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- The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges the Gates Foundation. Anthony Cody. I’ll review it as soon as I finish it. The point: Gates is not an educator, yet he is driving education policy reform in America, from Common Core to testing to curriculum. It’s not a good thing.
Assessment and SBL:
- Grading Smarter, not Harder: Assessment Strategies that Motivate Kids and Help Them Learn. Myron Dueck. Confession: I’ve only read 1 chapter (the free one) because I’m still waiting for my pre-ordered copy to arrive. The practical solutions and rationales offered in only one chapter tell me that this is going to be my favorite assessment book ever.
- Practical Solutions for Serious Problems in Standards Based Grading. Thomas Guskey. Guskey addresses some barriers to implementation of SBG, issues with student engagement and motivation, and special education and English Language learner issues. While I didn’t find any clear, immediately usable solutions, this book helped me think more clearly about possible ways to better help kids learn.
- Fair Isn’t Always Equal. Rick Wormeli. Rick was the game-changer for me on both grading and differentiated instruction.
- Transforming Classroom Grading. Robert Marzano. Back to the beginning of the grading movement.
- Translating the NGSS for Classroom Instruction. Rodger Bybee. This will be my reference as we transition to NGSS in my district. And the more I read, the more valuable I think this book is, especially to someone who needs to learn how the standards read first.
- Navigating the New Pedagogy: Six Principles that Transform Teaching. Jeff Halstead. Jeff is an NBCT in Washington State. He really nails pedagogy as centered around students.
- Empowering Excellence: Creating Positive, Invigorating Classrooms in a Common Core Environment. Jeff Halstead’s newest book. My favorite parts are the emphasis on relationship building and the components of a classroom that fosters student engagement and success.
- This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education. Jose Vilson. Jose is a math teacher in NewYork. He tells it like it is and has helped me understand this issue.
- Leading Lesson Study: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Facilitators. Stepanek, Appel, Leong, Mangen, Mitchell. The process is a bit drawn-out, but effective assuming the teacher participants have good content knowledge already. My experience tells me that reflection should also take place before revising and reteaching. Next time, I would include some protocols for looking at student work from Marilyn Simpson, and teach teachers about reflective practice as we work.
I’m lucky enough to have both Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss in my backyard. They are accessible and always willing to share. Suzie collaborated with my school last year with our PBL grant, funded by NBPTS. Read all of these books, and stay tuned for a new one.
- Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry
- Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age
- The Case for STEM Education: Challenges and Opportunities. Rodger Bybee. I’ve never seen the need to commercialize the work of great science teachers with an acronym. Great science teachers integrate mathematics, engineering design, and technology as appropriate in their classes. If, however, you need to sell that perspective of our practice to someone, this book might be helpful.
- Teacherpreneurs: Teachers who Lead but Don’t Leave. Barnett Berry. The title bothers me a bit, but there’s great wisdom from people I know who are amazing teachers and visionaries for our profession. It has always puzzled me why admins feel threatened by teachers who advocate for our profession. It would really be most flattering to admins if they recognized great work and reaped the benefits of working with accomplished professionals. No one’s trying to make them look bad.
Books by my specific Edu-Heros
- Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. John Hattie. Read this first, then hunt down Hattie’s other books if you want more.
- School Reform from the Inside Out: Policy, Practice, and Performance. Richard Elmore. Elmore’s Instructional Core is a basis for genuinely changing our impact on student learning.
- Change Leader: Learning to Do What Matters Most. Michael Fullan. Probably written for administrators, I’ve found the principles outlined here invaluable in getting students to engage.
- The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Multicultural Education). Linda Darling-Hammond. I need to read more of her work.
- Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools Diane Ravitch. Just read it.
- The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education Diane Ravitch. Just read this, too.