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.
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.
The authors of Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions provide a thorough rationale and detailed steps to achieve a technique they say can “revolutionize” education. Reviewer Laura Von Staden finds their arguments compelling.
Even if you think you know all there is to know about middle schoolers, says teacher-reviewer Beth Morrow, you are bound to understand their thinking and behavior differently after you finish reading What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know.
“Common Core in the Content Areas” not only makes a convincing case that content-area teachers can be “literacy teachers” when it serves their purposes, says reviewer Sarah Goodis-Orenstein, it also provides “a bunch of teaching and planning tools” and collaborative learning tasks.