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Recommended Books

Teaching & Instruction

The following are recommended books for parents and educators.

Project June Bug
Project June Bug
By: Jackie Minniti

Life is good for Jenna Bianchi. She's just started her second year of teaching English at Morrison High School, a job she loves. She has a pet parrot with attitude. And there's a handsome math teacher who wants to be more than just friends. But everything changes when a defiant, disruptive tenth grader walks into her classroom.

With a smart mouth and a swagger to match, Michael Tayler is a problem for Jenna from the very first day. His school record screams troublemaker, and Jenna wonders if the new year is already doomed. But when she reads Michael's first poetry assignment, she recognizes it for what it truly is: a cry for help.

Michael's presence sets into motion a chain of events that turns Jenna’s perfect life upside-down and threatens to destroy her career. Faced with a challenge unlike anything she’s ever known, Jenna commits to doing what no one has done for Michael Tayler before.

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

Reading Instruction That Works: The Case for Balanced Teaching
Reading Instruction That Works: The Case for Balanced Teaching
By: Michael Pressley

This revised and updated second edition incorporates findings from reports by the National Reading Panel and the National Research Council, as well as ongoing research by the author and others. Topics covered include the various components of both whole language and skills instruction, how the balanced approach is applied in real classrooms, and motivational issues. The second edition has been augmented with new material on phonemic awareness, comprehension problems, decoding and comprehension, vocabulary instruction, development of word knowledge, and "flooding" the classroom with motivation. It also features a new discussion of the place of Reading Recovery within balanced instruction, including an in-depth case study.

Response to Intervention: A Practical Guide for Every Teacher
Response to Intervention: A Practical Guide for Every Teacher
By: William N. Bender, Cara Shores

As a result of NCLB legislation and the reauthorization of IDEA 2004, Response to Intervention (RTI) is now a mandated process for documenting the existence or nonexistence of a learning disability. For educators new to the RTI approach, Response to Intervention presents an overview of key concepts with guidelines for accountability practices that benefit students in inclusive classrooms.

RTI: A Practitioner's Guide to Implementing Response to Intervention
RTI: A Practitioner's Guide to Implementing Response to Intervention
By: Daryl F. Mellard, Evelyn Johnson

Written by leading special education researchers with the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities and the University of Kansas, this comprehensive yet accessible reference provides administrators with practical guidelines for launching RTI in their schools. Highlighting the powerful role that RTI can play in prevention, early intervention, and determining eligibility for special services, the authors cover the three tiers of RTI, schoolwide screening, progress monitoring, and changes in school structures and individual staff roles.

Schools and Families: Creating Essential Connections for Learning
Schools and Families: Creating Essential Connections for Learning
By: Sandra L. Christenson, Susan M. Sheridan

This practical volume is designed to help school practitioners and educators build stronger connections with families and enhance student achievement in grades K-12. Beyond simply getting parents involved in schoolwork, the book describes how positive family-school relationships can socialize and support children and adolescents as learners throughout their academic careers. Identified are key pathways by which professionals and parents can develop common goals for learning and behavior, a shared sense of accountability, better communication, and a willingness to listen to different perspectives. The focus is on assumptions, goals, attitudes, behaviors, and strategies that professionals can draw on both to assess school-home connections that are currently in place and to implement new, more productive practices. Grounded in theory and research, the book features case examples, self-reflective exercises, and discussion questions in every chapter.

Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential
Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential
By: Rich Weinfeld, Sue Jeweler , Linda Barnes-Robinson , Betty Shevitz

An engaging must-read for any parent, educator, or counselor of smart kids who face learning difficulties. The authors, who have more than 20 years experience working with and advocating for gifted and learning diabled children, provide useful, practical advice for helping smart kids with learning challenges succeed in school.

Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning
Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning
By: David H. Rose, Anne Meyer

As a teacher in a typical classroom, there are two things you know for sure: Your student… and you're responsible for helping every one attain the same high standards. This book is the first comprehensive presentation of the principles and applications of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) — a practical, research-based framework for responding to individual learning differences and a blueprint for the modern redesign of education.

Teaching for Thinking
Teaching for Thinking
By: Robert Sternberg, Louise Spear-Swerling

Part of the "Psychology in the Classroom" series, Teaching for Thinking addresses higher order thinking processes. The book helps teachers understand teaching strategies to enhance thinking, understand the role of questioning, helps teacher focus on teaching and evaluating creative insight skills, and understand the basic principles and pitfalls in the teaching of thinking skills.

Teaching Learning Strategies and Study Skills to Students with Learning Disabilities, ADD or Special Needs
Teaching Learning Strategies and Study Skills to Students with Learning Disabilities, ADD or Special Needs
By: Stephen S. Strichart, Charles T. Mangrum

This book features 169 reproducible activities which provide opportunities for active learning and student practice in the study skills and strategies most important for students with special needs. Teaching students with special needs to use study skills and strategies effectively is an important step in transforming these students into independent learners. In addition to the reproducible activities themselves, each chapter in this book contains suggestions for using the activities, mastery assessment, and an answer key.

That's Like Me!
That's Like Me!
By: Jill Lauren

What do a trapeze artist, an Arctic explorer, and a soccer player have in common? Meet the fifteen kids and adults profiled in That s Like Me!, a collection of first-person accounts of successful people who learn differently. Whether it was reading, math, writing, or speech problems, each person shares his or her inspiring story of facing the challenge of school, while pursuing important goals. An invaluable resource list for adults and students included, as well as a place for kids to write their own success stories.

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