Genius Hour is a popular strategy for deepening student learning by promoting passion, creativity and engagement. Paying attention to the do’s and don’ts of effective implementation can help you make it a regular part your instruction, writes author Barbara Blackburn.
In The Right Tools Towanda Harris has created a system to review the literacy materials at a teacher’s disposal to decide which are strongest and weakest. She also includes strategies for finding fresh resources that better match student needs, says Erin Corrigan-Smith.
Personalized Professional Learning: A Job-Embedded Pathway for Elevating Teacher Voice is a must read for school leaders especially but also for anyone who plans and facilitates professional learning, writes Amy Whitehead, a member of her district’s PD facilitation team.
In their sequel to “Making Number Talks Matter,” Ruth Parker and Cathy Humphreys go deeper and include videos of real students. They thoroughly explain the how and why of Number Talks and suggest updates to their method, writes math and algebra teacher Michael Hernandez.
Teacher leader Kevin Hodgson finds much to like in A.J. Juliani’s The PBL Playbook. The text is built around practical advice for PBL implementation and classroom experiences. For beginners Juliani’s stories are a lifeline, offering mentor examples and lesson analysis.
In Leading School Change, Todd Whitaker focuses on strategies to successfully navigate cultural changes, using specific examples. Educator Laura Von Staden particularly likes his coverage of how standardization has as a cost, often holding back the best teachers.
Principals Jason Kotch and Edward Cosentino show how carefully developed use of social media can help students as it improves communication among the school, families, and community. Retired principal Mary Langer Thompson finds all the needed tools, easily accessible.
The Genius Hour Guidebook by Denise Krebs & Gallit Zvi provides a practical guide for teachers who want to encourage students to pursue their passionate interests and expand their 21st century skill set. Reviewer Laura Von Staden also recommends the companion website.
Writing from her experience attempting to implement Standards Based Grading at her middle school, Jennifer Wirtz admits to frustration and looks to Schimmer’s “Grading From the Inside Out” for ways to consistently hold students accountable while promoting mastery.
The new edition of A School Leader’s Guide to Excellence offers essential ideas for collaborating with all school stakeholders. Reviewer Tamekia McCauley says the authors provide extensive implementation guidance for their 9 topics, from Planning to Culture.