Outside the Classroom

November’s Top 10 New Books for Educators

To help you and your students, we’ve put together a list of the top new books being published in November, specifically for educators in 2020. With various topics for teachers and administrators—whether you’re still adjusting to a classroom behind a computer screen, trying to introduce SEL to your class or colleagues, or wanting to connect with students and families—there’s something for everyone. Check out our picks below for November’s top 10 new books for educators!

50 Strategies for Your Virtual Classroom
Jennifer Jump

Virtual teaching may seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be! Tackle the new school year with confidence and skill by using the insightful material in this resource book. With specific strategies that fit into ten broad categories, 50 Strategies for Your Virtual Classroom will ease the stress of distance teaching. Whether you are organizing your at-home classroom or focusing on social-emotional learning, this book will lend support through it all.

50 Strategies for Your Virtual Classroom Highlights:

  • Offers 50 instruction strategies to aid and inspire virtual teaching.
  • Covers a broad range of topics, from building community and engaging students to teaching young readers and English learners.
  • Gives tips for different learning environments, such as independent and hybrid learning.
  • Provides grade-level differentiation and important reminders for each strategy.
  • Includes an annotated list of useful applications and websites as well as student work pages inspired by the strategies.

Classroom Motivation: Linking Research to Teacher Practice
Eric M. Anderman, Lynley H. Anderman

Classroom Motivation is a comprehensive introduction to the practical applications of research on academic motivation to teaching and learning. Though grounded in theory, the book is uniquely structured around instructional practices that teachers use daily in schools, such as rewards, group activities, academic tasks, student assessment, and parent interaction. This thoroughly revised third edition includes new content on interventions, mindsets, technologies, engagement, and social-emotional learning. Each chapter’s case studies, application exercises, and updated empirical findings will further connect pre-service teachers with motivation in practice.

The Turning Point for the Teaching Profession: Growing Expertise and Evaluative Thinking
Field Rickards, John Hattie, Catherine Reid

A revolution is happening in education, with leaders and teachers now asked to focus on learning, to develop collaborative teams to impact on students, to use and raise professional standards, and to identify and esteem expertise in our profession. With new demands relating to technological advances, changing demographics, internationalism, and the inclusion of “twenty-first-century skills,” there is pressure on schools to deliver greater and deeper success with more students.

The Turning Point aims to present the factors needed to affect real change for school systems, in classrooms, and in the teaching profession by:

  • Arguing for the establishment of teaching as a true “profession” alongside areas such as medicine or law.
  • Identifying the expertise fundamental to meeting the demands of schools.
  • Elaborating on evaluative thinking and clinical practice as the basis of this new profession.
  • Outlining core levers of change to show how teachers can have profound impacts on the educational, medical, and social dimensions of students.

This book is essential reading for teachers, school leaders, education policymakers, teacher candidates, and teacher educators. Those working in affiliated professions, such as adolescent psychologists and health workers, will also find aspects of the book relevant to their work.

Thriving as an Online K-12 Educator: Essential Practices from the Field
Jody Peerless Green

Thriving as an Online K-12 Educator is the perfect all-in-one guide to taking your K-12 class online. We know, now more than ever, that teachers have not been equally or systematically trained and resourced to make a sudden transition to online or blended instruction. This concise, accessible book collects time-tested strategies and fresh perspectives from experienced educators to help you smooth out even the most abrupt shift to technology-enhanced teaching and learning. With these insights into institutional supports, effective digital tools, equitable practice, social-emotional considerations, and beyond, you will be better prepared than ever to help your students thrive in online and blended learning environments.

Shaking Up Special Education: Instructional Moves to Increase Achievement
Savanna Flakes

Shaking Up Special Education is an easy-to-use instructional guide to the essential things you need to know about working with students with exceptionalities.

Interactive, collaborative, and engaging, this go-to instructional resource is packed with the top instructional moves to maximize learning for all students. Featuring sample activities and instructional resources, chapters cover topics ranging from specially designed instruction, to co-teaching, to technology, to social-emotional learning and self-care.

Designed with special educators in mind, this book is also ideal for any general educator looking to increase student achievement and revitalize their practice. Shake up your teaching and learn how to build a more inclusive classroom!

The Distance Learning Playbook for School Leaders: Leading for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting
Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, Dominique Smith, John Hattie

In March 2020, there was no manual for leading schools and school systems during a pandemic. School leaders had to figure things out as the crisis unfolded. But starting now, leaders have the opportunity to prepare for leading schools through distance learning with purpose and intent—using what works best to accelerate students’ learning all the while maintaining an indelible focus on equity.

Harnessing the insights and experience of renowned educators Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie, The Distance Learning Playbook for School Leaders applies the wisdom and evidence of the VISIBLE LEARNING® research to understand what works best. Spanning topics from school climate at a distance, leader credibility, care for self and colleagues, instructional leadership teams, stakeholder advisory groups, and virtual visibility, this comprehensive playbook details the research- and evidence-based strategies school leaders can mobilize to lead the delivery of high-impact learning in an online, virtual, and distributed environment.

This powerful guide includes:

  • Actionable insights and hands-on steps for each module to help school leaders realize the evidence-based leadership practices that result in meaningful learning in a distance environment.
  • Discussion of equity challenges associated with distance learning, along with examples of how leaders can work to ensure that equity gains that have been realized are not lost.
  • Analysis of the mindsets that empower leaders to manage change, rather than technology.
  • Space to write and reflect on current practices and plan future leadership strategies.
  • The mind frames for distance learning that serve leaders well in any instructional setting and will position schools after the pandemic to come back better than they were before.

SEL From a Distance: Tools and Processes for Anytime, Anywhere
Jessica Djabrayan Hannigan, John E. Hannigan

The pandemic and subsequent switch to distance learning combined with recent instances of racial injustice has put a spotlight on the cracks in the practice of social and emotional learning (SEL). More than ever before, schools are shifting their focus and prioritizing SEL competencies—around the nation and the world. The call for compassion has never been greater.

To easily and effortlessly build SEL into virtual, blended, or in-person environments, behavior experts Jessica Hannigan and John Hannigan have drawn together a collection of tools and processes for SEL that can be applied in any learning environment. In SEL From a Distance, you’ll learn:

  • The five SEL competencies and dozens of easy-to-use processes for building skills in each.
  • How to identify challenging behaviors and prioritize, define mastery, and teach the SEL skills necessary to address them.
  • Tips for identifying, teaching, modeling, and reinforcing SEL skills in a virtual setting.
  • Strategies for applying SEL to the needs of your unique learning environment.

Let this practical, easy-to-use toolkit guide you through embedding these critical SEL competencies into your virtual classrooms and make SEL a way of being for you and your students—anytime, anywhere.

Improving Teacher Development & Evaluation: A Guide for Leaders, Coaches, & Teachers
Robert J. Marzano, Cameron L. Rains, Philip B. Warrick

Teachers cannot become great unless they are given the time, support, and tools to grow in their professional practice. Written for teachers, coaches, and educational leaders, this resource offers a paradigm-shifting approach to teacher development and evaluation. The authors share research-backed steps for improvement, outline the principles for successful observation, and offer extensive protocols designed to help readers fully implement the book’s recommendations.

  • Recognize the failure of past teacher evaluation efforts and its relationship with stagnant teacher development.
  • Understand why the professional growth of teachers is vital to the well-being of the educational system.
  • Discover the beneficial influence of teacher self-reflection and self-rating on elements of effective instruction.
  • Restructure systems of classroom observation and evaluation to improve their effectiveness and encourage teacher development.
  • Learn new, more reliable methods of scoring teachers’ classroom practices and students’ academic growth.

The Empathy Advantage: Coaching Children to be Kind, Respectful, and Successful
Lynne Azarchi

We live in a time when empathy is not only lacking but on the decline. Kids are bullied because of the color of their skin, religion, culture, disability, and more. Bullying and cyberbullying are increasing, especially for black and brown children, LGBT youth, and Jewish and Muslim youth. Fueled by decreases in respect, kindness, and compassion, the house is on fire!

Empathy may not be a cure-all, but just a little effort can transform a child into a more sensitive, caring human being. The good news is that empathy—the ability to “walk in someone else’s shoes”—can be taught. This book is all about teaching adults to teach empathy to kids. The payoff will last a lifetime.

In this helpful guide, parents, caregivers, and teachers are coached to help their children and students to develop social-emotional skills that will equip them to better navigate the world with self-compassion and empathetic concern.

The Empathy Advantage is for the busiest parents and educators. It provides tips, strategies, online resources, and activities that are fun and engaging and take just 10 to 20 minutes. It emphasizes the importance of starting early, being good role models, spending quality face-to-face time together, and more. It will help readers understand the dynamics of bullying and teach children to stand up not only for themselves but for others. And it explores other topics including managing media in the home, the value of pets in inculcating empathy, active listening, and self-compassion—i.e., being as forgiving and kind to yourself as you would to a friend.

Community Connections and Your PLC at Work®: A Guide to Engaging Families
Nathaniel Provencio

In a PLC, every student, teacher, staff member, parent, and family member is vital to the success of the school. With an emphasis on transparency, mutual trust, and clarity of purpose, this resource provides a road map to growing community engagement and involvement. Learn step by step how to establish deep-rooted relationships that lead to the lasting betterment of your school or district.

  • Gain insight into the importance of parent and family engagement with schools as part of students’ success.
  • Learn key concepts of the professional learning community (PLC) process and how they apply to foster school engagement with families and other community stakeholders.
  • Gain strategies to encourage community involvement in goal setting within schools.
  • Understand how to overcome the barriers of economically disadvantaged families and communities traditionally underserved by schools.
  • Acquire best practices for involving stakeholders in a collaborative process of learning and growth.

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

About the Author


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.