Outside the Classroom

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

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

School-Based Observation: A Practical Guide to Assessing Student Behavior
Amy M. Briesch,‎ Robert J. Volpe,‎ Randy G. Floyd

Widely used to assess social–emotional and behavioral referral concerns in grades PreK–12, systematic direct observation is an essential skill for school psychologists and other educators. This accessible book helps practitioners conduct reliable, accurate observations using the best available tools. Chapters present effective coding systems for assessing student classroom behavior, the classroom environment, behavior in non-classroom settings, and behavior in a functional assessment context; also provided are guidelines for developing new codes when an appropriate one does not already exist. Procedures for summarizing, graphing, and interpreting data for different assessment purposes are detailed. In a large-size format with lay-flat binding for easy photocopying, the book includes 13 reproducible coding forms. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials.

 

Understanding Texts and Readers: The Complete Comprehension Handbook
Jennifer Serravallo

Jennifer Serravallo provides a blueprint for helping readers succeed. Her formula is simple: know your readers well and understand the challenges they’ll encounter at each step in their reading journey. Serravallo’s go-to guide shows how to find out what your readers need as they approach each level, starting with Level J. You’ll find descriptors of the complexity challenges for each level, organized into Fiction and Nonfiction sections. Serravallo shows you how to turn what you know and learn about your readers into actionable instruction.

 

Deliberate Excellence: Three Fundamental Strategies That Drive Educational Leadership
Dallas Dance

The book focuses on 3 key success principles – Leading With Equity, Implementing Change Successfully, and Leading Through Communication. After reading this book the reader will feel confident and capable of realizing the loftiest career goals as a leader in education, and even more, that empowerment will be supported with the tools to bring career dreams to pass.

.

Teach Well, Live Well: Strategies for Success
John Luckner,‎ Suzanne Rudolph

A proven plan for finding fulfillment in and out of the classroom!

Teaching is a highly rewarding—and highly demanding—profession. Honoring educators for the invaluable work they do, this unique resource provides critical information about being a highly competent teacher while living a rewarding, satisfying life outside of work.

New and experienced teachers will find a unique collection of strategies for developing essential skills for being masterful in teaching and in life. Focused on preparation and effective teaching techniques, this nuts-and-bolts volume helps teachers find the right balance between personal and professional priorities and covers a wide range of topics, such as:

  • Increasing their teaching effectiveness
  • Improving their ability to collaborate with others
  • Developing self-care strategies for a vibrant personal and professional life

Featuring “bottom line” tips, reproducibles for teacher reflection and support, and up-to-date resources, Teach Well, Live Well is an essential tool for educators looking to enjoy vibrant, productive careers and lives.

 

Using Picture Books to Enhance Children’s Social and Emotional Literacy: Creative Activities and Programs for Parents and Professionals
Susan Elswick

Children can struggle to engage with and articulate certain emotions, which can have a profound impact on their behaviour, confidence, and ability to form relationships, follow instructions, and perform tasks. This resource for teachers, therapists, counsellors, and parents uses children’s literature and some of its well-known characters, such as the Rainbow Fish and Stanley Yelnats IV from Holes, as a basis for practical activities that enable children to express and manage these emotions.

Social-emotional literacy training assists students in developing important life skills such as the ability to develop good relationships and empathy skills, as well as being able to understand, manage, and communicate their own emotions. This book offers an introduction to social-emotional literacy, followed by activities related to emotions such as empathy, friendship, grief, and self-esteem, aiming to embed this literacy training into daily school and home activities to increase children’s chances of future success.

 

Doing Poorly on Purpose: Strategies to Reverse Underachievement and Respect Student Dignity
James R. Delisle

With Doing Poorly on Purpose, veteran educator James Delisle dispels the negative associations and stereotypes connected to underachievement. By focusing on smart kids who get poor grades—not because they’re unable to do better in school but because they don’t want to—Delisle presents a snapshot of underachievement that may look far different from what you envision it to be.

There is no such thing as a “classic underachiever.” Students (and their reasons for underachieving) are influenced by a wide range of factors, including self-image, self-concept, social-emotional relationships, and the amount of dignity teachers afford their students.

Helping “smart” students achieve when they don’t want to is not an easy task, but you can reengage and inspire students using Delisle’s insights and practical advice on these topics:

  • Autonomy
  • Access
  • Advocacy
  • Alternatives
  • Aspirations
  • Approachable Educators

Smart, underachieving students need the reassurance that they are capable, valuable, and worth listening to despite their low academic performance. If these students—who are otherwise academically capable—don’t feel they are getting respect from those in charge of their learning, then the desire to conform and achieve is minimized.

In a word, they want dignity. Don’t we all?

 

The Secret Life of Stories: From Don Quixote to Harry Potter, How Understanding Intellectual Disability Transforms the Way We Read
Michael Bérubé

How an understanding of intellectual disability can transform our understanding of narrative

Narrative informs everything we think, do, plan, remember, and imagine. We tell stories and we listen to stories, gauging their “well-formedness” within a couple of years of learning to walk and talk. Some argue that the capacity to understand narrative is innate to our species; others claim that while that might be so, the invention of writing then re-wired our brains.

In The Secret Life of Stories, Michael Bérubé tells a dramatically different tale, in a compelling account of how an understanding of intellectual disability can transform our understanding of narrative. Instead of focusing on characters with disabilities, he shows how ideas about intellectual disability inform an astonishingly wide array of narrative strategies, providing a new and startling way of thinking through questions of time, self-reflexivity, and motive in the experience of reading. Interweaving his own stories with readings of such texts as Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, and Philip K. Dick’s Martian Time-Slip, Bérubé puts his theory into practice, stretching the purview of the study of literature and the role of disability studies within it. Armed only with the tools of close reading, Bérubé demonstrates the immensely generative possibilities in the ways disability is deployed within fiction, finding in them powerful meditations on what it means to be a social being, a sentient creature with an awareness of mortality and causality—and sentience itself. Persuasive and witty, Michael Bérubé engages Harry Potter fans and scholars of literature alike. For all readers, The Secret Life of Stories will fundamentally change the way we think about the way we read.

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

About the Author

avatar

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.