Category: Book Reviews

Physical Science Probes Every Teacher Needs

These 32 formative assessment probes, designed by leading authority Page Keeley, are carefully chosen, researched, worded and explained to give students a strong understanding of key underlying concepts in physical science, writes science educator Dr. Laura Von Staden.

How Educators Can Culturize Their Schools

Jimmy Casas’ book Culturize shows how educators can positively impact their school culture and climate by making student needs the top priority. We can all help, writes teacher and aspiring school leader Reid Heller, by putting the book’s principles to work.

Using Photography to Enliven Student Writing

At the heart of Ralph Fletcher’s Focus Lessons, writes Jeny Randall, teachers will find lessons that can help students connect the photographic concepts of tension, point of view, and mood to the craft of writing – so that the idea of sensory details becomes concrete.

The CAFE Book Returns with Fresh Strategies

Based on the first edition’s core concepts for improving daily literacy learning and assessment, The CAFÉ Book has added teacher feedback, hands-on work with students and teachers, and research to strengthen the original practice, writes teacher educator Linda Biondi.

The Next Step in Making Word Study a Breeze

The Next Step Forward in Word Study and Phonics offers resources that will convince even the most skeptical that word study can be done quickly if done intentionally. Teacher Michelle Voelker likes the lessons targeting multiple reading levels and the many how-to videos.

Using SEM to Develop Student Mathematicians

After detailing the processes and skills needed for math, the authors discuss how the Student Enrichment Model may be implemented in a wide variety of environments, writes educator Michael Hernandez. New to SEM, he finds lots to use in his math and algebra classes.

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.