Category: Book Reviews

Fiction: “Adequate Yearly Progress” Is a Hoot

Reading NBCT Roxanna Elden’s novel chronicling the trials and tribulations of educators at fictional Brae Hill Valley HS made Rita Platt laugh. A lot. While Elden reveals the often “dark heart” of reform, she also captures the small everyday successes that keep us going.

A How-To Guide: School Improvement for All

Every chapter of School Improvement for All starts with commentary about how to determine vision versus reality, outlines ways to get from one to the other, and then provides concrete tools and steps to follow as a plan of action, writes NBCT Kathy Pham. A true guide to PLC success.

Using Socratic Methods in the Classroom

Socratic Methods in the Classroom offers a bevy of theories behind the practice and templates and tips for educators to prepare to dive into this method as a way to help students demonstrate their knowledge and consider other points of view, writes teacher educator Laurie Bobley.

Climbing the Literacy Ladder in Grades 4-5

In Climbing the Literacy Ladder Beverly Tyner offers a practical book with ready-to-implement ideas for grades PreK-5, including support for upper elementary teachers with early readers. Intermediate literacy coach Pam Hamilton recommends it as a versatile go-to resource.

Happy Kids Don’t Punch You in the Face

In presenting a guide to eliminating aggressive student behavior, Ben Springer finds the perfect balance – sharing practical and compassionate strategies, support for teachers, allowances for imperfection, and opportunities to smile, writes principal and NBCT Rita Platt.

Evidence-Based Science Activities (Grades 3-5)

Evidenced-Based Science Activities is an easy read and might be useful in changing classroom science instruction. Science leader Kathy Renfrew finds some excellent points in the book, including valuable and meaningful research, but notes there is newer research available.

Elements of Education for Every Educator

The Elements of Education for Teachers offers 100 pages jam-packed with easily accessible, well vetted pedagogies and practices. Each of the 50 elements is presented in a crisp two-page format. Teacher Diane Kaplan has selected several strategies to implement right away.