Category: Book Reviews

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Gaming World Peace with Middle Graders

Teacher John Hunter’s book reveals the intricacies and impact of his famed (thanks to a top 100 TEDTalk) World Peace Game, a multi-layered challenge where students collaborate to solve 50 complex problems. Kevin Hodgson appreciates Hunter’s openness to inquiry.

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A Must-Have Resource for Integrating STEM

In addition to its value to schools and districts, STEM by Design will help classroom teachers make integrated STEM lessons a reality. Its step-by-step approach leaps beyond mere discussion to a real plan of action, says state science coordinator Kathy Renfrew.

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Challenging ELA for Gifted 4th Graders

Lindsay Kasten’s literacy based workbook provides teachers of gifted students from third to fifth grade with lessons and activities about Native Americans, inventions, nature, and struggle. Adaptable for all students, says 4th grade teacher Linda Biondi.

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Warm Ways to Deepen Historical Thinking

On each page of History Class Revisited, teacher Jody Passanisi reveals a deep knowledge of middle school minds and hearts and offers many engaging strategies to help students on the way from literal to critical thinking about history, says reviewer Sarah Cooper.

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Instructional Planning for Effective Teaching

“Instructional Planning for Effective Teaching” could be helpful to new teachers who might benefit from its research about the planning methods of “effective” teachers, writes reviewer Robbi Ndebi. But more examples of strong vs. weak instructional design would be helpful.

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How to Build a Vibrant School Culture

Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker do a phenomenal job of taking the reader on a guided journey to define, assess, and learn to transform a school culture, says principal Doug Dunn. School Culture Rewired includes surveys, culture-building strategies and much more.

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Guiding Student Passion, Wonder & Inquiry

The Genius Hour Guidebook by Denise Krebs & Gallit Zvi provides a practical guide for teachers who want to encourage students to pursue their passionate interests and expand their 21st century skill set. Reviewer Laura Von Staden also recommends the companion website.

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Learning to Teach the Always-On Generation

Our world has transformed students into digital learners, “Reinventing Learning for the Always-On Generation” suggests we find balance between traditional teaching methods and the techniques today’s students find most engaging. Joyce Depenbusch recommends it for group PD.