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.
Category: Book Reviews
Professional books reviewed by educators
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.
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.
The Science Teacher’s Toolbox is written in a practical format with easy-to-follow directions for grades 4-12, says middle level science educator Tracy Albers. She suggests you “have your page marker tabs ready when you read through this treasure trove of valuable strategies!”
In Learning That Sticks, author Bryan Goodwin and colleagues break student learning down into a 6-phase mental model based on what researchers are learning about the brain and the ways it manages information. It’s worth the read, writes teacher leader Laura Von Staden.
Reading Concept-Based Instruction will help teachers use curriculum mapping to identify thematic trends and then pull that information together for effective cross-curricular planning. Social studies teacher Mary Marsh says the book’s challenges will be worth the effort.
Gholdy Muhammad shows how educators can achieve a transformation in equitable education by implementing a framework of Historically Responsive Literacy based in identity development, skill development, intellectual development, and criticality, writes teacher Nicole Warchol.
PBL expert Dayna Laur packs her book with 8 chapters of learning sciences-based practical examples, offering authentic challenges and connecting content standards to teens’ real lives. The complex student-centered activities earn a thumbs up from teacher Susi Durand.