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New K-12 Book Releases: Professional Development and Teaching Strategies

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Prepared by guest blogger Ellen Wexler:

The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st-Century Schools, by Mariale Hardiman, foreword by Martha Bridge Denckla (Corwin, 2012). This guide models effective instruction on how to apply educational and cognitive neuroscience principles in classroom settings.

Be That Teacher! Breaking the Cycle for Struggling Readers, by Victoria J. Risko and Doris Walker-Dalhouse, forewords by Richard L. Allington and Timothy V. Rasinski (Teachers College Press, 2012). This book provides teachers with strategies to help students struggling with their reading skills, as well as examples and case studies showing how to assist students individually based on their interests, cultures, and personalities.

Changes in Teachers' Moral Role: From Passive Observers to Moral and Democratic Leaders, edited by Dorit Alt and Roni Reingold (SensePublishers, 2012). The book argues that schools have a duty to instill students with fundamental moral systems and democratic values. It offers analysis and suggestions on promoting this in four areas: curriculum design, teaching methods, teacher education, and teachers' and students' notions of a moral education.

Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms: Designing and Implementing Child-Centered Learning Environments, by Eric M. Nelson, foreword by Elizabeth Jones (Redleaf Press, 2012). This guide offers ideas for teachers interested in creating a productive learning environment in outdoor spaces. It explains the benefits of working outdoors, presents methods for collaborating with other teachers, and offers strategies for planning and evaluating outdoor programs.

Developing a Learning Classroom: Moving Beyond Management Through Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor, by Nic Cooper and Betty K. Garner (Corwin, 2012). This book offers ideas for teachers struggling with controlling and engaging a classroom.

Effective Early Childhood Professional Development: Improving Teacher Practice and Child Outcomes, edited by Carollee Howes, Bridget K. Hamre, and Robert C. Pianta, foreword by Martha Zaslow (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2012). This collection of essays includes information about the latest research in professional development practices.

ELL Shadowing as a Catalyst for Change, by Ivannia Soto (Corwin, 2012). This title lays out strategies for adapting instruction to engage English-language learners.

Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment, Pre-K-6, edited by Martha C. Hougen and Susan M. Smartt (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2012). This textbook includes case studies, sample assignments, and an explanation of the common-core standards' connection to literacy to introduce prospective teachers to the basics of teaching literacy.

The Holiday Handbook: 700+ Storytime Activities from Arbor Day to Yom Kippur ... from Diwali to Kwanzaa to Ramadan, by Barbara A. Scott (Neal-Schuman Publishers Inc., 2012). This book includes a compilation of holiday crafts, songs, games, and other classroom activities for secular and religious holidays, as well as a brief history of each.

How Do We Know They're Getting Better?: Assessment for 21st Century Minds, K-8, by John Barell (Corwin, 2012). This book covers how to create learning experiences to boost the 21st century skills of K-8 students.

Improving Formative Assessment Practice to Empower Student Learning, by E. Caroline Wylie, Arlen R. Gullickson, Katharine E. Cummings, Paula E. Egelson, Lindsay A. Noakes, Kelley M. Norman, Sally A. Veeder, foreword by W. James Popham (Corwin, 2012). The book includes a four-step process to develop teachers' formative assessment skills.

Intelligence Quest: Project-Based Learning and Multiple Intelligences, by Walter McKenzie (International Society for Technology in Education, 2012). This book introduces an instructional model that focuses on multiple intelligences and project-based learning, and shows teachers how to use the model across all subject areas and while using technology in the classroom.

Let Them Play: An Early Learning (UN)Curriculum, by Jeff A. Johnson and Denita Dinger (Redleaf Press, 2012). This book argues that allotting time for children to play will develop their creativity, language ability, motor skills, and social skills. It provides suggestions for how teachers can create an enriching environment and a less rigidly structured curriculum.

Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives, by Peter H. Johnston (Stenhouse Publishers, 2012). This book explains how teachers' word choice affects the classroom environment and the students' mindsets. Students act based on the underlying meaning of a teachers' language, according to the author, and teachers can promote engagement by communicating strategically.

Preparing Every Teacher to Reach English Learners: A Practical Guide for Teacher Educators, edited by Joyce W. Nutta, Kouider Mokhtari, and Carine Strebel (Harvard Education Press, 2012). This guide argues that teacher education is the most effective way to address the English-learner achievement gap and explains how to incorporate English-learner instruction into traditional teacher education.

Talk About Understanding: Rethinking Classroom Talk to Enhance Comprehension, by Ellin Oliver Keene (Heinemann, 2012). This book includes guiding principles, teaching suggestions, outcomes, and video support to help students comprehend texts.

Teachers as Learners, by Sharon Feiman-Nemser, foreword by Deborah Loewenberg Ball (Harvard Education Press, 2012). This collection of essays examines the trends in teacher education over time and advocates for effective and continuous teacher learning throughout teachers' careers.

The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized, and Save Time!, by Maia Heyck-Merlin, foreword by Norman Atkins (Jossey-Bass, 2012). A guide laying out the fundamental skills teachers need in order to increase productivity, efficiency, and organization in the classroom and in their schedules.

What Should I Do? Confronting Dilemmas of Teaching in Urban Schools, by Anna Ershler Richert (Teachers College Press, 2012). Written for beginning teachers and teacher educators, this book addresses common problems that teachers will encounter in urban classrooms.

When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim Your Game, by Allen N. Mendler (ASCD, 2012). This book focuses on problems that teachers may encounter in the classroom and offers strategies and advice to help struggling teachers overcome these obstacles.

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