Book Reviews

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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How Many? A Counting Book – Education Article

How Many? A Counting BookBy Christopher Danielson(Stenhouse, 2018 – Learn more) Reviewed by Linda Biondi How Many? A Counting Book by Christopher Danielson is a bundle (student/teacher versions) that teaches students to expand their thinking about numbers. Before you say, “Not another counting book,” let me tell you that this book and the accompanying teacher’s guide is not your traditional counting book. The format and premise is deceptively simple, but it’s rated for grades K-12 for a reason! (If you’ve…

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What Happens When Students Own Their Learning – Education Article

Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their LearningBy John Spencer and AJ Juliani(IMPress, 2017 – Learn more) Reviewed by Laura Von Staden In this fun and easy-to-read book John Spencer and AJ Juliani guide us on a journey to move our students from compliance to empowerment. If you are one of those readers who usually skips the Foreword, don’t miss this one. This section is an in-depth start to the book – at 47 pages, it’s longer than any other…

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Lessons to Power Up Your Super Spellers – Education Article

Super Spellers Starter SetsBy Mark Weakland(Stenhouse Publishers, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Kathleen Palmieri Last year I reviewed Super Spellers: Seven Steps to Transforming Your Spelling Instruction by Mark Weakland. In this book, Weakland presents a transformative way to teach spelling using a developmental approach that provides students with strategies and tools to become proficient spellers. Rather than memorizing a list of words, students learn to use strategies to notice patterns, think about meaning, listen for sounds, and apply…

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Let’s Give Our Teaching Language a Makeover – Education Article

Listen to this post as a podcast: Sponsored by Listenwise and NewseumED This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. When you make a purchase through these links, Cult of Pedagogy gets a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.   Consider two classrooms: Room 1 and Room 2. The students in both rooms are working in groups on an activity, and in each room, one of the groups has gotten off task. In Room 1, the teacher…

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“We’re a Family” and Other School Norms that Can Cause Burnout – Education Article

Listen to my interview with Angela Watson (transcript): Sponsored by Pear Deck and The Teacher’s Guide to Tech This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. When you make a purchase through these links, Cult of Pedagogy gets a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.   The first time my principal asked me to take on the role of yearbook sponsor, I said no. In the upcoming school year, I would be teaching 130 seventh graders, and…

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Rigor in 6-12 Math and Science Classrooms: A Teacher Toolkit – Education Article

Rigor in the 6-12 Math and Science Classroom – A Teacher ToolkitBy Barbara R. Blackburn and Abbigail Armstrong(Routledge/Eye On Education, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Jennifer Sexton Barbara Blackburn always provides her readers with solid, easy-to-implement strategies for any classroom. In her latest book, Blackburn and co-author Abbigail Armstrong give clear definitions for “rigor” and how to apply rigorous instruction in any math or science setting in middle or high school. Setting up a rigorous classroom environment that motivates…

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Creating Your Dream Elementary Classroom From the Inside Out – Education Article

Creating Your Dream Elementary Classroom from the Inside Out: A Practical Guide for TeachersBy Becky Hunt(Routledge/Eye On Education, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Linda Biondi If you’re wondering how to set up your new classroom or you are ready to make some changes in your familiar space, Creating Your Dream Elementary Classroom from the Inside Out: A Practical Guide for Teachers is the book for you! In my many years as an upper elementary teacher, I was always looking…

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