Wednesday, 20 October 2010 17:45

Tip #9: Quote of the Day

Sunday, 19 September 2010 17:45

Tip #4: Human Health Hunt

Sunday, 29 August 2010 13:56

Tip #3: Training Routines

Sunday, 22 August 2010 13:56

Tip #2: First Day Letter

Thursday, 12 August 2010 01:35

Classroom Resources

To help educators implement his Teaching Tips of the Week and improve their instructional practices in general, Steve will upload parent communications, podcasts, videos, reading recommendations, and other materials in this section on a regular basis.

Classroom Resources

Thursday, 12 August 2010 01:35

Free Resources

To help educators implement his Teaching Tips of the Week and improve their instructional practices in general, Steve will upload parent communications, podcasts, videos, reading recommendations, and other materials in this section on a regular basis.

Classroom Resources

Monday, 16 July 2012 06:09

Announcing the Release of Rock It!


Rock It! Transform Classroom Learning with Movement, Songs, and Stories has over 100 activities you can implement today in your elementary classroom to energize your students and help them learn. All of the movement activities, songs, and stories for teaching math and English language arts are aligned with Common Core State Standards in grades K - 5 to help you meet those learning goals.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010 21:50

Top Ten Favorite Teacher Resource Books

I am an enthusiastic reader of teacher resource books. As a book reviewer for Corwin Press and a teacher who is genuinely interested in learning all I can about my craft, I have read dozens of titles in the areas of classroom management, brain-based learning, curriculum, instruction, and a whole host of others. My book recommendations are designed to help busy teachers find the resources they need.

  1. The Quality School by William Glasser

    This is the book that introduced me to the pioneering work of management expert W. Edwards Deming at the beginning of my career and sparked my interest in Quality Theory. Glasser applies to the classroom the philosophical approach that Deming used so successfully to help the Japanese rebuild their industrial base following World War II. Specifically, Glasser describes how educators can manage students in a non-coercive way that will empower children to produce quality work, improve continuously, experience joy, and take pride in their learning.

  2. Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn

    A must-read for educators and parents concerned about the damaging effects of using rewards, prizes, and other extrinsic motivators to manage or raise children. Citing numerous research studies, Kohn argues that rewards are both ineffective, because they lead only to short-term compliance as opposed to the development of positive long-term habits, and destructive, because their use contains many serious side effects. Most notably, rewards reduce the intrinsic motivation to learn and to grow that each of us possesses.

  3. Why Do I Have to Learn This?: Teaching Children the Way They Learn by Dale Parnell

    Educators can help students find greater meaning in their work and better understand the many purposes of their learning by referencing the seven life roles that Parnell describes in this book. These roles (Individual, Citizen, Consumer, Learner, Producer, Family Member, Leisure Participant) give greater context to our teaching and enable us to connect daily lessons and activities to larger sets of responsibilites that we all face in our lives.

  4. Horace's Hope: What Works for the American High School by Theodore Sizer

    The third installment in the well-known “Horace Trilogy,” this book contains my favorite quote in education: “Knowing stuff is nice. Being able to use that stuff makes sense. Being predisposed to use it always, as a matter of habit, is the brass ring, the ultimate standard.” I love this quote because it captures the essence of Sizer’s approach - students’ learning to use their minds well and developing lasting “habits of mind” that set them apart as thinkers.

  5. The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts and Standardized Tests, the K-12 Education that Every Child Deserves by Howard Gardner

    Best known for developing the theory of multiple intelligences, Howard Gardner, in this book, asserts that K-12 education should enhance a deep understanding of three principles: truth, beauty, and goodness. In The Disciplined Mind Gardner describes how teaching three topics, the theory of evolution, Mozart’s music, and the lessons of the Holocause, can lead to this deepened understanding.

  6. Improving Student Learning: Applying Deming's Quality Principles in Classrooms by Lee Jenkins

    Like Glasser, Jenkins applies the work of W. Edwards Deming to education. From this book I discovered many ideas that now lie at the core of my teaching practice, such as 1) the overall aim that drives curricular and instructional decision-making in my classroom and determines goals and 2) the enthusiasm survey that I administer a few times per year to assess how my students feel about the different subject areas we study.

  7. Schools That Work : America's Most Innovative Public Education Programs by George Wood

    If you enjoy reading the works of Theodore Sizer and Deborah Meier, you will enjoy Wood’s description of some of America’s most innovative public education programs. You will discover places where classrooms function as communities, where students work on meaningful projects, and where the emphasis is on children learning to use their minds well.

  8. Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning by Mike Schmoker

    A powerful book that outlines a simple and effective collaborative approach that schools can implement to improve student learning. Schmoker’s approach helps teachers work together to administer and analyze common, standards-based assessments and then use assessment results to improve instruction.

  9. Teaching With Visual Frameworks: Focused Learning and Achievement Through Instructional Graphics Co-Created by Students and Teachers by Christine Allen Ewy

    I ran out of post-its while reading this book because there were so many terrific ideas I wanted to implement. This book describes a variety of cool and powerful instructional graphics that students can use to improve understanding of core concepts and assist in the retention of those concepts. Once you begin incorporating these ideas into your teaching, you will wonder how you ever taught without them.

  10. Choose to Learn: Teaching for Success Every Day by Russell Oglethorpe and Lolly Oglethorpe

    I served as an original reviewer for this book for Corwin Press and immediately loved the inspirational, straightforward approach the authors described for empowering students to take charge of their learning and maximize their potential. Over the past few years I have used many ideas from this book to help me in my efforts to improve the behavior and judgment of individual students.

Sunday, 14 July 2013 08:45

The Most Important 30 Days of School

“Back to School” time is approaching in many parts of the country, and once the new school year begins, I always emphasize to fellow educators the importance of focusing on four critical priorities. Giving these four priorities the time and attention they deserve will pay big dividends for you, your students, and their families. In this article I list these four priorities.