With its ready-made product menus and immediate applicability, Differentiating Instruction with Menus is one of those books that won’t gather dust, as teachers will turn to it for quick reference throughout the school year, says ELA and gifted facilitator Kim Rensch.
The refreshingly clear way that Barbara Blackburn collects and presents best practices in her book on rigor and assessment should help teachers become more effective at providing well differentiated instruction in a positive classroom environment, writes Roy Palmer.
With her classroom door closed for summer, Michelle Russell looks back at the goals she set 9 months ago: to know her students in a meaningful way, to use formative assessment effectively, and to bring more joy to her classes. She shares her successes and some fails.
By differentiating reading choices and inviting students to discuss diverse texts using student-led conversations, you can heighten their ability to analyze texts and hone their critical thinking skill. Reading expert Laura Robb discusses set-up and assessment.
Fresh from her middle school’s Falcon Pride Day, Amber Chandler celebrates the joy of a pre-Spring Break event that’s one part competition, one part team building, and one part controlled chaos, noting that kids’ SEL needs are at least as important as curriculum.
Jennie Magiera urges teachers to launch edventures, pursuing innovations that boost student engagement, build class culture, differentiate, promote digital citizenship and more. Laura Von Staden also likes Magiera’s plentiful ideas about professional learning.
Ariel Sacks’ Whole Novels for the Whole Class is “the ultimate teacher-friendly manual for accommodating all students around a single book,” says ELA veteran Mary Tedrow, who finds Sacks’ practical specificity convincing and her confidence infectious.
Elizabeth Stein urges co-teachers to co-create an action plan for the remainder of the year that supports any students who are beginning to drift and fall behind in reaching their goals. Using UDL videos and other resources, Stein shows how to meet diverse needs.
Ariel Sacks says teachers who read The Flexible ELA Classroom will get to know “an enthusiastic, skilled teacher” effectively applying “many of the best current teaching trends.” Amber Chandler’s practical, student centered ideas include flexible differentiation, PBL infusion, family involvement and more.
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.