The 2016 Gallup Poll of Students asked nearly a million tweens and teens in grades 5-12 about engagement in learning. The results were not encouraging, writes author Patti Drapeau. Teachers need to move beyond the “what” of engagement to focus on the “why.”
In their newly updated book Michael J. Graham and Jason Borgen have a lot to offer, not just about using Google Tools, but also about integrating technology into the classroom in innovative and thoughtful ways, says teacher and middle school coordinator Jeny Randall.
Ruth Culham’s Teach Writing Well is practical and goes step-by-step through incorporating writing traits into any classroom writing program while undergirding practice with a sense of exuberance and discovery. Reviewer Sarah Cooper can’t wait for fall to try Culham’s ideas.
In Enticing Hard-To-Reach Writers, Ruth Ayres offers wide ranging ideas and resources to help all students become writers because “when writers believe their words matter, nothing can stop them.” We begin, reviewer Mary Langer Thompson notes, by getting our hearts right.
Ralph Fletcher’s approachable book offers useful, practical guidelines on how to implement effective writing teaching. ELA teacher Erin Corrigan-Smith notes his emphasis on choice, voice, purpose and play will help students enjoy the daily writing he recommends.
Spring is in the air and kids’ attention is fluttering around and beyond the room. Elizabeth Stein shares a bit of timely brain science and offers strategies to help co-teachers bring their students’ attention back to class as the end of school approaches.
Teacher Kathee Lamberies finds High Expectations Teaching by Jon Saphier a good read for teachers looking to better themselves professionally and learn about how to impart the growth mindset to students. Also a book study candidate for a PLC or staff development.
“Equal parts how-to and shopping list,” teacher Amy Estersohn says Ruth Culham’s Dream Wakers will help any middle grades ELA or social studies teacher add more Latino voices and mentor texts – especially in classrooms with a writer’s workshop teaching approach.
Nancy Dean’s “Finding Voice” will help teachers in grades 4-6 supplement their studies of complex text using brief, compelling mentor texts as they study word choice, detail, imagery, figurative language and tone. Reviewer Linda Biondi likens it to “a GPS system.”
Russell Quaglia advocates for “principal voice” using a creative Three L’s framework, surfacing our awareness of things that we know are good leadership practices. Former principal Rick Jetter finds Quaglia’s tips and take-aways thoughtful and easy to implement.