Katherine Bomer provides concrete suggestions that help teachers move away from formulaic essay teaching while helping young writers name and revise their thinking, reveal truth, and weave in other voices as they draft, fine-tune, and revise, says Brian Kelley.
Category: Book Reviews
David B. Cohen travels to 70 California schools to meet inspired teachers who experience autonomy and opportunities to lead. Though his visits lack the rigor of research, Mary Langer Thompson says his book can show readers what’s good about public schools.
In “Read Talk Write” Laura Robb provides strategies that can grow students’ ability to have rich, accountable conversations, leading to productive, engaging writing. Reviewer Linda Biondi especially appreciates the mentor texts, detailed lessons, and reproducibles.
Cathie E. West packs her book with key concepts and skills, charts to help explain these, engagement strategies and step-by-step activities, all to help achieve teacher – and subsequently student – engagement. Literacy coach Janice Rustico finds it a keeper.
Todd Stanley’s units of study address the need of today’s students both to problem solve and present findings to an audience. Jennifer Wirtz implemented a well resourced Oral Presentation unit and will use more of the easily adapted projects with her 7th graders.
Responsive Classroom’s 50 brain breaks give kids a chance to rest their brains by redirecting their minds. Some are calming, some are energizing, and all help students refocus & release stress. Quick, easy and student approved, says teacher Linda Biondi.
Ariel Sacks’ Whole Novels for the Whole Class is “the ultimate teacher-friendly manual for accommodating all students around a single book,” says ELA veteran Mary Tedrow, who finds Sacks’ practical specificity convincing and her confidence infectious.
While reviewer Rita Platt agrees with the authors’ sincere hope that classroom redesign can strengthen learning, she finds the book falls short of being helpful to teachers in their everyday quest to make their classrooms warmer, smarter, and better.
In Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning, James Rickbaugh supports school leaders as they share the how-to’s and the why’s with staff. Instructional coach Debbie Parker thinks teachers can also benefit by gaining more understanding about implementation.
Veteran principal Matt Renwick discovers it’s not too late to become a more organized and effective school leader as he gives the step-by-step advice in Maia Heyck-Merlin’s “The Together Leader: Get Organized for Your Success and Sanity!” a real road test.