In Disrupting Thinking, Kylene Beers and Robert Probst argue that educators must help students become empowered readers who read out of personal desire, not just for school work. The authors’ well supported argument uses a “Book-Head-Heart” framework, says Kevin Hodgson.
Reading is reinforced when students have hands-on experience with the ideas they find in informational texts. ELA teacher Brian Cook’s after-school drones program helps students explore flight, consider privacy and safety issues, and learn more about new careers.
What sets this book apart from many other professional books is that it not only gives a rational for using its strategies, it explicitly offers step-by-step instructions on how to unlock elusive teaching dilemmas. Janice Rustico recommends it to literacy leaders.
Donna Spangler and John Alex Mazzante have “a keen understanding of a language student’s need for frequent changes, movement, playfulness, collaboration, and gentle competition,” says Spanish teacher Jane Swisher, noting this “gem of a book” is easily adaptable.
Veteran ELA teacher Lisa Belcher finds Disrupting Thinking to be a fabulous reminder that our students need teachers to be their guides to finding intrinsic motivation to read for more than simply finding answers to questions. Beers and Probst include helpful tools.
By differentiating reading choices and inviting students to discuss diverse texts using student-led conversations, you can heighten their ability to analyze texts and hone their critical thinking skill. Reading expert Laura Robb discusses set-up and assessment.
Reading Nancie Atwell and Anne Atwell Merkel’s The Reading Zone, 2nd edition, is like getting a letter from a good friend and mentor, says ELA teacher Amy Matthes. Find reading workshop case studies to help readers become passionate, skilled, and habitual.
Without turning his classroom into “test prep central,” teacher Kevin Hodgson is working to anticipate what his state’s evolving standardized tests will contain and how best to help his sixth graders prepare themselves with plenty of reading and writing strategies.
If bibliotherapy is an effective way to ease the growing pains of adolescents, writes 7th grade teacher Laurie Lichtenstein, The Outsiders is “the gold standard of therapy in middle grades literature.” It’s the only whole class novel she teaches each year.
In “Read Talk Write” Laura Robb provides strategies that can grow students’ ability to have rich, accountable conversations, leading to productive, engaging writing. Reviewer Linda Biondi especially appreciates the mentor texts, detailed lessons, and reproducibles.