In Whole Novels for the Whole Class, Ariel Sacks offers a student-centered approach that promotes love of reading and deepens discussions, says reviewer Heather Wolpert-Gawron. Sacks’ documented strategies also address Common Core standards.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
What better way to start a New Year than with a good read? Our MiddleWeb reviewer/educators have a stack of professional books reviewed and ready for your selection. You’ll find content area titles, teaching strategies, leadership tips – and, of course, the Core.
Science educator Anne Jolly’s reflections on the upcoming year include a specific list of “hopes” for STEM leaders, teachers, and students. Taken together, they represent some of the best ideas for STEM “resolutions” you’re likely to find!
History teachers can adopt flipped teaching techniques and remain true to their constructivist pedagogy, says Jody Passanisi. In her classroom, Passanisi creates videos that walk students through classroom procedures, explain tricky assignments, model writing or review test concepts — “anything procedural or to supply basic information.” The time she saves is invested in deeper study and individual help.
Reviewer Linda Biondi likes everything about the new edition of Jeff Wilhelm’s popular book on improving comprehension by “thinking aloud.” Lots of examples from the classroom, a DVD with teachers using the strategies in class, and it’s CCSS-aligned.
Teach Smart by PJ Caposey and Todd Whitaker lays out an easy to use guide for how to help each teacher get better at the craft, says reviewer Stephanie Rosch. The short book includes “real life examples of classrooms, practical strategies for any grade level, and black line masters for some of the strategies.”
Mary Tarashuck recalls the holiday Venn diagrams she and her 4th graders organized for the first grade kids and imagines some circles of her own – celebrating her colleagues and her past accomplishments and setting some goals for the future.
In Celebrating Writers: From Possibilities to Publication, Ruth Ayres & Christi Overman provide clear, powerful ways to recognize and encourage the writer in all students – even those reluctant ones, says middle grades ELA teacher Kevin Hodgson.
Student responses to a recent question posted by the NYT Learning Network confirm that coaching is the best teaching style for STEM subjects, writes science educator Anne Jolly in her MiddleWeb blog STEM by Design.
Although professional development, administrative support & common planning time are all very important and necessary, writes Elizabeth Stein, what matters most in achieving effective inclusion is how the two teachers in the room are approaching the experience.