Suggestions for Your Reading

July 19th, 2008

Writing Lessons for Students (ages) 6-18 is edited by Jenny Traig. This resource starts with ideas for stories, letters and a short play about a pet, real or imaginary and continues with a structure to develop a mystery. There are persuasion activities, special ideas for character development, homonyms, essay forms, writing tall tales and more. Many ideas are multi-sessions.

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink is an extremely important book. In this decade of testing nurturing the right hemisphere has been limited. Logical sequential left hemisphere thinking will be done more and more by technology. The “Information Age” where knowledge is power is changing to the “Conceptual Age” that values creators and empathizers. Chapters explain how to nurture the right brain.

Deeper Learning: 7 Powerful Strategies for In-Depth and Longer-Lasting Learning by Eric Jensen and LeAnn Nickelsen. Begins with numerous ways to activate prior knowledge, gives directions for summarizing information, team-building, and more. In the “processing with a purpose” chapter there are many reproducible student pages. There are so many ideas for all ages and subjects! This is definitely a book for your desk and will take some time to peruse it this summer.

Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A step-by-step guide for educators by Roger Pierangelo and George Giuliani should be in your school library. The authors explain the characteristics and types of ASD, evaluate the effectiveness of programs, than give ideas to help parents and preschoolers. They discuss instructional approaches, classroom management, inclusion, teaching social skills, discipline and more.

Positive Behavior Strategies to Support Children and Young People with Autism by Martin Hanbury provides 100 pages of theory and practical strategies. There are useful tables, charts and diagrams as well as ideas for families. The case studies are helpful and each chapter ends with a summary of key points.

The Developing Brain: Birth to Age Eight by Marilee Sprenger, a familiar name in brain writing. Chapters explain development year by year along with checklists. There are interesting “Brain Boxes” throughout each chapter as well as brain drawings with parts labeled. They suggest activities for parents and daycare givers.

Dealing with Feeling by Tina Rae focused on ages 7-14 and includes a CD Rom to aid with printing activity sheets. It includes 40 interesting topics each with a nine-step process. After a warm-up activity and Circle Time a story is read to the group. Then comes questions, act it out, activity sheets self-reflection and home tasks.

Using their Brains in Science: Ideas for Children Aged 5-14 by Helen Ward. This begins by explaining the brain, memory, motivation and learning. The detective chapter explains how to set up experiments and record data. Other chapters use role playing, how to develop scientific vocabulary and the use of writing and drawing to understand processes.

Science Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning by Page Keeley. The technique, Formative Assessment Classroom Techniques (FACTs). This process helps develop metacognition. The strategies which develop thinking are diverse and can be used in other subjects.

Assessment-Centered Teaching: A Reflective Practice by Kathryn DiRanna and others was developed through NSF funding. The 10 chapters develop ideas of pre-think, prepare, reflect analyze patterns and math assessments. Flow charts aid the words, showing criteria for scoring student work. There is an accompanying CD.