Outside the Classroom

July’s Top 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 July’s top books on education. Covering such topics as strategizing new learning models, discovering methods to foster students’ literacy skills, and guiding learners’ classroom and personal 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!

Feedback to Feed Forward: 31 Strategies to Lead Learning
Amy Tepper, Patrick Flynn 

Feedback that works—for leadership that makes a difference.

As a leader, you know that feedback is essential to teachers’ growth and development. But crafting the right feedback can be daunting. How do you conduct comprehensive observations, accurately analyze lessons for effectiveness, and develop high-leverage action steps that bring lasting change to teacher practices and student outcomes?

This how-to book, designed for leaders in all roles and at all experience levels, provides a dynamic yet practical leadership model focused on precisely those key tasks. Features include:

  • Comprehensive explanations of standards and descriptions of discrete core skills
  • Explicit think-alouds, ready-to-use strategies, and field-tested lesson examples
  • Evidence-collection notes—with templates—from live observations
  • Feedback samples across grade levels and content areas
  • Replicable case studies for professional learning

Simply inspecting teaching practice through observation might be easy; providing feedback that feeds forward and promotes growth is far more challenging. With this comprehensive learning tool, you’ll use feedback to make the most of your role as a leader of learning—for both teachers and students.

Writers Read Better: 50+ Paired Lessons That Turn Writing Craft Work Into Powerful Genre Reading
M. Colleen Cruz

We know that writing skills reinforce reading skills, but what’s the best way to capitalize on this beneficial relationship? By flipping the traditional “reading lesson first, writing lesson second” sequence, Colleen Cruz ingeniously helps you make the most of the writing-to-reading connection with carefully matched, conceptually connected lesson pairs. The result is a healthy reciprocity that effectively and efficiently develops students’ literacy skills.Backed by long-term academic and field research, Writers Read Better presents a series of 30 tightly interconnected lesson pairs that can be implemented either as supplement existing curriculum or as a stand-alone module. Each pairing leads with a writing lesson, used as a springboard for the reading lesson that will follow.Throughout the book’s four sections, organized to cover distinct and complementary phases of working with non-fiction texts, you’ll discover:

  • Helpful insights on preparing for the section’s overarching goals
  • Clear guidance on the intention of each lesson, what materials are required, and step-by-step plans for leading the activity
  • Sample teacher language for leading the lesson
  • Tips on building and organizing your classroom library, and how you can incorporate the tools, technology, and media available in your classroom to make each lesson most effective
  • Sample student work, online videos, and other supporting resources

Complete with practical suggestions on adapting the lessons to suit the particular needs of your classroom as well as individual students, Writers Reader Better offers a solid foundation for giving your students the advantage of powerful, transferable literacy skills.

Fundamental Movement Skill Acquisition for Children and Adults with Autism: A Practical Guide to Teaching and Assessing Individuals on the Spectrum
Susan Crawford

This innovative manual sets out advice on fundamental movement skill acquisition (FMS) and its benefits for improving physical, verbal and social skills for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Improving FMS can help prevent long-term health issues, and increase opportunities for social engagement and independence.The book explores the basic skills of movement (running, catching, throwing, and balance) and how to observe, teach, and assess FMS in children and adults with ASD. There are sections on how to develop and implement a program for individuals to guide their personal development, and information on planning and tools for assessment are included. A much needed guide on how to combat impairment of FMS, the book also highlights the numerous benefits of such an approach in relation to behavior, lifestyle, health, and education.

Better Together: How to Leverage School Networks For Smarter Personalized and Project Based Learning
Tom Vander Ark, Lydia Dobyns

Bring students, teachers, and administrators together to facilitate higher school achievement

Better Together presents a tour through one of the modern era’s most important educational innovations and provides smart strategy for working optimally within the school network sphere. There are more than 50 high-quality scaled charter networks in the US; most share a learning model, professional supports, and—increasingly—platform tools. Although these charter schools get most of the attention, there are over a dozen other networks that connect district schools and provide design principles, curriculum materials, technology tools, and professional learning opportunities to streamline school improvement and help build great new schools from scratch. This book details some of the many success stories and includes expert analysis of learning models, strategies, and innovations that are making quality scalable and helping schools produce more positive student outcomes.

Illustrative examples from the New Tech Network, Summit Public Schools, Big Picture, and other big-name networks provide both guidance and inspiration, while expert discussion clarifies essential details and processes for implementation. Teachers and administrators will find much food for thought both inside and outside of a school network system.

  • Examine proven learning models for scaled school networks
  • Explore the latest innovations for more effective collaborations
  • Read success stories from school networks across the country
  • Learn smart strategies for optimizing the educational network experience

Digital platforms have transformed the way we connect with friends, family, colleagues, and businesses. That revolution has finally come to education, opening doors to collaboration, resource expansion, and school success. Better Together explores beyond disruption to show how the US K–12 system is truly evolving.

Makerspaces in School: A Month-by-Month Schoolwide Model for Building Meaningful Makerspaces
Lacy Brejcha

Organized into an easy-to-follow, month-by-month plan for implementation, this book provides field-tested and research-based knowledge that will serve educators as they create and maintain a meaningful Makerspace. Although science, technology, engineering, arts, and math have made huge gains in the past decade, STEAM jobs are not being filled at the rate they are being created or needed. Makerspaces in School promotes innovative thinking in students that fills this need.

Through Makerspaces, project-based learning provides opportunities for credible, legitimate, and authentic growth and development. This book will allow any educator to walk away with a plan to create a Makerspace in his or her classroom or a school- or districtwide model that works for many. Makerspaces are very fluid places—each is unique in its own way!

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

About the Author

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Sasha Wordlaw

Sasha joined Edgenuity in 2015 as a Success Coach where she helped teachers and students achieve success through mentorship and assistance with their education platforms. She is thrilled to now expand her experience with the marketing team, helping to inform people about the latest in edtech and education. As the oldest child in her family and a mother to one, Sasha has been dedicated to enriching the minds of children for most of her life. Her love for education combined with studies in theatre and film led her to teach children’s theatre for 3 years before working in special education with Scottsdale Unified School District in Arizona. Sasha continues her devotion to the arts within the Phoenix theatre community, working on stage and behind-the-scenes. A proud Nashville, TN native, Sasha and her son now call Arizona home.