Category: Book Reviews

DIY Literacy Tools for Blended Learning

In her blended classroom, reviewer Nicolette Lesniak finds the tools included in DIY Literacy – demonstration notebooks, teaching charts and visual note taking – help students recall what was taught and motivate them to work harder, to the best of their abilities.

An Action Plan for Innovative Teaching

Gretchen Morgan’s Innovative Educators: An Action Plan for Teachers is a good, concise book for teachers who want to innovate in their classrooms, especially through action research, and aren’t really sure how to go about the process. Reviewed by Laura Von Staden.

Making Sure Students Master Math Facts

Math Running Records in Action by Dr. Nicki Newton is an easy-to-read book that offers a helpful framework for assessing, teaching and practicing math facts. Reviewer Rita Platt says “this book was a revelation to me” for its focus on how students think about math.

Designing Effective Classroom Management

James E. Harlacher presents useful strategies based on “decades of research” for instructors to directly teach behavioral expectations, effectively preventing some inappropriate behaviors. And there’s a chapter for responding to misbehavior, says teacher coach Glenda Moyer.

Grading That’s Fair, Specific and Timely

In FAST Grading, says veteran science/math teacher Joyce Depenbusch, Douglas Reeves has reached his goal of inspiring teachers and administrators to rethink grading and use his FAST strategies (Fair, Accurate, Specific, Timely) to optimize student learning.

A Practical Resource for School-Based Leaders

Principals and other school based leaders will find succinct, useful discussions of building level concerns in Williamson and Blackburn’s The Principalship from A-Z. Educational leadership professor Margaret Jones-Carey also recommends the book’s online resources.

Narrative Writing Ideas Built on Mentor Texts

Sean Ruday’s practical ideas and teaching strategies for narrative writing should reduce the stress levels of writing teachers all across the country, writes consultant Anne Anderson. To speed things along, he has included excerpts from the mentor texts he features.

Called to the Middle: A Principal’s View

Called to the Middle is a primer for anyone considering the challenges of middle level teaching. Veteran MS educator Linda Mancia says Joey Eidson’s commitment to adolescent education comes through his relaxed writing style but notes some editorial shortcomings.

Bright Happy Children vs Failing Public Schools

Becoming Brilliant, written by two psych professors, is less about intelligence than about helping children become collaborative, creative, competent, and responsible. Reviewer Rita Platt notes with dismay the authors’ blanket view that public schools are failing.