Book Reviews

Tech Ed Resources for your Class–K-12 Tech Curriculum – Education Article

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found, are well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning…

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Your Students My Students Our Students Rethinking Equitable – Education Article

Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive ClassroomsBy Lee Ann Jung, Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, and Julie Kroener(ASCD, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Esther Vences When I first got a copy of Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms, I was immediately drawn to the book. The cover and the title are both so beautiful. The title itself gives a brief summary of the book. All students are our students, and it…

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Becoming a Transformative Leader: Guide to Equitable Schools – Education Article

Becoming a Transformative Leader: A Guide to Creating Equitable Schools By Carolyn M. Shields(Routledge/Eye On Education, 2020 – Learn more) Reviewed by Chris Dransoff Becoming a Transformative Leader is a follow-up to a 2018 edition by Carolyn M. Shields and includes more “how to” elements of implementing what the author calls Transformational Leadership Theory (TLT) – really a call to addressing issues of equity and justice in our schools. Shields uses eight tenets to frame her explanation of TLT. The eight…

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Design Thinking to Bring Purpose Passion – Education Article

Designed to Learn: Using Design Thinking to Bring Purpose and Passion to the Classroom By Lindsay Portnoy(ASCD, 2020 – Learn more) Reviewed by Sarah Cooper In its sophisticated checklists, grounded research, and illustrative classroom stories, Lindsay Portnoy’s Designed to Learn: Using Design Thinking to Bring Purpose and Passion to the Classroom will inspire you to fine-tune or jump-start your design thinking approach. While reading, I found myself appreciating the book’s rich structure, which features in each chapter a salient quotation, questions…

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Leading Learning for ELL Students: Strategies for Success – Education Article

Leading Learning for ELL Students: Strategies for Success By Catherine Beck and Heidi Pace(Routledge/Eye On Education, 2017 – Learn more) Reviewed by Jordan Walker-Reyes Leading Learning for ELL Students is for all educational leaders at the district and school levels looking to evaluate and strengthen their current services for English Learners. Though it is written with school and district administrators in mind, I would still highly recommend it for EL teachers as a guideline and vision for improving their ESOL programs.…

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Teach for Attention! A Tool Belt of Engagement Strategies – Education Article

Teach for Attention! A Tool Belt of Strategies for Engaging Students with Attention Challenges By Ezra Werb, M.Ed.(Free Spirit Publishing, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Rita Platt Let’s start with two statistics shared in the book. 1. About 8.4% of kids in the United States have an ADHD diagnosis.2. About 30% of students with ADHD are failing classes and/or repeating grades. Undoubtedly some who read those statistics are reacting by decrying the over-diagnosis of ADHD, and there is likely some…

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Teaching Teens to Use the Tools of Narrative – Education Article

Story Matters: Teaching Teens to Use the Tools of Narrative to Argue and Inform By Liz Prather(Heinemann, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Michelle Voelker If you’ve ever had the privilege of sitting in a Writing Project training, you know the real power of that presentation is that a classroom teacher is presenting. And I don’t mean someone who used to be in the classroom long ago. No. You get the real deal with Writing Project professional development sessions. These teachers…

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School Improvement for All: A How: To Guide for Doing – Education Article

School Improvement for All: A How-To Guide for Doing the Right Work By Sharon V. Kramer and Sarah Schuhl(Solution Tree Press, 2017 – Learn more) Reviewed by Kathy Pham, EdD, NBCT I wonder if you, like me, are always a bit wary of any claim that uses an absolute. Examples are “Get ALL of your clothes clean and bright” or “Eat ALL these foods to stay healthy” or “Use ALL these interview tips to get your dream job.” Such statements usually…

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Socratic Methods in Classroom Encountering Critical Thinking – Education Article

Socratic Methods in the Classroom: Encountering Critical Thinking and Problem Solving through Dialog By Erick Wilberding(Prufrock Press, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Laurie Bobley Erick Wilberding’s Socratic Methods in the Classroom: Encountering Critical Thinking and Problem Solving through Dialog focuses on helping educators start using the Socratic Method in upper middle and high school. Teaching through the Socratic Method can help students demonstrate their knowledge, consider other points of view, and reframe and refine their own thinking with a more critical…

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Intelligent Tutoring Systems (a Decades-old Application of AI in Education) – Education Article

While “AIED” may seem relatively new, a deeper look shows us it has been developing for over half a century In the last few years, numerous developments have led to a growing awareness of the maturity of Artificial Intelligence. Self-driving cars and personal assistants like Alexa and Siri are some of the consumer-facing technologies that have helped to fuel this awareness. This knowledge can also bring with it a certain dystopian fear about robots and technology “taking over”. While we…

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Not Light But Fire How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversation – Education Article

Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the ClassroomBy Matthew R. Kay(Stenhouse, 2018 – Learn more) Reviewed by Nicole Warchol “Why don’t we have teachers of color in our building?” one of my 7th graders asked me. Even though I am a faculty member on our high school student-run Race Matters Alliance group, I was caught off guard by this question during class and not unprepared to answer it. Conversations about racial inequity are happening: in our students’…

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How Good Leaders Connect and Inspire – Education Article

Putting Teachers First: How to Inspire, Motivate, and Connect with Your StaffBy Brad Johnson(Routledge/Eye On Education, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Brad Latzke When I moved into a leadership position long ago, I made a conscious decision to push all my leadership chips to the center of the table and bet on relationships. Brad Johnson’s book, Putting Teachers First: How to Inspire, Motivate, and Connect with Your Staff, takes a similar view and brings to life a myriad of…

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How Many? A Counting Book – Education Article

How Many? A Counting BookBy Christopher Danielson(Stenhouse, 2018 – Learn more) Reviewed by Michael DiClemente Is it strange to have a middle school history teacher review a book about math? I requested to review How Many? for a slightly selfish reason. I am the father of two girls, six and two, and I love helping them discover new things and encouraging them to be curious about the world. As my older daughter was going through kindergarten, we felt comfortable with the reading…

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Content Area Literacy Strategies That Work: Do This Not That – Education Article

Content Area Literacy Strategies That Work: Do This, Not That!By Lori G. Wilfong(Routledge/Eye On Education, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Jordan Walker-Reyes For any English as a Second Language teacher wanting to grow their English learners’ academic language in the core classrooms and to support core teachers, this book is for you! My school is currently moving toward literacy-based instruction in all content areas, and Content Area Literacy Strategies that Work has so many ideas about how we can…

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The Best Uses of EdTech: Giving Every Student a Voice – Education Article

One meaningful use of education technology is the ability to change how students can share their voice After 10+ years of exploring and writing about the evolving relationship between technology and teaching and learning, I find |myself asking more often than ever, “out of all of these ideas, what’s really working and making a difference?” One great answer to that question has been the subject of a couple of recent discussions I’ve shared here, and it’s really been resonating with…

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Creative Ways to Solve the Culture Puzzle – Education Article

The Limitless School: Creative Ways to Solve the Culture Puzzle By Abe Hege and Adam Dovico(Dave Burgess Consulting, 2918 – Learn more) Reviewed by Laura Von Staden School culture is that underlying structure that charts the course of the school in many ways, but how do you build the culture that you want, or change the one you have? In this straightforward book, Hege and Dovico give us all the ingredients and ways to implement them to use culture to make…

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