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New Releases: Inside the K-12 Classroom

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Guest blogger Ellen Wexler contributed this post:


Building Comprehension in Adolescence: Powerful Strategies for Improving Reading and Writing in Content Areas, by Linda H. Mason, Robert Reid, and Jessica L. Hagaman (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2012). This guide for educators presents a teaching method called Self-Regulated Strategy Development, which instructs students on how to use certain learning strategies and then to apply them on their own. Focusing primarily on reading comprehension and writing ability, the book provides educators with lesson plans and step-by-step instructions.

Making Connections with Blogging: Authentic Learning for Today's Classrooms, by Lisa Parisi and Brian Crosby (International Society for Technology in Education, 2012). This book explains how blogging in the classroom can be an effective means of getting students interested in writing. It instructs teachers on how to integrate blogging into curriculum to combine writing practice with other material.

Multicultural Storytime Magic, by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker (American Library Association, 2012). This book argues that children's storytelling activities should reflect the interests of a diverse audience. It is organized around traditional storytelling themes and provides suggestions for classroom activities such as crafts, songs, and books that will teach children about a variety of different cultures.

Picture Books for Children: Fiction, Folktales, and Poetry, by Mary Northrup (American Library Association, 2012). Northrup, a reference librarian, provides teachers, librarians, and parents with short descriptions of the best children's picture books published in the last decade. Each description includes basic information about each book, an age-range recommendation, a summary, and a few sentences on Northrup's thoughts on the book.


Ballparking: Practical Math for Impractical Sports Questions, by Aaron Santos (Running Press, 2012). This book for sports enthusiasts provides the mathematical explanations behind unusual or bizarre scenarios. Explanations include how many stairs you would have to climb to lose 10 pounds and how many pulleys you would need to lift Earth.

Count Me In! K-5: Including Learners With Special Needs in Mathematics Classrooms, by Judy Storeygard, foreword by Karen Karp (Corwin, 2012). This book provides teachers with methods for teaching math to students with special needs. It explains how to implement these strategies in the classroom and argues that teachers should maximize these students' strengths instead of emphasizing their difficulties.

The Handy Math Answer Book, Second Edition, by Patricia Barnes-Svarney and Thomas E. Svarney (Visible Ink Press, 2012). This book deals with math concepts prevalent in everyday 21st century life, as well as throughout history, with the goal of explaining the concepts in an approachable manner. It offers short explanations for a vast range of concepts, including how ancient cultures created their calendars, the way scientists measure Earth's rotational speed, and how to calculate the number of possible positions for a Rubik's Cube.

Small Steps, Big Changes: Eight Essential Practices for Transforming Schools Through Mathematics, by Chris Confer and Marco Ramirez (Stenhouse Publishers, 2012). This book explains eight strategies designed to help teachers make math more understandable to students. It includes examples and explanations for each step, as well as anecdotal evidence from a variety of teachers and administrators who have used the strategies.

Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities, Grades 6-8, by Judith A. Muschla, Gary Robert Muschla, and Erin Muschla (Jossey-Bass, 2012). This book for math teachers provides tips and activities to help teach skills described in the common-core standards. Additionally, the book provides information about incorporating technology into the math curriculum and teaching students how to apply math to the real world.


Fuel for Thought: Building Energy Awareness in Grades 9-12, edited by Steve Metz (NSTA Press, 2012). Meant for high school teachers, this book includes activities and lesson plans focused on energy and environmental issues. The book is divided into three general sections: "Student Investigations" includes activities that will teach students about basic concepts, "Projects and Case Studies" includes examples of detailed question-driven projects conducted by students, and "Issues in Depth" includes information on current energy problems.

The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science: The Very Best Backyard Science Experiments You Can Do Yourself, by Neil A. Downie (Princeton University Press, 2012). This guide provides instructions for how to perform a variety of hands-on science experiments, such as creating an electric sundial or setting off oxygen fireworks. Each entry also includes a list of materials needed and an explanation of the science behind the outcome.

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