Outside the Classroom

November’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. To better help you, your students, and your coworkers, we’ve put together a list of November’s top 5 books on education. Covering a range of topics such as teaching students critical thinking to help them navigate through dubious “news sources,” STEM projects for students of varying grades, and why really listening to your students is so important for their learning and development, 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!

Teaching Tenacity, Resilience, and a Drive for Excellence: Lessons for Social-Emotional Learning for Grades 4–8
Emily Mofield and Megan Parker Peters

How can we help students develop resilience to persevere in the face of setbacks? How can we ignite a drive that will inspire them to sustain effort even through difficulty? This book equips teachers to deliberately cultivate psychosocial skills, including self-awareness, problem solving to deal with setbacks, assertive interpersonal skills, and intellectual risk-taking. By teaching students to be aware of how their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors affect their pursuit of excellence, students can learn to tackle challenges and setbacks that they might experience as they reach to achieve. Lessons include engaging activities and curriculum connections, covering topics related to perfectionism, mindset, grit, stress, procrastination, social-emotional intelligence, and more.

10 Performance-Based STEM Projects for Grades K–1
Todd Stanley

10 Performance-Based STEM Projects for Grades K–1 provides 10 ready-made projects designed to help students achieve higher levels of thinking and develop 21st-century skills while learning about science, technology, engineering, and math. Projects are aligned to national standards and feature crosscurricular connections, allowing students to explore and be creative as well as gain an enduring understanding. Each project is linked to national STEM education goals and represents one of a variety of performance assessments, including oral presentations, research papers, and exhibitions. Included for each project are a suggested calendar to allow teachers to easily plan a schedule, mini-lessons that allow students to build capacity and gain an understanding of what they are doing, as well as multiple rubrics that can be used to objectively assess the performance of students. The lessons are laid out in an easy-to-follow format that will allow teachers to implement the projects immediately.

And for older students, 10 Performance-Based STEM Projects for Grades 2–3, 10 Performance-Based STEM Projects for Grades 4–5, and 10 Performance-Based STEM Projects for Grades 6–8 all publish this month, too!

Best Practices in Literacy Instruction, Sixth Edition
Edited by Lesley Mandel Morrow and Linda B. Gambrell 

Many tens of thousands of preservice and inservice teachers have relied on this highly regarded text from leading experts, now in a revised and updated sixth edition. The latest knowledge about literacy teaching and learning is distilled into flexible strategies for helping all PreK–12 learners succeed. The book addresses major components of literacy, the needs of specific populations, motivation, assessment, approaches to organizing instruction, and more. Each chapter features bulleted previews of key points; reviews of the research evidence; recommendations for best practices in action, including examples from exemplary classrooms; and engagement activities that help teachers apply the knowledge and strategies they have learned.

New to This Edition

  • Incorporates the latest research findings and instructional practices.
  • Chapters on new topics: developmental word study and the physiological, emotional, and behavioral foundations of literacy learning.
  • Chapters offering fresh, expanded perspectives on writing and vocabulary.
  • Increased attention to timely issues: classroom learning communities, teaching English learners, and the use of digital tools and multimodal texts.

We Got This.: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be
Cornelius Minor

“That’s the problem with you, Minor” a student huffed. “You want to make everything about reading or math. It’s not always about that. At school, you guys do everything except listen to me. Y’all want to use your essays and vocabulary words to save my future, but none of y’all know anything about saving my now.

In We Got This Cornelius Minor describes how this conversation moved him toward realizing that listening to children is one of the most powerful things a teacher can do. By listening carefully, Cornelius discovered something that kids find themselves having to communicate far too often. That “my lessons were not, at all, linked to that student’s reality.”

While challenging the teacher as hero trope, We Got This shows how authentically listening to kids is the closest thing to a superpower that we have. What we hear can spark action that allows us to make powerful moves toward equity by broadening access to learning for all children. A lone teacher can’t eliminate inequity, but Cornelius demonstrates that a lone teacher can confront the scholastic manifestations of racism, sexism, ableism, and classism by showing:

  • Exactly how he plans and revises lessons to ensure access and equity
  • Ways to look anew at explicit and tacit rules that consistently affect groups of students unequally
  • Suggestions for leaning into classroom community when it feels like the kids are against you
  • Ideas for using universal design that make curriculum relevant and accessible
  • Advocacy strategies for making classroom and schoolwide changes that expand access to opportunity to your students

“We cannot guarantee outcomes, but we can guarantee access” Cornelius writes. “We can ensure that everyone gets a shot. In this book we get to do that. Together. Consider this book a manual for how to begin that brilliantly messy work. We got this.”

Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News
Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins

The advent of the 24-hour news cycle, citizen journalism, and an increased reliance on social media as a trusted news source have had a profound effect not only on how we get our news, but also on how we evaluate sources of information, share that information, and interact with others in online communities. When these issues are coupled with the “fake news” industry that intentionally spreads false stories designed to go viral, educators are left facing a new and challenging landscape. This book will help them address these new realities.

The book includes:

  • Instructional strategies for combating fake news, including models for evaluating news stories with links to resources on how to include lessons on fake news in your curricula.
  • Examples from prominent educators (elementary, secondary, and higher ed) who demonstrate how to tackle fake news with students and colleagues.
  • A fake news self-assessment with a digital component to help readers evaluate their skills in detecting and managing fake news.

Fact vs. Fiction provides educators with tools and resources to help students discern fact from fiction in the information they access not only at school, but on the devices they carry in their pockets and backpacks.

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

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.