“Since many students are in my class multiple times,” writes ELL teacher Wendi Pillars, “I’m always seeking new topics to tie literacy skills together.” This year one theme was “Zero Hunger” through sustainable agriculture. A perfect hook for a unit on eating insects.
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.
If you are looking for ways to connect your classroom or school to parents in nonthreatening, collaborative, and productive ways, you’ll love Alisa Hindin and Mary Mueller’s book, Getting Parents on Board, says teacher/librarian Rita Platt.
Gerard Dawson packs his brief book about literacy with hacks (fixes) to implement immediately and have a positive impact on classroom reading culture, says educator Laura Von Staden. He includes five problem-solving blueprints and ways to overcome pushback.
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.
More and more, state and national standards call on all educators to become “teachers of literacy.” ELA teacher Kevin Hodgson shares how he and his 6th grade colleagues in science, social studies and math are figuring out what this will mean in their classrooms.
Margaret Mary Policastro provides solid background on best practices for home literacy, says reading specialist Judy Harris. But Harris finds the book short on good advice for families that lack the resources and services more typical of upscale neighborhoods.
With 184 lessons building on Writers Workshop principles, Stacey Shubitz provides guidance in mentor-text-based literacy instruction that can result in independent and proficient writers. Linda Biondi expects Craft Moves to be part of teachers’ “go-to book” collections.
DIY Literacy by Kate and Maggie Roberts is not only a how-to book on designing visual learning tools but also a source of advice on implementing them in the classroom. It has just what lead teacher Sandy Wisneski needs to augment her lack of artistic talent.
Katie Egan Cunningham stresses the importance of caring for our students’ stories even as we explore fiction and story-making with them. Reviewer Mary Langer Thompson highly recommends the book for its practical focus mixed with a philosophy beautifully expressed.