Teaching and learning in grades 4-8

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.

Are Your Meetings Productive or Time Wasters?

With thoughtful planning and implementation, principals can make sure meetings are both collaborative and productive. School leadership consultants Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn share essential questions and tips about norms, purposes, and decision making.

How to Help Young Writers Find the Force

Teachers should be Jedi Masters, called to be believers in our students and promoters of their ability to take charge of their own learning. ELA teacher and author Vicki Kahlenberg shares four writing strategies that foster autonomy through emulation and publication.

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.

Black History: The Visions of Gordon Parks

Media literacy expert Frank Baker offers a fresh idea for Black History Month – exploring the life, career and creativity of photographer, writer and director Gordon Parks, whose powerful images from the Segregation Era serve as iconic primary sources.