Outside the Classroom

December’s Top 5 Books on Education: See What’s Coming Out This Month!

Every month, hundreds of new books for educators are released, so finding the best ones can be difficult. And with winter break and the end of the term fast approaching, we’ve put together a list of December’s top 5 books on education for you to enjoy during your time away from the classroom. Covering a range of topics such as how being outdoors can enhance the learning experience, why reading to and with young learners is so important for their growth and development, and how the digital landscape is having a positive effect on today’s students, these books are full of interesting and thoughtful information to help you better serve your students and do your job. Check out what we picked for you this month!

Developing Creativity in the Classroom: Learning and Innovation for 21st-Century Schools
Todd Kettler, Kristen N. Lamb, and Dianna R. Mullet

Developing Creativity in the Classroom applies the most current theory and research on creativity to support the design of teaching and learning. Creative thinking and problem solving are at the heart of learning and application as students prepare for innovation-driven careers. This text debunks myths about creativity and teaching and, instead, illustrates productive conceptions of creative thinking and innovation, including a constructivist learning approach in which creative thinking enhances and strengthens conceptual understanding of the curriculum. Through models of teaching that support creativity and problem solving, this book extends the idea of a creative pedagogy to the four core curriculum domains with explanations and examples of how creative thinking and deep learning merge to support engaging learning environments taking serious the challenge of developing 21st-century competencies.

Nature-Based Learning for Young Children: Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Budget
Julie Powers and Sheila Williams Ridge

Nature-Based Learning for Young Children is designed to provide ideas for all early childhood educators ranging from novice to highly experienced in a wide range of ecosystems, including forests, cities, prairies, coastal, urban, and deserts. It includes background information on a range of nature topics, reproducible parent newsletters, sample play-based lesson plans, guidance and health and safety issues related to nature activities, ideas for free/inexpensive equipment and materials and for big-ticket items, ideas for family involvement, and connections to early childhood learning standards. Chapters are divided by nature topic, so readers can dip in right away where they want to start exploring.

Wholehearted Teaching of Gifted Young Women: Cultivating Courage, Connection, and Self-Care in Schools
Kathryn Fishman-Weaver 

Wholehearted Teaching of Gifted Young Women explores the important role school communities play in supporting the social and emotional needs of high-achieving young women. Using a youth participatory action research model, this project follows 20 student researchers from high school through college. This longitudinal study leads to “Wholehearted Teaching,” a new framework for cultivating courage, connection, and self-care in schools. Framed with personal stories and filled with practical suggestions, this book offers strategies for teachers, counselors, parents, and high-achieving young women as they navigate the precipice of youth and everything after.

Read with Me: Engaging Your Young Child in Active Reading
Samantha Cleaver and Munro Richardson

Parents and early childhood teachers know that reading aloud to children is important, but the specific things that adults do while reading with children that make reading a powerful way to improve children’s language, vocabulary, and early literacy skills can remain a mystery. Read with Me makes those behaviors clear and easy to implement for parents and teachers by outlining the ABCs of Active Reading (Ask Questions, Build Vocabulary, and Connect to the Child’s World). Active Reading is an approach to reading aloud with young children that is supported by decades of research. Read With Me provides parents and teachers with the knowledge and skills to engage young children (age 2 to 5) in Active Reading with examples, clear explanations, and ideas for making one-on-one or small group read aloud sessions a powerful way to build children’s early literacy and language skills, all while creating a lifelong love of reading.

The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World
Jordan Shapiro

A provocative look at the new, digital landscape of childhood and how to navigate it.

In The New Childhood, Jordan Shapiro provides a hopeful counterpoint to the fearful hand-wringing that has come to define our narrative around children and technology. Drawing on groundbreaking research in economics, psychology, philosophy, and education, The New Childhood shows how technology is guiding humanity toward a bright future in which our children will be able to create new, better models of global citizenship, connection, and community.

Shapiro offers concrete, practical advice on how to parent and educate children effectively in a connected world, and provides tools and techniques for using technology to engage with kids and help them learn and grow. He compares this moment in time to other great technological revolutions in humanity’s past and presents entertaining micro-histories of cultural fixtures: the sandbox, finger painting, the family dinner, and more. But most importantly, The New Childhood paints a timely, inspiring and positive picture of today’s children, recognizing that they are poised to create a progressive, diverse, meaningful, and hyper-connected world that today’s adults can only barely imagine.

Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see November’s top books on education!

About the Author

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Laura Almozara

As a child, Laura spent a lot of time reading and telling stories, at one point reading a new book every day. She took that interest with her to college, where she studied English and journalism. She then started working in publishing and eventually made her way to edtech. As someone with several teachers in her family, Laura is excited to be a part of the Where Learning Clicks team, helping to provide innovative education tools to some of the people who need them most.