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.
Laura Von Staden says Joy Kirr’s “Shift This!” is a must read for all teachers, full of actionable strategies, the research and reasons to implement them, and the steps and support to transform your teaching to reach every student with the maximum impact possible.
Andi McNair’s “Genius Hour” is a valuable resource for educators who want to release potential in students but do not know how or where to start. Reviewer Terry Carter praises McNair’s focus on scaffolding strategies that can help students pursue their passions.
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.
Gretchen Morgan’s Innovative Educators: An Action Plan for Teachers is a good, concise book for teachers who want to innovate in their classrooms, especially through action research, and aren’t really sure how to go about the process. Reviewed by Laura Von Staden.
Looking for ideas to engage students in meaningful work? Interested in expanding technology use to involve them in helping the world? Dena Hause recommends Bill Ferriter’s well researched, idea packed PBL book as a partial antidote to our obsession with testing.
Can history teachers apply Design Thinking ideas to a subject often taught as a progression of facts? Jody Passanisi thinks so. “What could be more relevant than looking for solutions to challenges that were created in the past and are still having impact today?”
We always hear about the “real world” vs. the world in school. Project Based Learning helps to break down that barrier and better merges the two. It’s also undeniably engaging and lures kids into rigorous learning, as in Heather Wolpert-Gawron’s “Invention Unit.”
Cheryl Mizerny is excited about the maker movement and all that it implies for education, but she hopes educators will take school-based makerspaces in the direction of incorporating 21st century learning goals, avoiding rote projects, and promoting innovation.
With plentiful humor Gerald Aungst shows how to address math problem solving in powerful and realistic ways, helping students become innovative mathematical thinkers. Middle school math resource teacher Maia Fastabend plans to revisit his book frequently.