June 7, 2018 by

The Ultimate Reading List for Your Summer

You’ve worked hard all year long growing the minds of your students and you deserve a break. By now, many of you have probably said goodbye to your students, classrooms, and fellow educators and joyfully kicked off your Summer vacation. Make sure to avoid the brain-drain with this selection of books that are sure to keep you on the front line of what’s what in education.

Discover New Classroom Strategies:

Reciprocal Teaching

Reciprocal teaching is a scaffolded discussion technique that builds on the Fab Four strategies that good readers use to understand text: predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing.

With a wealth of ideas to get you started—and keep you going—this is the all-inclusive resource you need to help students become active, engaged, and independent readers who truly comprehend what they read.

The Best Class You Never Taught

Educator Alexis Wiggins provides a step-by-step guide for the implementation of Spider Web Discussion, covering everything from introducing the technique to creating rubrics for discussion self-assessment to the nuts-and-bolts of charting the conversations and using the data collected for formative assessment. She also shares troubleshooting tips, ideas for assessment and group grading, and the experiences of real teachers and students who use the technique to develop and share content knowledge in a way that’s both revolutionary and truly inspiring.

Get Smarter At Assessment:

Fast and Effective Assessment 

What if teachers could dramatically reduce the amount of time they spend reviewing and correcting student work and actually see better results in terms of student learning? That’s the goal of Glen Pearsall, who shares dozens of classroom-tested strategies that lessen teachers’ workload while increasing students’ class participation and improving their understanding.

Drawing from his own experience as a teacher and coach, Pearsall offers practical, real-world advice in the form of techniques that are both effective and sustainable in the everyday classroom. The result is smarter assessment—for both teachers and students.

Rethinking Grading

New standards being implemented everywhere require a new approach to grading to ensure that grades reflect your students’ progress toward specific learning outcomes, including not only mastery of content but also the ability to be creative critical thinkers and problem solvers. You can meet that new challenge using a new paradigm for standards-based grading defined in this book by ASCD best-selling author Cathy Vatterott.

Clear guidelines with lots of concrete examples—from elementary, middle, and high schools—will help you decide what to grade or not grade, how to grade, and when. Plus a well-articulated leadership strategy helps to take a new standard-based approach to grading school- or systemwide.

Learn About Your Learners:

Attack of the Teenage Brain 

Whether you’re a parent interacting with one adolescent or a teacher interacting with many, you know teens can be hard to parent and even harder to teach. The eye-rolling, the moodiness, the wandering attention, the drama. It’s not you, it’s them. More specifically, it’s their brains.

In accessible language and with periodic references to Star Trek, motorcycle daredevils, and near-classic movies of the ‘80s, developmental molecular biologist John Medina, author of the New York Times best-seller Brain Rules, explores the neurological and evolutionary factors that drive teenage behavior and can affect both achievement and engagement. Then he proposes a research-supported counterattack: a bold redesign of educational practices and learning environments to deliberately develop teens’ cognitive capacity to manage their emotions, plan, prioritize, and focus.

Attack of the Teenage Brain! is an enlightening and entertaining read that will change the way you think about teen behavior and prompt you to consider how else parents, educators, and policymakers might collaborate to help our challenging, sometimes infuriating, often weird, and genuinely wonderful kids become more successful learners, in school and beyond.

Keeping It Real and Relevant

How can we ensure that all students, regardless of cultural background or socioeconomic status, are granted equitable opportunities to succeed in the classroom and beyond? In Keeping It Real and Relevant: Building Authentic Relationships in Your Diverse Classroom, author, and veteran educator Ignacio Lopez offers hard-won lessons that educators at all levels can apply to teaching, assessing, counseling, and designing interventions for learners from all walks of life. These insights are all rooted in the same core principle: building deep and meaningful relationships with students is the key driver of their success.

Clear, practical, and much-needed, Keeping It Real and Relevant is the ultimate blueprint for creating a harmonious and successful classroom for kids of all colors, creeds, and cultures.

Plan More Engaging Lessons:

Level Up Your Classroom 

Get to know gamification, an instructional approach that’s revolutionizing K–12 education. Games are well known for their ability to inspire persistence. The best games feature meaningful choices that have lasting consequences, reward experimentation, provide a like-minded community of players, gently punish failure, and encourage risk-taking behavior. Players feel challenged, but not overwhelmed. In the classroom, a gamified lesson fosters perseverance, creativity, and resilience. Students build knowledge through experimentation and then apply what they’ve learned to fuel further exploration at higher levels of understanding.

Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn

We all know that our students have diverse needs, interests, and learning styles and that in order to meet all students’ needs, we must offer differentiated learning opportunities. But when that means crafting five lessons for every class, few teachers can keep up. That, says author Mike Anderson, is one of the reasons that student choice can be so powerful. In his latest book, Anderson offers a compelling case for helping students learn how to self-differentiate their learning. 

Packed with practical suggestions and many examples, from across grade levels and content areas, this book will help support student-centered approaches such as differentiated instruction, personalized learning, and project-based learning, while also enhancing daily teaching and learning in set academic programs. This teacher-friendly guide offers everything you need to help students who are bored, frustrated, or underperforming come alive to learning through the fundamental power of choice.

Prepare For A Successful Year:

Discipline with Dignity, 4th Ed  

In this revised and updated 4th edition, Discipline with Dignity provides in-depth guidance for implementing a proven approach to classroom management that can help students make better choices and teachers be more effective. Emphasizing the importance of mutual respect and self-control, the authors offer specific strategies and techniques for building strong relationships with disruptive students and countering the toxic social circumstances that affect many of them, including dysfunctional families, gangs, and poverty.

With dozens of specific examples of student-teacher interactions, Discipline with Dignity illustrates what you can do—and not do—to make the classroom a place where students learn and teachers maintain control in a nonconfrontational way. The goal is success for all, in schools that thrive.

10 Success Factors for Literacy Intervention

Why aren’t more schools seeing significant improvement in students’ reading ability when they implement Response to Intervention (RTI) or Multitiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in their literacy programs? These frameworks serve as a way for educators to identify struggling readers and provide the small-group instruction they need to improve their skills. But the success stories are too few in number, and most schools have too little to show for their efforts. What accounts for the difference? What are successful schools doing that sets them apart?

Author and education consultant Susan Hall provides answers in the form of 10 success factors for implementing MTSS. Practical, comprehensive, and evidence-based, 10 Success Factors for Literacy Intervention provides the guidance educators need to move from disappointing results to solid gains in students’ literacy achievement.

Find Leadership Inspiration:

Unstuck

Good ideas, the best intentions, and a stirring vision from the top aren’t enough to effect change in schools. Unstuck offers a roadmap to help schools change from the inside out instead of the top down. Inside-out approaches are designed to encourage schools to become more innovative and entrepreneurial, finding better ways to help students learn and pursue their own intellectual passions and talents—while also maintaining a healthy skepticism and reliance on data to make sure new approaches and ideas are working. This process involves six steps: starting with moral purpose, unleashing curiosity, building on bright spots, peer coaching toward precision, leading from the inside out, and moving the goal posts. This book’s tips, real-life examples from around the globe, and next steps will help leaders get from where they are now to where they want to be.

Bold Moves for School

How can educators transform old schools into remarkable learning environments? Packed with fresh ideas and action strategies for teachers, leaders, and policymakers, this courageous book offers a compelling vision from the research and hands-on work of two internationally recognized educators, authors, and thought leaders.

The authors propose a new approach to pedagogy as the basis for the bold moves that teachers and leaders need to make to engage all learners and prepare them for school and the world. They examine every aspect of K–12 education, including teacher roles, curriculum, instruction, and assessment, as well as the physical and virtual learning spaces that engage 21st-century teachers and learners. With thought-provoking proposals and practical strategies for change, Bold Moves for Schools sets educators on the path of redefining and reenergizing their profession and creating exciting new learning environments that truly prepare students for today’s and tomorrow’s dynamic environments.

No matter what book you pick to read this Summer, we hope you are able to put your feet up and enjoy a well-earned break. Happy reading!