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 March. Covering such topics as utilizing effective blended learning methods, optimizing student learning in science, and revisiting reading strategies for better student instruction, 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!
In today’s technologically integrated world, blended learning is a natural fit for the elementary classroom, where many teachers already think flexibly about the learning environment, resources, and time in order to meet diverse student needs. As blended elementary classrooms become more common, teachers and administrators must develop a shared understanding of the characteristics of effective instruction in blended environments.
This guide is designed to help K–5 teachers develop and carry out a plan for effective instruction in blended environments. Presented in a step-by-step workbook format, this resource identifies the competencies blended teachers need and strategies for development, culminating in a personalized implementation plan for successful blended instruction. Readers will:
- Take an in-depth look at the iNACOL Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework, to foster a deeper understanding of the teacher proficiencies needed for effective blended learning environments.
- Identify your own strengths and needs related to the blended teacher competencies.
- Develop a personalized blueprint for designing and facilitating blended learning in your classrooms.
- Tailor your needs and goals when it comes to maximizing instructional time, personalizing learning, empowering students, pursuing professional learning, and more.
- Explore specific strategies and examples of blended learning in elementary classrooms, and reflect on your own plans for blended instruction.
Making the shift to blended learning requires intentional planning and support. This workbook will guide you through the process of developing an actionable plan for blended learning in your classroom.
In today’s world, the importance of teaching students to analyze different sources on a particular topic has never been greater. Students need to be able to connect ideas, weigh viewpoints, and balance differing perspectives. “We want students to ask questions and then actively seek out answers by reading, listening to, or viewing multiple sources—articles, books, videos, photos, infographics, and more,” literacy consultant and author Sunday Cummins explains. “We want them to think across those sources and be able to articulate for themselves as well as for others what they’ve learned—orally and in writing.”
Nurturing Informed Thinking provides support for teachers as they plan for and manage teaching with multiple sources on a regular basis. Sunday’s practical framework includes strategies for:
- Planning: establishing purposes for reading, and selecting sources
- Teaching: lesson ideas for reading and thinking across sources
- Supporting: instructional moves that help students
- Releasing Responsibility: student-led research with inquiry charts and other scaffolds
“The value of this endeavor becomes clear when you see your students’ eyes light up as they examine a second, third, and fourth source on a topic,” Sunday writes. “As a result of reading across sources, students understand the world around them better. More importantly, they have a sense of how they can continue to learn. This is what we want for students—strong identities as strategic readers, writers, and thinkers.”
Visible Learning for Science, Grades K-12: What Works Best to Optimize Student Learning
John Almarode, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Hattie
In the best science classrooms, teachers see learning through the eyes of their students, and students view themselves as explorers. But with so many instructional approaches to choose from—inquiry, laboratory, project-based learning, discovery learning—which is most effective for student success?
In Visible Learning for Science, the authors reveal that it’s not which strategy, but when, and plot a vital K–12 framework for choosing the right approach at the right time, depending on where students are within the three phases of learning: surface, deep, and transfer.
Synthesizing state-of-the-art science instruction and assessment with over fifteen years of John Hattie’s cornerstone educational research, this framework for maximum learning spans the range of topics in the life and physical sciences. Employing classroom examples from all grade levels, the authors empower teachers to plan, develop, and implement high-impact instruction for each phase of the learning cycle:
- Surface learning: when, through precise approaches, students explore science concepts and skills that give way to a deeper exploration of scientific inquiry.
- Deep learning: when students engage with data and evidence to uncover relationships between concepts—students think metacognitively, and use knowledge to plan, investigate, and articulate generalizations about scientific connections.
- Transfer learning: when students apply knowledge of scientific principles, processes, and relationships to novel contexts, and are able to discern and innovate to solve complex problems.
Visible Learning for Science opens the door to maximum-impact science teaching, so that students demonstrate more than a year’s worth of learning for a year spent in school.
Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Standing at the Precipice
Armand Doucet, Jelmer Evers, Elisa Guerra, Nadia Lopez, Michael Soskil, Koen Timmers
In this visionary book, written by six internationally recognized Global Teacher Prize finalists, the authors create a positive and hope-filled template for the future of education.
They address the hard moral, ethical, and pedagogical questions facing education today so that progress can serve society, rather than destroying it from within our classrooms. This blueprint for education finally brings forward what has always been missing in education reform: a strong collective narrative with authentic examples from teachers on the front line.
It is a holistic, personalized approach to education that harnesses the disruptions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to better shape the future for the next generation, and ensure that every child can benefit from the ongoing transformations.
From STEM to STEAM: Brain-Compatible Strategies and Lessons That Integrate the Arts, 2nd Edition
David A. Sousa, Tom Pilecki
Art and science both hinge on discovery, and discovery requires thinking out of the box. But how do you lead students to think creatively in STEM education? The answer is STEAM, and A is for the arts.
STEAM—the integration of music, visual arts, and drama into daily STEM instruction—is proven to enhance student achievement in STEM subjects. After all, creative, real-world problem-solving is what working scientists and mathematicians actually do. But how do busy STEM educators weave arts activities into a sometimes inflexible STEM curriculum?
In this new edition of From STEM to STEAM, the ground-breaking bestseller, the authors provide lessons from the field to detail the way. Authors David Sousa, expert in educational neuroscience, and Tom Pilecki, veteran arts educator, pool their combined eighty years of expertise to deliver:
- Research studies in cognitive and social neuroscience, including new findings on how technology is rewiring students’ brains, that demonstrate how arts activities enhance creativity, problem solving, memory systems, motor coordination, and analytical skills—all critical elements to achieving STEM objectives.
- Classroom-tested strategies and techniques for integrating the arts into STEM instruction, including sample K–12 lessons plans and planning templates.
- Tools for building a professional development program designed to helps arts and STEM teachers collaborate to create STEAM lessons.
- Sample planning frameworks that provide a smooth transition from STEM to STEAM, including advice on adapting STEAM to meet the individual needs and limitations of a school or district.
- A list of resources available to teachers in the STEM subjects, in the arts, in arts integration, and for STEAM.
The main objective of both art and science is discovery. Lead your students to make that connection and STEAM ahead to academic success!
Rigor in the RTI and MTSS Classroom: Practical Tools and Strategies
Barbara R. Blackburn, Bradley S. Witzel
In this new book, bestselling author Barbara R. Blackburn and intervention expert Bradley S. Witzel show you how to develop rigorous RTI and MTSS programs that will support students and lead them to lasting success. Written in a clear, engaging style, Rigor in the RTI and MTSS Classroom combines an in-depth discussion of the issues facing at-risk and learning-disabled students with practical strategies for all teachers. You’ll discover how to:
- Improve academic and social-emotional performance with scaffolding and demonstration of learning techniques
- Establish and teach class rules, expectations, and consequences
- Use evidence-based activities to spark student discussion
- Implement rigorous, research-based strategies for math, literacy, reading, and writing development
- Assess student growth and encourage self-reflection
- Form an MTSS leadership team to ensure that student needs are met across building and district levels
The way we teach reading is not working, and it cannot continue. We have largely abandoned phones-based reading instruction, despite research that supports its importance for word recognition.
Rather than treating Black English as a valid dialect and recognizing that speaking one dialect can impact the ability to learn to read in another, teachers simply dismiss it as “incorrect English.” And while we press children to develop large vocabularies because we think being a good reader means knowing more words, studies have found that a large vocabulary is only an indication of better pattern recognition.
Understanding the science of reading is more important than ever—for us, and for our children. Seidenberg helps us do so by drawing on cutting-edge research in machine learning, linguistics, and early childhood development. Language at the Speed of Sight offers an erudite and scathing examination of this most human of activities, and concrete proposals for how our society can produce better readers.
Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see February’s top new books for educators.