If bibliotherapy is an effective way to ease the growing pains of adolescents, writes 7th grade teacher Laurie Lichtenstein, The Outsiders is “the gold standard of therapy in middle grades literature.” It’s the only whole class novel she teaches each year.
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Few things are more important to Cheryl Mizerny than creating a classroom environment that honors all of her multicultural students. She looks at beliefs, the visual environment, instructional materials, and teaching choices for ways to support everyone’s learning.
As her fourth graders study the lead-up to the American Revolution, Mary Tarashuk finds echoes in today’s confrontation over free speech pitting test makers against teachers and students who question the validity of test elements. Free history resources included.
Teaching about Judaism, Christianity and Islam is a staple in many middle school world history and culture classes. To help counter students’ frequent confusion about these religions, Lauren Brown points out misconceptions and offers resource ideas.
Teachers in K-12 will find lots to use among David W. Booth’s strategies for increasing comprehension. Based in his research, Booth’s focus is on 10 modes for understanding texts. His lessons incorporating the arts are particularly helpful, says ELA teacher Julia K. Colombo.
Kevin Hodgson begins his 6th grade poetry unit “with a listening field trip across the United States, powered by our imaginations.” Before young writers can compose poetry, they need to listen closely to its rhythms and “make the shift away from prose.” The anthology My America provides mentor texts.
Despite some organizational problems, says reviewer Susan Schwartz, “West Meets East” offers many insights into the comparative teaching practices of Chinese and US teachers recognized for excellence and shows that educators have much they can learn from each other, wherever they may practice their profession.
Teaching students to “think like historians” begins with making connections between past and present, says teacher Mary Tarashuk. As her 4th graders begin the Age of Exploration, she calls on a Tai Chi parent-expert to help bridge ancient and modern times.
Teacher José Vilson’s must-read book, This Is Not A Test, cuts through political platitudes into the heart of America’s unresolved contradictions: public education and democratic principles; equity and privilege, race and class, says reviewer John Norton.
It’s Not Complicated: What I Know for Sure About Helping Our Students of Color Become Successful Readers will motivate teachers to redouble literacy efforts, says Maribeth Wicoff, but she wishes the author had included more about effective strategies.