Organized and user friendly, Professional Learning in the Digital Age by Kristen Swanson provides educator cases, face-to-face protocols, research snippets and to-do lists to help teachers move through the process of developing their PLN, says reviewer Nicole Miller.
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Upper elementary teacher Mary Tarashuk – who has always viewed “teach” as an action verb – is learning to step back and let students pursue their interests and passions more often, with the help of laptops & content-specific anchor activities.
Teachers can help students explore important connections across different genres and subjects using “text sets” – collections of books and other media with a common theme. In this MiddleWeb article, teacher educator Amanda Wall details an assignment creating text sets for ELA and math.
Too much close reading is boring, say Mike Fisher & Danielle Hardt, as students comb through fiction, constantly analyzing lots of text. Ask them to read and write digital microstories. They’ll build evaluation & synthesis skills and have some fun.
Thomas Newkirk urges us to consider how, in a test-crazed culture, we can stay focused on what matters for our students. Holding On To Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones is not a literacy ‘how-to’ book, says Jenni Miller, but important nonetheless.
In her book about the social life of networked teens, Internet scholar danah boyd “issues a call to all of us who are adults to take more time to understand the shifts now taking place,” 6th grade teacher Kevin Hodgson writes. The guidance role of teachers & parents “has never been more important, nor more complicated.”
Education consultant Mike Fisher invites readers to be active participants in a Curriculum Brainstorm, using popular music and a song’s associated music video as a way to engage close reading of text, comparative analysis & use of digital tools.
Reviewer and middle grades teacher Judi Holst strongly recommends Troy Hicks’ Crafting Digital Writing to any teacher who uses writing in their classroom and is ready to more deeply engage today’s digital-savvy students. It’s easy to read and full of ideas, she says.
Teachers working to build complex texts into classes will welcome the framework for teaching comprehension in Laura Robb’s book, says reviewer Linda Biondi.
Julia G. Thompson, author of the 1st Year Teacher’s Survival Guide, considers what it means to have a culturally responsive classroom. Tips & resources.