Outside the Classroom

June’s Top New Books for Educators

We have reached the end of another challenging year, a year in which educators, students, and families have learned a lot about learning, and now, many are looking forward to a return to some form of normalcy in the fall.

For June’s top new books for educators, we’ve chosen books that can help all educators—those who want to become stronger online teachers, those who want to engage students more effectively, those who want to build or strengthen PLCs with their colleagues, and more. Take a look at our picks below, enjoy your summer break, and as always, stay safe and healthy and happy reading.

The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips, 3rd Edition
Judith V. Boettcher, Rita-Marie Conrad

A timely update to the best-selling, practical, and comprehensive guide to online teaching

The Online Teaching Survival Guide provides a robust overview of theory-based techniques for teaching online or technology-enhanced courses. This Third Edition is a practical resource for educators learning to navigate the online teaching sector. It presents a framework of simple, research-grounded instructional strategies that work for any online or blended course. This new edition is enhanced with hints on integrating problem-solving strategies, assessment strategies, student independence, collaboration, synchronous strategies, and building metacognitive skills. This book also reviews the latest research in cognitive processing and related learning outcomes.

New and experienced online teachers alike will appreciate this book’s exploration of essential technologies, course management techniques, social presence, community building, discussion and questioning techniques, assessment, debriefing, and more. With more and more classes being offered online, this book provides a valuable resource for taking your course to the next level.

  • Understand the technology used in online teaching and discover how you can make the most of advanced features in the tech you use
  • Learn specialized pedagogical tips and practices that will make the shift to online teaching smoother for you and your students
  • Examine new research on cognition and learning, and see how you can apply these research findings in your day-to-day
  • Adopt a clear framework of instructional strategies that will work in any online or blended setting
  • Learn how to make the most of your synchronous online class meetings using flipped model techniques integrated with asynchronous conversation

Recently, schools across the globe have experienced a shift to online courses and teaching. The theories and techniques of synchronous virtual online teaching are vastly different from traditional educational pedagogy. You can overcome the learning curve with this theory-based, hands-on guide.

Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance
Patricia C. Broderick

Disruptive behavior in the classroom, poor academic performance, out-of-control emotions: if you work with adolescents, you are well-aware of the challenges this age group presents. What if there was a way to calm these students down and arm them with the mindfulness skills needed to really excel in school and life?

Written by mindfulness expert and licensed clinical psychologist Patricia C. Broderick, Learning to Breathe is a secular program that tailors the teaching of mindfulness to the developmental needs of adolescents to help them understand their thoughts and feelings and manage distressing emotions. Students will be empowered by learning important mindfulness meditation skills that help them improve emotion regulation, reduce stress, improve overall performance, and, perhaps most importantly, develop their attention. The book also includes a website link with student handouts and homework assignments, making it an ideal classroom tool.

The book integrates certain themes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, into a program that is shorter, more accessible to students, and compatible with school curricula. Students will learn to pay attention in the moment, manage emotions as they are perceived, and gain greater control over their own feelings and actions. These mindfulness practices offer the opportunity to develop hardiness in the face of uncomfortable feelings that otherwise might provoke a response that could be harmful (e.g., acting out by taking drugs, displaying violent behavior, or acting in by becoming more depressed).

This easy-to-use manual is designed to be used by teachers, but can also be used by any mental health provider teaching adolescents emotion regulation, stress reduction, and mindfulness skills. The author is a graduate of the MBSR advanced practicum at the Center for Mindfulness in Massachusetts, led by Jon Kabat-Zinn. She is also a clinical psychologist and a certified school psychologist and counselor for grades K–12. In the book, Broderick calls on her years of experience working with adolescents to outline the best strategies for dealing with disruption in the classroom and emotions that are out of hand.

The book is structured around six themes built upon the acronym BREATHE, and each theme has a core message. The program allows for themes to be delivered in 6 longer or 18 shorter sessions, depending upon time and needs of students. The 6 core lessons are: Body, Reflection, Emotions, Attention, Tenderness, and Healthy Mind Habits.

Learning to Breathe is the perfect tool for empowering students as they grapple with the psychological tasks of adolescence.

Five Paths of Student Engagement: Blazing the Trail to Learning and Success
Dennis Shirley, Andy Hargreaves

Your guide to promoting active engagement in the classroom and improving student learning

This is a breakthrough book on student engagement. Join Dennis Shirley and Andy Hargreaves, two award-winning authors and leaders in their field, on a profound educational quest that will take you through exciting and challenging terrain. Five Paths of Student Engagement will open your eyes, heart, and mind and empower you to implement practices that lead directly to your students’ well-being, learning, and success.

By integrating psychological and sociological perspectives, and using inspiring examples from seven years of research, this book delves deeply into the what, why, and how of student engagement. It reveals who and what the true enemies of student engagement are, and shows you how to defeat them. It will enrich and reward your work for years to come.

Utilize research-based strategies to promote active engagement in the classroom and build the foundation for student growth:

  • Learn why active engagement is the new frontier of student achievement.
  • Understand how engaging students means so much more than defeating boredom.
  • Consider psychological and sociological theories that cast new light on engagement and motivation.
  • Reflect on how engagement is about mystery and magic, meaning and purpose, and focus and mastery.
  • Understand why increasing classroom engagement requires much more than surveys, rubrics, and observation protocols.
  • Learn strategies to battle all five enemies of engagement in order to engage students totally and motivate unmotivated students.
  • Explore five clear paths of engagement that lead to improving student learning and success that all teachers and schools can embark upon immediately.

You Can Learn!: Building Student Ownership, Motivation, and Efficacy With the PLC at Work® Process
Tim Brown, William M. Ferriter

Strategies for PLC teams to improve student engagement and promote self-efficacy in the classroom

Great learning starts when students believe in their academic abilities. In You Can Learn!, authors Tim Brown and William M. Ferriter introduce intentional and purposeful steps collaborative teams can take to increase the self-efficacy of every learner. By incorporating the book’s research-backed practices, professional learning communities will cultivate a culture where students at every grade level see themselves as competent learners fully capable of succeeding in school and beyond.

Discover key instructional strategies to develop and reinforce student learning and achievement:

  • Understand why self-efficacy in the classroom is important for student achievement and well-being.
  • Extend the PLC at Work® process into your classroom and share it with students in order to motivate, inspire, and guide learning.
  • Discover how to implement efficacy-building practices designed around foundational PLC elements.
  • Study a research-based approach to student engagement that spans grade levels and subject areas.
  • Review recommendations for how to start utilizing the strategies outlined in each chapter.
  • Utilize reproducible templates and tools to enhance individual and team understanding of the material.

Art and Technology: Innovative K–12 Digital Lessons
Sheyda Ardalan, Cheryl Adler Iozzo

Learn how to use digital technologies to provide a rich new entry point for art students to make meaning, express their thoughts, and visualize their ideas. Through the lens of artistic development, this book offers a rich scope and sequence of over 50 technology-based art lessons. Each lesson plan includes the art activity, learning level, lesson objective, developmental rationale, list of materials, and suggested questions to motivate and engage students. The text also includes images of student work, students at work, and the environment of the classroom (many in full color). The authors’ pedagogical approach begins with inquiry-based exploratory activities followed by more in-depth digital art lessons that relate to students’ interests and experiences. With knowledge of how technology can be used in educationally sound ways, educators are better equipped to advocate for the technological resources they need. By incorporating technology into the art classroom—as a stand-alone art medium or in conjunction with traditional studio materials—teachers and students remain on top of 21st-century learning with increased opportunities for innovation.

Book Features:

  • Guidance for technology use in the K–12 art curriculum, including specifics for adopting sequential strategies in each grade.
  • Cost-effective strategies that place teachers and students in a position to explore and learn from one another.
  • Developmental theories to help art teachers and curriculum designers successfully incorporate new media.
  • Engaging digital art lessons that acknowledge the role technologies play in the lives of today’s young people.
  • Novel approaches to art education, such as distance learning, animation, 3D printing, and virtual reality.

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Gifted Education: Building Cultural Competence and Serving Diverse Student Populations
C. Matthew Fugate, Wendy Behrens, Cecelia Boswell, Joy Lawson Davis

Culturally Responsive Teaching in Gifted Education is a professional learning tool for practitioners who are working to create more culturally responsive school and classroom environments. This book:

  • Focuses on gifted and talented students from special populations, including those who are culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse.
  • Is presented as a collection of essays written by educational advocates.
  • Aims to increase the cultural competence of teachers and school leaders.
  • Is organized in three sections: Culturally Responsive Practices; Race, Ethnicity, and Culture; and Gender, Sex, and Sense of Self.
  • Provides readers with personal insights into the implicit biases that exist within the educational system and gifted programs.

Each chapter illustrates the lived experiences of students from special populations and includes reflection questions for continued conversations and planning. Finally, an Educator Inventory is provided that tasks educators with reflecting on their own personal implicit biases and classroom practices related to the diverse populations of gifted and talented students in our schools.

The Power of Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation: Voices and Visions of Hope and Healing
Patricia Clark, Eva Zygmunt, Susan Tancock, Kristin Cipollone

Discover how and why community-engaged teacher preparation is a powerful and vital approach to address an educational system that is historically deficient, discriminatory, and decidedly inequitable. In this edited volume, the authors argue that past practice is inadequate and issue a mandate for a new approach to educator preparation. Articulating a clear definition of community-engaged teacher preparation, they focus on national and international initiatives that have been sustained over time and are having a direct impact on student learning. Chapters are written by school, university, and community partners who speak to the innovation, creativity, commitment, and persistence required to reinvent teacher preparation. They also underscore the complexity of this work, the humility necessary to reflect and reconsider, and the true spirit of authentic solidarity among university, school, and community partners required to seek and secure equity for children in schools.

Book features:

  • Provides a critical examination of structural inequity in education and ways to address it through community-engaged teacher preparation.
  • Describes a teacher preparation model that is enacted in solidarity with members of historically marginalized populations.
  • Offers clear guidance on what is meant by culturally relevant and culturally sustaining pedagogies with examples of how these frameworks are being operationalized.
  • Explores the obstacles and opportunities involved in the implementation process.

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

About the Author

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Where Learning Clicks

Since 1998, Edgenuity has been creating products and services that help all students achieve their full potential. As an extension of our efforts, we also produce Where Learning Clicks to share meaningful and timely ideas about trends, developments, and changes in education, as well as how to further incorporate technology into today’s classrooms.