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Every month, AAE sends our members a special e-newsletter that focuses on professional development for teachers - and in each issue, we feature recommended readings via a book of the month.Now that summer has officially begun, it's time to catch up on any of those books you may have missed throughout the school year, along with a few extra suggestions in case you're all caught up! AAE suggested readings for the 2015/2016 school year: - The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers- Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning- Better Than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management- Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating and Making it Work!- Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens: A guide to promoting literacy in the digital age- The Differentiated Flipped Classroom: A Practical Guide to Digital Learning - UnCommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids- LIT UP: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives- Parent Support: 30 Ways to Support Your Child's Education- Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy Instruction- Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student Additional recommendations:- What Great Teachers Do Differently: Seventeen Things That Matter Most- Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom: How to Reach and Teach All Learners- Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator See the summary of each book here:1. The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers

By Jennifer Serravallo


With hit books that support strategic reading through conferring, small groups, and assessment, Jen Serravallo gets emails almost daily asking, "Isn't there a book of the strategies themselves?" Now there is!

"Strategies make the often invisible work of reading actionable and visible," Jen writes. In The Reading Strategies Book, she collects 300 strategies to share with readers in support of thirteen goals-everything from fluency to literary analysis. Each strategy is cross-linked to skills, genres, and Fountas & Pinnell reading levels to give you just-right teaching, just in time.


2. Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning By John Larmer, John Mergendoller, & Suzie Boss Project based learning (PBL) is gaining renewed attention with the current focus on college and career readiness and the performance-based emphases of Common Core State Standards, but only high-quality versions can deliver the beneficial outcomes that schools want for their students. The authors-leaders at the respected Buck Institute for Education-take readers through the step-by-step process of how to create, implement, and assess PBL using a classroom-tested framework. Also included are chapters for school leaders on implementing PBL system-wide and the use of PBL in informal settings. 3. Better Than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management By Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, & Dominique Smith Classroom management is traditionally a matter of encouraging good behavior and discouraging bad by doling out rewards and punishments. But studies show that when educators empower students to address and correct misbehavior among themselves, positive results are longer lasting and more wide reaching. In Better Than Carrots or Sticks, longtime educators and best-selling authors Dominique Smith, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey provide a practical blueprint for creating a cooperative and respectful classroom climate in which students and teachers work through behavioral issues together. 4. Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating and Making it Work!Tim Gunn, America's favorite reality TV cohost, is known for his kind but firm approach in providing wisdom, guidance, and support to the scores of design hopefuls on Project Runway. Having begun his fashion career as a teacher at Parsons The New School for Design, Tim knows more than a thing or two about mentorship and how to convey invaluable pearls of wisdom in an approachable, accessible manner. Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor will focus on Tim "as teacher." Divided into sections on common themes-truth-telling, empathy, asking, cheerleading, and hoping for the best-this practical, timely book takes us on a journey through life lessons and uses Tim's own personal experiences, from the classroom to the therapist's office, to illustrate larger concepts. 5. Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens: A guide to promoting literacy in the digital age By Lisa Guernsey & Michael H. LevineWith young children gaining access to a dizzying array of games, videos, and other digital media, will they ever learn to read? The answer is yes-if they are surrounded by adults who know how to help and if they are introduced to media designed to promote literacy, instead of undermining it. Tap, Click, Read gives educators and parents the tools and information they need to help children grow into strong, passionate readers who are skilled at using media and technology of all kinds-print, digital, and everything in between. 6. The Differentiated Flipped Classroom: A Practical Guide to Digital Learning By Eric M. Carbaugh & Kristina J. DoubetIn the flipped classroom, students need to do more than simply re-watch a video to learn effectively. This groundbreaking guide helps you identify and address diverse student needs within the flipped classroom environment. You will find practical, standards-aligned solutions to help you design and implement carefully planned at-home and at-school learning experiences, all while checking for individual student understanding. 7. UnCommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids By Eric C. Sheninger UnCommon Learning techniques set the stage for mastery and true student engagement. Integrate digital media and new applications with purpose and build a culture of learning with pleasure! Let students use real-world tools to do real-world work and develop skills society demands. Be the leader who creates this environment. UnCommon Learning shows you how to transform a learning culture through sustainable and innovative initiatives. It moves straight to the heart of using innovations such as Makerspaces, Blended Learning and Microcredentials. 8. LIT UP: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives By David Denby Can teenagers be turned on to serious reading? What kind of teachers can do it, and what books? To find out, Denby sat in on a tenth-grade English class in a demanding New York public school for an entire academic year, and made frequent visits to a troubled inner-city public school in New Haven, and to a respected public school in Westchester county. He read all the stories, poems, plays, and novels that the kids were reading, and creates an impassioned portrait of charismatic teachers at work, classroom dramas large and small, and fresh and inspiring encounters with the books themselves, including The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse-Five, Notes From Underground, Long Way Gone and many more. Lit Up is a dramatic narrative that traces awkward and baffled beginnings but also exciting breakthroughs and the emergence of pleasure in reading. 9. Parent Support: 30 Ways to Support Your Child's Education By AAE Member Jillian SmartThis guide shares teaching strategies to help parents view learning from an educator's perspective. It is comprised of twenty-six lessons. Each lesson discusses practical, relatable ways in which parents can support their children's educational goals. If you want to try a different approach to learning, this is the resource for you. 10. Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy Instruction By Doug Lemov, Colleen Driggs, and Erica WoolwayThe question is a big one: How can we teach our students to read, read well, and read on their own? Reading Reconsidered is the authors's practical, detailed answer to the question. Grounded in advice from successful classrooms nationwide and with over 40 video clips of outstanding teachers, the book provides clear and actionable guidance to make all teachers reading teachers, one tool at a time. The book addresses the often anxiety-inducing world of Common Core, distilling from it four key ideas that help prepare students to be strong readers both in the classroom and in the world beyond it. 11. Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student By John Spencer and A.J. JulianiEducators John Spencer and A.J. Juliani know firsthand the challenges teachers face every day: School can be busy. Materials can be scarce. The creative process can seem confusing. Curriculum requirements can feel limiting. Those challenges too often bully creativity, pushing it to the side as an "enrichment activity" that gets put off or squeezed into the tiniest time block. We can do better. We must do better if we're going to prepare students for their future. LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student provides a process that can be incorporated into every class at every grade level, even if you don't consider yourself a "creative teacher."

And for all of you grade A teachers, here are some more suggestions to put on that summer reading list:


1. What Great Teachers Do Differently: Seventeen Things That Matter MostBy Todd Whitaker


This book describes the beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that form the fabric of life in our best classrooms and schools. It focuses on the specific things that great teachers do ... that others do not. Readers of author Todd Whitaker's best-selling WHAT GREAT PRINCIPALS DO DIFFERENTLY asked him for a companion volume focusing on great teachers and their classrooms. This book is his response to those requests and focuses on the specific things that great teachers do ... that others do not. It answers these essential questions: Is it high expectations for students that matter? How do great teachers respond when students misbehave? Do great teachers filter differently than their peers? How do the best teachers approach standardized testing? How can your teachers gain the same advantages?


2. Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom: How to Reach and Teach All LearnersBy Diane Heacox Ed.D.

This updated edition presents a practical introduction to differentiation and explains how to differentiate instruction in a wide range of settings to provide variety and challenge. Chapters focus on evaluation in a differentiated classroom and how to manage both behavior and work tasks. The book includes connections to Common Core State Standards. Digital content includes a PowerPoint presentation for professional development, customizable forms from the book, and curriculum maps, workcards, and matrix plans.


3. Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator By Dave Burgess

Based on Dave Burgess's popular "Outrageous Teaching" and "Teach Like a PIRATE" seminars, this book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. You'll learn how to:


• Tap into and dramatically increase your passion as a teacher • Develop outrageously engaging lessons that draw students in like a magnet • Establish rapport and a sense of camaraderie in your classroom • Transform your class into a life-changing experience for your students


This groundbreaking inspirational manifesto contains over 30 hooks specially designed to captivate your class and 170 brainstorming questions that will skyrocket your creativity. Once you learn the Teach Like a PIRATE system, you'll never look at your role as an educator the same again.


What books do YOU think are must-reads for teachers this summer?Tell us in the comments below!   Continue Reading...
Student Teaching: The Cooperating Teacher Series
posted by: Alana | June 15, 2016, 05:12 pm

Guest post by Ann Weber


Have you ever hosted or thought about hosting a student teacher in your classroom?  It’s a big responsibility to be a cooperating teacher and definitely not a role to be taken lightly!  Recall your own student-teaching days and the importance of your own cooperating teacher.  Many of you grew abundantly under the tutelage of your mentor while others of you survived despite the limited guidance. What makes the difference in the effectiveness of a cooperating teacher?


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16 Writing Apps for Students & Teachers
posted by: Alana | June 10, 2016, 10:32 am

Guest post by Joan Selby

Writing is an essential skill all students should develop regardless of the professions they aspire to pursue. One day, some of your students will be trying to write the best dissertation, and some of them may even depend on writing skills for their paycheck. Whatever path they choose, they will inevitably come across a writing task. That’s why you need to pay close attention to their writingskills, regardless of their current writing level.


Teaching students how to write can be problematic for students that hate writing, so you’ll have to find a way to make this skill attractive to them.


Here are 16 tablet and smartphone apps that will help you do just that…


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Hey you! (Yeah you...) GET OUTSIDE!
posted by: Alana | June 09, 2016, 11:32 am
Spring has officially sprung and the weather is ABSOLUTELY beautiful. It's 63 degrees in Washington state, 72 in Washington, D.C. and just as beautiful everywhere inbetween.   Continue Reading...


We’re continuing today with our series on essential teaching strategies.  These strategies are research identified, simple to implement, flexible across age groups and subject areas, and intensely powerful.  You can see the previous strategies that we’ve covered on our blog here and here.


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Guest Post By Tim Elmore of GrowingLeaders.com


I stumbled onto the greatest discovery about teaching and learning accidentally. I was mentoring a learning community of university students years ago, when one of them sent me a note asking who was choosing the topic for the next week’s session. When I saw the inquiry, I grabbed my laptop and typed in my reply: “I can do that.”   Continue Reading...

Have you heard about the KaBOOM! Challenge?
posted by: Alana | May 20, 2016, 02:25 pm


Kids are kids everywhere, so shouldn’t they be able to play everywhere? KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all kids get a childhood filled with the balanced and active play needed to thrive, and they just announced the launch of the Play Everywhere Challenge - a national competition that will award $1 million in prizes for the best ideas that make cities more playable for kids and families.


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Guest post by Paige Donahue


The importance of writing as a communicative tool has been stressed time and again – writing isn’t just a medium of communication, it’s also an essential skill that can help leverage an individual both in the job market, their personal relationships, and, primarily, in education.


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Today, we’re beginning a seven-part series on instructional practices every teacher can and should be using.  In 2007, IES identified these strategies as proven to work and NCTQ brought attention to them earlier this year when they suggested the principles for teacher preparation classes.  You’ll find nothing flashy or fashionable here–just time-tested and well-worn tools that too often get neglected.


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Five Strategies for Improving School Attendance
posted by: Melissa | April 29, 2016, 12:15 pm


School attendance can often feel out of the hands of the classroom teacher.  Attendance is taken in the morning and turned into the office each day but there seems to be little that one can do to affect it.  In some ways, this is true.  There will always be some students absent due to sickness or family emergencies and there is little that a teacher can do.  Teachers also deal with the chronically absent students who suffer from  a lack of self-motivation, or a chaotic family life that de-emphasizes academic achievement.


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Teacher Home Visits: The Wave of the Future?
posted by: Alana | April 27, 2016, 02:36 pm


Teachers and administrators know it’s not just the time spent in the classroom that counts but the social and emotional learning that takes place at home and outside the classroom, too.


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Book Review: Reading Reconsidered
posted by: Melissa | April 11, 2016, 04:43 pm


Doug Lemov, founder of Uncommon Schools, made national headlines with his book, Teach Like a Champion.  While many books on how to handle classrooms exist, Lemov did something that few had done before:  he watched the best teachers in the country and looked for the common characteristics they all shared.  By doing the research, his book was based neither on theoretical beliefs nor personal anecdotal evidence. Instead, the book was solidly based on research that gives practical advice on how to improve practice.


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Literacy by the Numbers
posted by: Alana | March 15, 2016, 03:40 pm
Literacy by the Numbers

Guest Post by AAE Member Jillian Smart; Click here for more from her blog, The JE 411.


Decision-making should be data-driven. Armed with the facts, educators and parents are more likely to behave in ways that achieve results. Accordingly, let's focus on literacy research and ways to leverage statistics. Stats are more than numbers; they should improve decision-making in classrooms and at home.


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Nail Polish and Baseball Bats
posted by: Guest contributor | January 07, 2016, 01:38 pm

By Diana Black Kennedy


Student choice is a powerful motivator and tool.  Today, Diana Kennedy explains how student choice can enhance student literacy in a piece originally published in Language Magazine, where she explains her technique of “Googling for content.”

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Top Ten Best Places to Find Holiday Lessons
posted by: Melissa | November 24, 2015, 12:06 pm


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas break is less than a month away.  The following month will be a hectic one for students and teachers alike. Now is the time to start planning for the holiday season!  If you’re a new teacher or an experienced educator just looking to add a little something new to their lessons this month, we’ve picked our favorite outlets for quality, creative lessons this season. Enjoy!

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12 Awesome Formative Assessment Examples
posted by: Melissa | November 16, 2015, 04:53 pm


Finding new and unique ideas for formative assessments is always a struggle.  However, the team over at the Global Digital Citizen Foundation has some ideas in the following blog, originally posted on their site last April.

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The Cat, The Fish, and The Waiter
posted by: Guest contributor | November 06, 2015, 11:02 am

Guest Post by Rose Bergues


The Cat, The Fish, and The Waiter is a charming story penned by teenaged author Marianna Bergues. The whimsical tale would be a hit with elementary school children even if the book was constructed in the ordinary manner…but it isn’t!

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Let's face it…


Most students don't like writing.


The integral part of every educational system, academic writing is a must-do for all students; essays, theses, reviews, reports, dissertations – they develop critical thinking and teach students to express thoughts clearly and argumentatively. But more often than not, young people face problems when it comes to writing, which can be a lack of motivation, uninteresting topics, a lack of knowledge to cover them, no skills to research, no writing skills, a fear of failure, strict deadlines, etc.


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Innovation Station: Pets in the Classroom
posted by: Alana | September 11, 2015, 04:12 pm


Have you ever had a pet in your classroom? Are you considering one for your classroom this year? Back-to-school time may be the perfect opportunity to give consideration to such a rewarding undertaking!


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Five Innovative Ways to Use Technology This Year
posted by: Melissa | August 14, 2015, 03:46 pm


Over the weekend, I was speaking with a friend who proudly told me of her plans to flip her classroom this year.  The idea of flipping is several years old but it’s still fairly innovative.  The conversation reminded me that this is the time of year when it’s perfect to try something new.  So, before the school year gets too far underway, here are our five tech suggestions for this upcoming school year.


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