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Outside the Classroom

Top New Books for Educators: See What’s Coming in May

Here are some of the top new books for educators being released in May:

The Coach Approach book cover

The Coach Approach to School Leadership: Leading Teachers to Higher Levels of Effectiveness
Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz, Kathy Perret

In The Coach Approach to School Leadership, Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz, and Kathy Perret address a dilemma faced by many principals: how to function as learning leaders while fulfilling their evaluative and management duties. The answer? Incorporating instructional coaching techniques as an integral part of serious school improvement.

The authors explain how principals can:

  • Master the skill of “switching hats” between the nonjudgmental coach role and the evaluative supervisor role.
  • Expand their classroom visits and combine coaching with evaluation requirements.
  • Nurture relationships with teachers and build a positive school culture.
  • Provide high-quality feedback to support the development of both teachers and students.
  • Empower teachers to lead their own professional learning and work together as a team.

Drawing from the authors’ work with schools as well as their conversations with educators across the globe, this thought-provoking book speaks to the unique needs of principals as instructional leaders, providing solutions to challenges in every aspect of this complex endeavor.


From Texting to Teaching book cover

From Texting to Teaching: Grammar Instruction in a Digital Age
Troy Hicks, Jeremy Hyler

Don’t blame technology for poor student grammar; instead, use technology intentionally to reach students and actually improve their writing! In this practical book, bestselling authors Jeremy Hyler and Troy Hicks reveal how digital tools and social media – a natural part of students’ lives – can make grammar instruction more authentic, relevant, and effective in today’s world.

Topics covered:

  • Teaching students to code switch and differentiate between formal and informal sentence styles
  • Using flipped lessons to teach the parts of speech and help students build their own grammar guides
  • Enlivening vocabulary instruction with student-produced video
  • Helping students master capitalization and punctuation in different digital contexts

Each chapter contains examples, screenshots, and instructions to help you implement the ideas. With the strategies in this book, you can empower students to become better writers with the tools they already love and use daily.

Serious Play book cover

Serious Play: Literacy, Learning and Digital Games
Catherine Beavis, Michael Dezuanni, Joanne O’Mara

Serious Play is a comprehensive account of the possibilities and challenges of teaching and learning with digital games in primary and secondary schools. Based on an original research project, the book explores digital games’ capacity to engage and challenge, present complex representations and experiences, foster collaborative and deep learning and enable curricula that connect with young people today. These exciting approaches illuminate the role of context in gameplay as well as the links between digital culture, gameplay and identity in learners’ lives, and are applicable to research and practice at the leading edge of curriculum and literacy development.

Teaching STEM Outdoors book cover

Teaching STEM Outdoors: Activities for Young Children
Patty Born Selly

Nurture young children’s innate tendencies toward exploration, sensory stimulation, and STEM learning when you connect outdoor learning with STEM curriculum. Discover the developmental benefits of outdoor learning and how the rich diversity of settings and materials in nature gives rise to questions and inquiry for deeper learning.

Full of activities, examples, and resources to take the fun of STEM outside, this book will help teachers articulate connections between nature play, outdoor experiences, and STEM learning with young children. Use STEM and nature-based learning to foster children’s curiosity and exploration of the world.

Technology-Enhanced Learning book cover

Technology-Enhanced Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Anthony Barnett, Moira Savage

Discussing learning technologies in relation to young children often provokes a wide range of passionate responses, from sceptics to enthusiasts. This text explores the issues in a holistic, pedagogical and research-informed way. It helps professionals unpick the complex issues involved, understand the scope of available technology, examine the interplay between learning and specific technologies, and more broadly create a vision for a technology-enabled learning environment that is child-centered, playful, creative and interactive.

Recurring case studies are analyzed from a number of theoretical perspectives, and the approach deliberately goes beyond the scope of ‘understanding of the world’ to consider the contribution of technology-enhanced learning to a range of different contexts and subject areas. Throughout there are clear links to professional standards, the Early Years Foundation Stage and the characteristics of effective learning.

Transformative Teachers book cover

Transformative Teachers: Teacher Leadership and Learning in a Connected World
Kira J. Baker-Doyle

Transformative Teachers offers an insightful look at the growing movement of civic-minded educators who are using twenty-first-century participatory practices and connected technologies to organize change from the ground up. Kira J. Baker-Doyle highlights the collaborative, grassroots tactics that activist teachers are implementing to transform their profession and pursue greater social justice and equity in education.

The author provides a framework and practical suggestions for charting the path to transformative teacher leadership as well as suggestions for how others, including administrators and outside organizations, can support them. In addition, the book profiles fifteen transformative teachers who are changing the face of education, features three case studies of organizational allies (Edcamps, the Philadelphia Education Fund, and the Connected Learning Alliance), and includes insights from a wide range of educational leaders.

A guide to the norms and practices of innovative educators, Transformative Teachers offers a clear and compelling vision of the potential for grassroots change in education.

Worried About the Wrong Things book cover

Worried About the Wrong Things: Youth, Risk, and Opportunity in the Digital World
Jacqueline Ryan Vickery

It’s a familiar narrative in both real life and fiction, from news reports to television storylines: a young person is bullied online, or targeted by an online predator, or exposed to sexually explicit content. The consequences are bleak; the young person is shunned, suicidal, psychologically ruined. In this book, Jacqueline Ryan Vickery argues that there are other urgent concerns about young people’s online experiences besides porn, predators, and peers. We need to turn our attention to inequitable opportunities for participation in a digital culture. Technical and material obstacles prevent low-income and other marginalized young people from the positive, community-building, and creative experiences that are possible online.

Vickery explains that cautionary tales about online risk have shaped the way we think about technology and youth. She analyzes the discourses of risk in popular culture, journalism, and policy, and finds that harm-driven expectations, based a privileged perception of risk, enact control over technology. Opportunity-driven expectations, on the other hand, based on evidence and lived experience, produce discourses that acknowledge the practices and agency of young people rather than seeing them as passive victims who need to be protected.

Vickery first addresses how the discourses of risk regulate and control technology, then turns to the online practices of youth at a low-income, minority-majority Texas high school. She considers the participation gap and the need for schools to teach digital literacies, privacy, and different online learning ecologies. Finally, she shows that opportunity-driven expectations can guide young people’s online experiences in ways that balance protection and agency.

Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see April’s top new books for educators.

About the Author

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Ashleigh Lutz

Ashleigh graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She spent over three years in higher education developing resources and helping students succeed in online courses. During her tenure at Edgenuity, Ashleigh was eager to support Where Learning Clicks and the team’s commitment to helping teachers and students meet important goals and explore their passions. In addition to writing, a few of Ashleigh’s favorite things include rock climbing, chocolate, and cats.