Each month, hundreds of new books for educators are released, so finding the best ones can be difficult. To better help you, your students, and your coworkers, we’ve put together a list of the top new books for educators that will be available in April. Covering such topics as engaging students, inspiring teachers, and how to teach science in a better way to students from all backgrounds, these books are full of great information to help you better serve your students and do your job. Check out what we picked for you this month!
180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents
Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle
“Teaching is art—creation—and a curriculum map is only as good as the teacher who considers it, who questions it, and who revises it to meet the needs of each year’s students.” —Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle
Two teachers. Two classrooms.
One school year.
180 Days represents the collaboration of two master teachers—Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle—over an entire school year: planning, teaching, and reflecting within their own and each other’s classrooms in California and New Hampshire. Inspired by a teacher’s question, “How do you fit it all in?” they identified and prioritized the daily, essential, belief-based practices that are worth spending time on. They asked, “Who will these students be as readers and writers after a year under our care?”
What we make time for matters: what we plan, how we revise our plans while teaching, and how we reflect and decide what’s next. The decision-making in the moment is the most essential work of teaching, and it’s the ongoing study of the adolescents in front of us that has the greatest impact on our thinking.
With both the demands of time and the complexity of diverse students in mind, Kelly and Penny mapped out a year of engaging literacy practices aligned to their core beliefs about what matters most. They share their insights on managing time and tasks and offer teaching strategies for engaging students in both whole class and independent work. Video clips of Kelly and Penny teaching in each other’s classrooms bring this year to life and show you what a steadfast commitment to belief-based instruction looks like in action.
180 Days. Make every moment matter. Teach fearlessly. Empower all students to live literate lives.
Ambitious Science Teaching
Mark Windschitl, Jessica Thompson, Melissa Braaten
Ambitious Science Teaching outlines a powerful framework for science teaching to ensure that instruction is rigorous and equitable for students from all backgrounds. The practices presented in the book are being used in schools and districts that seek to improve science teaching at scale, and a wide range of science subjects and grade levels are represented.
The book is organized around four sets of core teaching practices: planning for engagement with big ideas; eliciting student thinking; supporting changes in students’ thinking; and drawing together evidence-based explanations. Discussion of each practice includes tools and routines that teachers can use to support students’ participation, transcripts of actual student-teacher dialogue and descriptions of teachers’ thinking as it unfolds, and examples of student work. The book also provides explicit guidance for “opportunity to learn” strategies that can help scaffold the participation of diverse students.
Since the success of these practices depends so heavily on discourse among students, Ambitious Science Teaching includes chapters on productive classroom talk. Science-specific skills such as modeling and scientific argument are also covered.
Drawing on the emerging research on core teaching practices and their extensive work with preservice and in-service teachers, Ambitious Science Teaching presents a coherent and aligned set of resources for educators striving to meet the considerable challenges that have been set for them.
Teachers nationwide are adopting immersive technology—devices and software that provide augmented, virtual and mixed reality experiences—to enable students to go on virtual field trips, manipulate 3D objects and augment the world around them. Immersive technology resources can be far less costly than many believe, but there are issues school districts should resolve before making purchases and implementing this technology.
Learning Transported provides practical insights and classroom examples to help educators plan and establish goals so that their investment in immersive technology benefits the greatest number of students. Topics covered include definitions and examples of augmented, virtual and mixed reality; comparison of devices and platforms, and tips for selecting the best one; lesson plans mapped to standards and content areas and ideas for using immersive technology tools in the classroom.
Immersive technology has great potential to transform learning and create engaging experiences for students. Before bringing it to the classroom, educators must consider the most important factors: that the instruction addresses student outcomes and standards, and that the mechanism for delivering this learning (no matter the device) is safe, affordable and suitable for the situation.
An inspiring account of ordinary teachers who are doing extraordinary things that could transform education.
What School Could Be offers an inspiring vision of what our teachers and students can accomplish if trusted with the challenge of developing the skills and ways of thinking needed to thrive in a world of dizzying technological change.
Innovation expert Ted Dintersmith took an unprecedented trip across America, visiting all fifty states in a single school year. He originally set out to raise awareness about the urgent need to reimagine education to prepare students for a world marked by innovation—but America’s teachers one-upped him. All across the country, he met teachers in ordinary settings doing extraordinary things, creating innovative classrooms where children learn deeply and joyously as they gain purpose, agency, essential skill sets and mindsets, and real knowledge. Together, these new ways of teaching and learning offer a vision of what school could be—and a model for transforming schools throughout the United States and beyond. Better yet, teachers and parents don’t have to wait for the revolution to come from above. They can readily implement small changes that can make a big difference.
America’s clock is ticking. Our archaic model of education trains our kids for a world that no longer exists, and accelerating advances in technology are eliminating millions of jobs. But the trailblazing of many American educators gives us reasons for hope.
Capturing bold ideas from teachers and classrooms across America, What School Could Be provides a realistic and profoundly optimistic roadmap for creating cultures of innovation and real learning in all our schools.
Everything You Need for Mathematics Coaching: Tools, Plans, and a Process That Works for Any Instructional Leader
Maggie B. McGatha, Jennifer M. Bay-Williams, Beth McCord Kobett, Jonathan A. Wray
Math coaches wear many hats. You think on your feet and have to invent, react, and respond—often without time to prepare—in a myriad of professional contexts. What’s your go-to resource for support?
Plan, focus, and lead: Your toolkit for inspiring math teachers
Meet Everything You Need For Mathematics Coaching: Tools, Plans, and a Process That Works for Any Instructional Leader. This one-stop, comprehensive toolkit for improving mathematics instruction and learning is designed for busy math coaches and teacher leaders who often have to rely on their own competencies. Using the Leading for Mathematical Proficiency Framework, the authors position student outcomes as the focus of all professional work and connect the Eight Mathematical Practices for students with NCTM’s Eight Effective Teaching Practices to help you guide teachers toward growing mathematics proficiency in their classrooms.
This hands-on resource details critical coaching and teaching actions, and offers nearly a hundred tools for:
- Shifting classroom practice in a way that leads to student math proficiency and understanding of mathematical concepts.
- Honing in on key areas, including content knowledge and worthwhile tasks, student engagement, questioning and discourse, analysis of student work, formative assessment, support for emergent language learners and students with special needs, and more.
- Navigating a coaching conversation.
- Planning and facilitating professional learning communities.
- Finding a focus for professional development or a learning cycle.
- Making connections between professional learning activities, teaching, and student learning.
- Using the coaching cycle—plan, gather data, reflect—to build trust and rapport with teachers.
With examples from the field, a comprehensive list of resources for effective coaching, and a plethora of tools you can download and share with teachers, this toolkit is your must-have guide to designing a professional learning plan and leading with clarity and purpose.
The ELL Teacher’s Toolbox: Hundreds of Practical Ideas to Support Your Students
Larry Ferlazzo, Katie Hull Sypnieski
Practical strategies to support your English language learners.
The ELL Teacher’s Toolbox is a practical, valuable resource to be used by teachers of English Language Learners, in teacher education credential programs, and by staff development professionals and coaches. It provides hundreds of innovative and research-based instructional strategies you can use to support all levels of English Language Learners.
Written by proven authors in the field, the book is divided into two main sections: Reading/Writing and Speaking/Listening. Each of those sections includes “Top Ten” favorites and between 40 and 70 strategies that can be used as part of multiple lessons and across content areas.
- Contains 60% new strategies
- Features ready-to-use lesson plans
- Includes reproducible handouts
- Offers technology integration ideas
The percentage of public school students in the U.S. who are English Language Learners grows each year—and with this book, you’ll get a ton of fresh, innovative strategies to add to your teaching arsenal.
Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see March’s top new books for educators.