Reflecting on their work gives students an opportunity to look back at what they have done, examine the processes and strategies they used, and think about the importance of their effort and growth. Literacy coach Lynne Dorfman explores ways to cultivate metacognition.
In Metacognition: The Neglected Skill Set, Robin Fogarty and Brian Pete offer 30 grab-and-go strategies to help students create a new habit of mind, writes middle school director Jeny Randall. Along with tools for teaching, they invite us to hone our own metacognitive skills.
Teacher think alouds are great for grades 4-8, says author Molly Ness. “The goal is to provide less savvy readers with a play-by-play of what you – as a skilled reader – think while reading.” The secret is planning. They may sound spontaneous but must be choreographed.
David Palank’s Class Hacker is so enthusiastically and conversationally presented and informative that it needs to get into the hands of teachers in order to change instruction, writes former principal and writer Mary Langer Thompson.
On each page of History Class Revisited, teacher Jody Passanisi reveals a deep knowledge of middle school minds and hearts and offers many engaging strategies to help students on the way from literal to critical thinking about history, says reviewer Sarah Cooper.
In Lessons and Units for Closer Reading, Nancy Boyles dives into curriculum design, explaining the creation of units starting with a theme, an author, a genre, and more. Reviewer Jennifer Wirtz appreciates the book’s usefulness to middle grades teachers.
Students in a state of “flow” learn faster, are more focused, enjoy learning, and often increase the level of challenge. Teacher-author Larry Ferlazzo distills the research and has ideas for teachers that can help students achieve flow regularly in class.
When teachers ask all the questions and then rush to supply the answers, “the result is a cognitive disconnect,” says author Nanci Werner-Burke. Stop usurping the “right to wonder” by teaching students to ask deep, Bloom’s-friendly questions of their own.
Reviewer Linda Biondi likes everything about the new edition of Jeff Wilhelm’s popular book on improving comprehension by “thinking aloud.” Lots of examples from the classroom, a DVD with teachers using the strategies in class, and it’s CCSS-aligned.
Assessing 21st Century Skills: A Guide to Evaluating Mastery and Authentic Learning is a must-have guide for any educator wishing to assess students beyond the knowledge-based level, says reviewer Cindy Musselwhite.