After reading “The i5 Approach” to lesson planning, middle grades teacher Joanne Bell can see that better thinking skills not only lead to a deeper understanding of big concepts, they can spark fresh innovations. Bell welcomes the integration of 21st century skills.
Among the books educator Lisa Signorelli has read about teaching children in high poverty schools, she finds Disrupting Poverty: Five Powerful Classroom Practices is the easiest to understand and contains very impactful strategies to use in the classroom.
The wonderful thing about teaching is there’s always more to learn. History teacher Michael DiClemente has been looking into reading (which his students do lots of). Peter Afflerbach’s Understanding and Using Reading Assessment has him rethinking his classroom practice.
Hall and Simeral use an entertaining yet professional voice to share their decade-long research aimed at implementing a process of teacher self-reflection and collaboration across entire schools that positively impacts instruction and results in higher student learning.
In Digital Portfolios in the Classroom, personal anecdotes, discussions of technological tools, and interviews with educators who use a portfolio system provide a multifaceted picture of the benefits and possibilities of this student-centered approach to assessment.
Alexis Wiggins has taken a 1930s Socratic discussion strategy and enriched it to provide more detail about process, assessment and self-reflection. Teacher Joanne Bell finds Wiggins’ Spider Web technique a useful tool to develop learners ready for 21st century employment.
No matter where you are in your journey to understand grading, this book can help, says middle school teacher Emily Prissel. Susan Brookhart does a nice job of presenting important ideas succinctly and clearly, while giving practical advice and ready-to-use strategies.
The research-based Total Participation Techniques found in the second edition of the Himmele’s popular ASCD book can help boost student engagement and participation, and their retention of information, in just about any content area, says veteran educator Joanne Bell.
School Culture Recharged is a good mix of philosophy, research, and practical strategy. Rita Platt recommends that “school and district leaders read it to get a handle on the what’s, how’s, and why’s of developing school cultures that help bring about success for all.”
Emphasizing content-rich curriculum, traditional literacy activities, and soundly structured lessons, Mike Schmoker’s “Leading with Focus” provides a guide for teacher leaders, principals, and others that can improve student achievement, says principal Matt Renwick.