PROFESSIONAL READING


This is our page for professional reading. Here you will find links to articles, books, etc and reviews and discussions. When we have a Google Hangout for a discussion group, the links will be here to recordings so you never have to miss out!

GUIDELINES FOR BOOK REVIEWS

  1. If you can add an image of the book along with a link that would be fantastic!
  2. There is no word limit and we don't expect long book reviews - unless you're like me and get carried away!
  3. If you can write about relevance to practice and the impact it has had on you that would be really helpful for others.
  4. Please add the publication details including the ISBN if possible so that it's easy for others to order.
  5. Don't forget to add your own insights and recommendations.
  6. Please remember, this is a global community so you will need to be clear about where the book / article is written and its relevance.
  7. You can either add your review here yourself or email it to Beth or me:

Justine: justine.hughes29@gmail.com
Beth: leidolf.beth@gmail.com

Looking forward to reading your reviews and recommendations!


Hi Wiki members! I want to share with you my review of a book that centers on understanding the Millennials and how to best reach them in our classes.
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Generation iY- Our Last Chance to Save Their Future by Tim Elmore. Here is the Link if you would like to purchase the book.

The author Tim Elmore, is the president of Growing Leaders, a non-for profit organization that works with school across the country to develop emerging leaders.I felt this book to be both a positive and a negative read, but definitely a book that will get a group of educators, parents or youth leaders talking!


Positives: It gave some interesting suggestions on how to connect with the current generation of young people that we teach. He suggested a strategy based around the acronym EPIC.


Experiential- Since this generation is accustomed to many messages competing for their attention, communication with them must be more than two-dimensional. Suggests moving towards mere words to purposeful, outside- learning experiences.

Participatory- This generation is used to uploading their thoughts. Keep asking them to express themselves and participate fully in the outcomes of your classroom learning.

Image-Rich- this is a visually-oriented generation. Communication with these students should be image-based or image-enhanced.

Connected- this generation is constantly connected. Teachers should work on breaking down the walls of the classroom as much as possible, connecting to other classrooms


Negatives: Because this book was about Millennials, I felt the particular group was singled out as needing help/ not being as great as previous generations. At times, this generation can be labeled as disconnected, non-communicative, tied to electronic devices when in fact there are many doing great things for their generation!
Beth



The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age, by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall


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This book resonated for me for many reasons. I have been working to build my own Personal Learning Network (PLN) over the past few years. The book helped solidify my understanding of PLNs and how they relate to professional learning communities. I feel better prepared to reach out and take the risks necessary to establish my digital footprint, build trust, and ultimately, build community.


For the reader, this book is structured in a meaningful way. There are chapters that help differentiate between personal learning networks, communities of practice and professional learning communities. There are chapters that describe useful tools in building your PLN and connecting with others, along with examples of where to start and with whom. There are chapters that illustrate WHY this is important for educators in today’s world. Most importantly, it’s shared in a format that makes sense. The chapters begin with short scenarios illustrating the ideas and end with activities for the reader. These short activities are suggestions for how to create accounts, collaborate, and connect with others. Do these- they’re worth it! It’s hard to imagine that someone reading this book won’t be a connected educator when they’re finished. The book guides the reader through every step of the process smoothly.


I highly recommend this book. Educators world-wide are connecting, enriching their work with knowledge and experiences from one another, and building collaborative cultures. Don’t miss out on this journey.

  • ISBN-13: 9781935543176
  • Publisher: Solution Tree

~ Bonnie

Embedded Formative Assessment, by Dylan Wiliam


Formative assessments matter. They help teachers make sound instructional decisions that are grounded in what students already know or remain confused about. While there are many resources that can provide teachers with quality and relatively easy assessment strategies that they can use to gauge student understanding, few are a comprehensive as Wiliam's book.


The book is designed to provide a summary of the research which supports the use of formative assessment. To begin with, Wiliam's argues that quality teaching is the number one predictor of student achievement. His belief is that formative assessment, when implemented consistently, will teach students to be able to assess their own learning and understand what they need to do to make growth and improvement. Quality teachers support this by frequently asking the right kinds of questions and providing learning tasks which elicit evidence of student learning.

Much of the book is centered around question framing. Teachers must ask questions that require students to think and defend their thinking. An ideal question would provide a window into the students' thinking. An example from the book is "Can a triangle have 2 right angles?" Here, the students are expected to come to a conclusion AND explain why they believe this to be true. The question can also provide insight into any misunderstandings that may exist.


Embedded Formative Assessment also provides the reader with a wide variety of strategies for assessment. This comprehensive list includes techniques which will not only provide teachers with valuable information, but will also keep the class engaging and fun. In fact, Wiliams argues that "high engagement classrooms have a significant impact on student achievement. Engaging in class discussion really does make you smarter!!"

I really enjoyed reading this book and have both referred to it and recommended it many times since I read it at the pool over the summer of 2013. I remember reading it and wishing that school would hurry up and start, so that I could try out the questioning strategies and exit slip ideas. The book is scholarly and well supported by research, but it does not have an overly academic feel. In fact, Wiliam's has an earnest style and his focus is practical application, both of which are enhanced by the research he cites. It is a fast read and filled with practical and engaging strategies - a worthwhile investment of time!

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  • Published by Solution Tree Press

  • ISBN 978-1-934009-30-7

  • Link to purchase

- Nancy



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Clarity in the Classroom: Using Formative Assessment, Building Learning-Focused Relationships.

- Michael Absolum


photo (2).JPG Click on the image for purchase information
Michael is a New Zealand educator, educational psychologist, researcher and author. This is one of the books that has had the greatest impact on teachers' practice, including my own.

This will change your practice and is an excellent, practical tool for staff professional learning. Most importantly, it will improve achievement outcomes for your students and help engage them in deeper and more meaningful learning.

"Using practical examples, Clarity in the Classroom describes an evidence-based, reflective approach, which will enable teachers to help their students achieve to the highest levels. It is about
  • the nature of student learning
  • the nature of the student/teacher relationship needed to sustain that learning
  • the skills that teachers need to develop in order to support students
  • the skills that students need to learn in order to learn best." (Back cover blurb).

The focus for the book in on assessment FOR learning and it provides practical tools for us to us and also to teach our students to use. We have used this in one of my previous schools as a focal point for our professional learning. Combined with a strong Critical Friends programme it changed the way we taught and our students learned. It change the learning language that was used and helped us to develop a shared school-wide understanding of best practice in learning and teaching and, in particular, assessment.

Chapters include:

1. Overview
2. Learning-focused relationships
3. Learning-focused relationships model
4. Being clear about what is to be learnt (One of our favourite and most valuable chapters)
5. Assessment is a good thing
6. Promoting further learning
7. Active reflection about learning
8. Where to go next with learning
9. Planning for learning
10. Building partnerships with family

I honestly couldn't recommend this more as a tool for sustained change and improvement in learning and teaching, no matter where you are in the world.

Justine @cossie29
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OPEN by

Educational Arts director and learning futurist, David Price


Whether you are a lover of technology like me or if you just tolerate it, you can't deny the fact that it is all around us and becoming more embedded in everything we do. Price in his book argues that embracing an open society, work place and educational system will be the difference between success and failure for young people in the future.


When I think about education today and many schools going 1:1 with technology, I see the relevance of this book. We all know it is important for teachers to move away from the older, enclosed learning environments and approaches upon which we currently rely and move our students forward, encouraging global connections and sharing as well encouraging independent thought/study and real-life problem solving.

I like his 4 values/actions that drive being "open". If we are going to make the most of being an"open" society, we need to design our work places and learning institutions around these actions:

SHARE- collaborating and connecting with others leads to innovation!
OPEN- access to information and knowledge and dialogue with each other, more transparency (he admitted this was a complex issue)
FREE- free cost, free access, free time to work on interests
TRUST- creating trust in companies, teachers and students

Here are some great blurbs from the book:

"What makes a global corporation give away its prized intellectual property? Why are Ivy League universities allowing anyone to take their courses for free? What drives a farmer in rural Africa to share his secrets with his competitors?"

"A collection of hactivists,hobbyists, forum-users and maverick leaders are leading a quiet but unstoppable revolution. They are sharing everything they know, and turning knowledge into action in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago. Driven by technology, and shaped by common values, going ‘open’ has transformed the way we live."

"Going open is also confronting our formal institutions by turning conventional wisdom on its head. Give away what you used to sell. Work where and when you choose to. Take kids out of school, so they can learn. Faced with an irreversible shift in our social lives, it’s not so much a question of if our workplaces, schools and colleges go open, but when."

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It makes me think about what I can do tomorrow in my classroom teaching to encourage connecting/collaboration outside the school walls! Want to check it out? Click here and you can get a sample chapter to read!

Beth Leidolf @bleidolf67