Winter 2015 Recommended Reads For Progressive Educators

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 Continue reading…

Recommended Reads from Eagle Rock Staffers

Editor’s Note: It’s summertime, and for some reason, we’re all expected to catch up on our reading during this three-month respite from school. And, as you well know, there’s a big difference between required reading and recommended reading. Thus, we offer a second installment of what our staff members present for your personal time perusal. What we’ve done here is outline our educators’ thought process as to why they selected a particular read, along with an image of the book cover, and a link (click the book cover to activate the link) to Amazon so you can purchase the selection if you wish, or download it to your laptop or tablet.

beyond-learning-by-doing-theoretical-currents-in-experiential-jay-w-roberts-paperback-cover-artBeyond Learning By Doing: Theoretical Currents in Experiential Education — By Jay W. Roberts
Recommended by Jesse Beightol, Eagle Rock’s Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist

This book gave me a deeper understanding of the historical roots of Experiential Education. Though many educators value “experience,” experiential education is difficult to define and truly understand. This book looks at the many facets of this approach to education, and then challenges educators to learn from the past in order to continually improve in the future.

Science-as-Thinking-book-coverScience As Thinking: The Constants and Variables of Inquiry Teaching — By Wendy Ward Hoffer
Recommended by Janet Johnson, Eagle Rock’s Science Instructional Specialist

This book is based on backwards planning — and so it follows the model we use here at Eagle Rock — but it focuses specifically on scientific thinking and how inquiry looks as a scientist. What does “thinking like a scientist” mean? How do we capture that thinking in student work? How can we merge that with other strategies that we learn and apply it to science? For example, the practice of Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Staffers’ Recommended Reads

Editor’s Note: For this blog post — which we expect to be the first of many to come in a series — we asked a few of our educationally focused staff members to make recommendations on a read or two worth pursuing. Here, we include the reader’s thoughts about the title selection, along with an image of each book cover and link to Amazon to purchase the book or download it to read on a tablet.

How-To-DifferentiateHow to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms

By Carol Ann Tomlinson

Recommended by Jonna Book, Eagle Rock’s World Languages Instructional Specialist

This book guides the reader in finding ways to address the diverse needs of students in a classroom. The author breaks down differentiation and demonstrates how it is feasible both in planning and in the classroom. I have found this information useful when planning and differentiating instruction in my courses.

That-Workshop-BookThat Workshop Book

By Samantha Bennett

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

The workshop model for teaching and learning is useful for any educational setting — from a small Eagle Rock classroom to a large public school. This book profiles real classrooms using the workshop model with systems, structures, and rituals in place to create learner-centered experiences. The workshop model is particularly useful for managing a classroom of students of different ability levels. I use some part of the workshop model in every class I teach.

In-The-Middle-BookIn The Middle: New Understandings About Writing, Reading, and Learning

By Nancie Atwell

Recommended by Holly Takashima, Eagle Rock’s Language Arts & Literacy Instructional Specialist

This book contains a wealth of knowledge on how to teach reading and writing through the workshop model. It taught me the importance of structure, routine, and deep reflection on organization, which an effective workshop model requires. Through Atwell’s anecdotes and examples, I was pushed to think more deeply about Continue reading…