strategies.

Using Mentor Texts to Integrate Teaching Goals

Pamela Koutrakos’ example-filled “Mentor Texts That Multitask” shows teachers how to design lessons that meet multiple instructional priorities. Sherry Liptak found it to be “a great fit for my professional bookshelf – though I think it will spend more time in my hands!”