Thank you all for your support of this little series! I have loved reading your comments and want to congratulate the winner of the Comprehension Connections e-book, Holly D.!! Congrats & check your email :)
I would love to keep this series going and will be moving it to a monthly post and giveaway! Woo hoo!
August's Book Pick:
Writing The Playbook by Kelley King
This book's full title is Writing the Playbook: A Practitioner's Guide to Creating a Boy-Friendly School and the author is one of the most inspirational people I have had the privilege of working with, Kelley King. She was the principal at my school when I taught fifth grade and is one of those leaders who challenges you to be the best that you can every day and was such a role model. I was so excited when she sent me this book because her leadership and personality shine through each page-- it was like being back in her school again :)
Kelley sets up this book in a way that is both easy to read and easy to implement. Each chapter is to the point, backed by research (but not too research-y in its tone), and provides quick and effective ways to start changing the work in your classroom to address the needs of girls and boys-- don't be fooled by the name, girls benefit from these strategies, too!!
Similar to Teach Like a PIRATE and Comprehension Connections, there are ways to hook your students, keep them engaged, make the abstract concrete, and make sure you are addressing the needs of all learners in your class. But what I loved most about Kelley's book is the extensive research that backs up each of these strategies. We know, as teachers, that good teaching is engaging, out-of-the-box, new, active, and challenging. But sometimes, having the data available during conversations with admin, parents, or other teachers helps to seal the deal when it comes to justifying why it works, not just for you, but for all teachers and learners. Having research at your fingertips for why extensive seatwork doesn't address the needs of your squirrely boys (and girls!), why hand fidgets and beach balls are a welcome addition in class, and why some of your kids are standing instead of sitting at their desks/tables is such a welcomed life preserver in some conversations.
The great part about this book is that it's not only helpful to teachers, but administrators as well. Kelley has not only worked as a teacher, but as a principal, so she's able to wear both hats in this book and it may be a great piece of reading to offer to your school leader if he/she has been interested in your Brain Breaks, PIRATE strategies, or any of the hundreds of tips Kelley offers in this book.
I am someone who doesn't like to read research (I was in a doctoral program and dropped after the statistics class- not for me!!), but I recognize its importance in the educational landscape these days, and I love that Kelley does as well. She addresses the need for teaching strategies that step out of what a "traditional sit and get" classroom may look like, she gives you a very comprehensive list for what some of those strategies are, she backs the need and the strategies with brain-based research, and then gives you some next steps-- in each chapter! It packs a punch and I am just so excited that I had the opportunity to work in her school and that you can now benefit from her know-how as well!
If you're interested in learning more about Kelley's work, be sure to head to her website: http://www.boyfriendlyschools.com.
You can also purchase her book on Amazon:
And, I am so excited that Kelley has offered to give away a copy of this book to one lucky reader! Just enter via Rafflecopter below and I will announce the winner next Wednesday. Good luck!!