Winter 2015 Recommended Reads For Progressive Educators

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Editor’s Note: When it comes to wintertime activities, there’s just something special about lounging on a big, overstuffed sofa in front of a warm fireplace, reading a good book. Such an image reminds us that it’s been some time since we last used this space to find out what our Eagle Rock staff members consider a fine read.

Below you’ll find several examples of what our educators believe are real page-turners. We’ve included an image of the highlighted books, as well as a convenient link so you can purchase the selection on Amazon or download it to your laptop, Kindle or tablet.

Advancing Formative AssessmentAdvancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom: A Guide for Instructional LeadersBy: Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart

Recommended by Jen Frickey, Eagle Rock’s director of curriculum

Jen Says: This book is currently serving as a core piece of our Instructional Specialist Professional Development trainings. The key theme of this book, and our Professional Development, is Formative Assessment. I enjoy this book because it sets a strong foundation to build authentic Formative Assessments for the classroom. Brookhart provides powerful insights for creating and scaffolding learning targets by asking three guiding questions: Where am I going? Where am I now? What strategy or strategies can help me get to where I need to go? By asking these questions, educators are able to recognize where the students are and work side-by-side with them.


LeadershipDojoThe Leadership Dojo: Building Your Foundations as an Exemplary LeaderBy: Richard Strozzi-Heckler

Recommended by Jesse Beightol, Eagle Rock’s outdoor education instructional specialist

Jesse Says: I thought it was an engaging read that spoke to a deeper and more personal aspect of leadership development. As the description states, “The book presents key principles such as shugyo, or self-cultivation, as crucial in developing the individual responsibility, social commitment, and moral and spiritual vision required to lead with authority and efficacy.” The lessons in this book help me to center some of my own personal growth, to be a better leader in my daily work, and to find more creative ways to develop the leadership curriculum at the Eagle Rock School.


MakingThingsVisableMaking Thinking VisibleBy: Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison

Recommended by Sara Benge, Eagle Rock’s Public Allies science teaching fellow

Sara Says: This book explores how educators develop a culture of thinking in their classrooms. I found the book provides a lot of tools and strategies for me to use in the classroom. The explanation in which the authors break down the thinking routines and ideals are so insightful and easy to implement into classroom practices across all grade levels and abilities. Additionally, Making Thinking Visible provides the readers with activities to increase the students’ concepts for each of the modules.


ScienceNotebookWritingAboutInquiryScience Notebooks: Writing About InquiryBy Brian Campbell and Lori Fulton

Recommended by Jon Anderson, Eagle Rock’s human performance instructional specialist

Jon Says: The book is written for elementary school teachers but can definitely be applied to high school teachers as well. The book is a great way to frame science subject matter and processes in the classroom. One of the objectives of the book and in my classroom is to get students to think like scientists. The book also focuses on improving both literacy and observation skills for the students. Lastly, student science notebooks can be used as formal assessments because it gives great information on what students are learning and what instructors are teaching.


ArtMindfulMeditationThe Art of Mindful FacilitationBy: Lee Mun Wah

Recommended by Beth Ellis, Eagle Rock’s Learning Resource Center Instructional Specialist

Beth Says: With the arrival of the cold winter months, conflicts with students are sure to arise. There is no better time than the present to do the hard work of learning how to co-exist with students. The book speaks to Wah’s experience working with students in diverse communities and offers insight on interventions, workshops, and diversity exercises for the readers to use when talking about identity issues. His writings do a great job of challenging me in my facilitation skills and keeping me in check with how I practice mindfully facilitating others.


HowChildrenSucceedHow Children SucceedBy: Paul Tough

Recommended by Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon, Eagle Rock’s music instructional specialist

Meghan Says: This book discusses what success really means in education and breaks preconceived notions about how students learn. A lot of things that people assume are personal choices are actually attached to the brain and how it functions. It’s fascinating and makes me think deeply about how people process and retain information.


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