In “Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools,” the authors provide a roadmap to help educators deconstruct a factory-style education system and introduce innovative approaches that empower students as learners, says reviewer Mackenzie Grate.
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Guest expert Dr. Susan Pruet stresses the need to stretch beyond simple arithmetic to incorporate more challenging math content in STEM lessons. Pruet also cites the supports middle grades math teachers will need to spark student engagement in STEM careers.
Media literacy educator Frank Baker wants “to help today’s media-saturated students realize the lengths that political consultants will go to get (and keep) our attention.” As the “polioptic” presidential race begins, Baker shares insights and lesson ideas.
Amber Chandler describes a PBL unit, built around the dystopian novel The Giver, that takes students deep into the book’s ideas by having them create and debate their own ideal communities and explore unintended consequences. Tips and handouts included.
Dialogue circles can facilitate brain function and help “increase generosity, trust, intrinsic motivation, social connection, and cooperation so students can work together for a common purpose,” writes inner-city middle school principal David Palank.
Karen Chace knows storytelling can build literacy as well as joy. In Story by Story she explains in detail how to develop students’ storytelling skills and how to gain support for storyteller festivals. Reviewer Kevin Cordi especially values her reports of student engagement.
Students learn by connecting prior knowledge with new information. Elizabeth Stein urges teachers to meld the insights of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Universal Design for Learning concepts “to create access to higher level thinking and actions in your classrooms.”
Nancie Atwell’s passion for adolescent reading and writing permeates every page of In the Middle, says reviewer Jenni Miller. Reworked with over 80% new material, this classic leads teachers through the intricacies of reading and writing workshop.
Urban ELA teacher Mackenzie Grate found mock trials to be the perfect vehicle to encourage reading, teach speaking & listening, and prepare her 6th graders for their first argumentative writing essay. How-to tips, downloads and lessons learned included.
Teacher Mary Tarashuk has reasserted her “Irish Zen” following the full frontal assault on PARCC testing in her last post. She describes how her fourth graders had fun learning about Chinese New Year while also practicing for the high stakes test in prescribed ways.