These are the most recent educational books I have read and some insights from each:

51gtZPS9U1L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgManaging Transitions – February 2018

The job of managing workplace change can be difficult; managed poorly, the result can be disastrous to the morale and stability of the staff. As veteran business consultant William Bridges explains, successful organizational change takes place when employees have a clear purpose, a plan for, and a part to play in their changing surroundings. Directed at managers on all rungs of the proverbial corporate ladder, this expanded edition of the classic bestseller provides practical, step-by-step strategies for minimizing the disruptions caused by workplace change. It is an invaluable managerial tool for navigating these tumultuous, uncertain times.

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51FHLnWVFcL.jpg The Leader in Me – February 2018

In this bestseller, Stephen R. Covey took the 7 Habits that have already changed the lives of millions of readers and showed how even young children can use them as they develop. These habits—be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek to understand and then to be understood, synergize, and sharpen the saw—are being adapted by schools around the country in leadership programs, most famously at the A.B Combs Elementary school in Raleigh

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cropped-pp-blue-1-114.jpg The Principled Principal – January 2018

Examines ten guiding principles, using stories and real-life examples to make them relevant and applicable for every school leader.
You’ll learn . . .
  • What to prioritize and what to eliminate from your to-do list
  • How to empower your staff and students
  • How to hire the right people for your school
  • Why and how to keep calm in a crisis
  • How to recognize and avoid “culture crushers”
  • How to create a positive culture for your school community and more..

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zones-cover-w-usb_2.jpg The Zones of Regulation – November 2017

The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. Using a cognitive behavior approach, the curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states called “zones”, with each of four zones represented by a different color. In the activities, students also learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Students explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones. To deepen students’ understanding of how to self-regulate, the lessons set out to teach students these skills: how to read others’ facial expressions and recognize a broader range of emotions, perspective about how others see and react to their behavior, insight into events that trigger their less regulated states, and when and how to use tools and problem solving skills.

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51i6+9fbOWL._SX347_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgMaking Good Progress? – November 2017

Is a research-informed examination of formative assessment practices that analyses the impact Assessment for Learning has had in our classrooms. Making Good Progress? outlines practical recommendations and support that Primary and Secondary teachers can follow in order to achieve the most effective classroom-based approach to ongoing assessment. Written by Daisy Christodoulou, Head of Assessment at Ark Academy, Making Good Progress? offers clear, up-to-date advice to help develop and extend best practice for any teacher assessing pupils in the wake of life beyond levels.

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51gPhgsArmL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgBlue Ocean Strategy – October 2017

Recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written, Blue Ocean Strategy, now updated with fresh content from the authors, argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”―untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.

Blue Ocean Strategy presents a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant and outlines principles and tools any organization can use to create and capture their own blue oceans.

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Peak – September 2017

Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak distills three decades of myth-shattering research into a powerful learning strategy that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring new abilities. Whether you want to stand out at work, improve your athletic or musical performance, or help your child achieve academic goals, Ericsson’s revolutionary methods will show you how to improve at almost any skill that matters to you.

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Your Starter Guide to Maker Spaces – May 2017

Schools around the country are designing maker spaces to spark creativity. Students learn best when they are able to create and tinker and make. But how do you even begin when there are so many terms floating around? This book provides a fun, practical, and approachable framework for any teacher curious about getting started with makerspaces.

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Free to MakeFree to Make – May 2017

Dale Dougherty, creator of MAKE: magazine and the Maker Faire, provides a guided tour of the international phenomenon known as the Maker Movement, a social revolution that is changing what gets made, how it’s made, where it’s made, and who makes it. As the internet thrives and world-changing technologies—like 3D printers and tiny microcontrollers—become increasingly affordable, people around the world are moving away from the passivity of one-size-fits-all consumption and command-and-control models of education and business. Free to Make explores how making revives abandoned and neglected urban areas, reinvigorates community spaces like libraries and museums, and even impacts our personal and social development—fostering a mindset that is engaged, playful, and resourceful. Free to Make asks us to imagine a world where making is an everyday occurrence in our schools, workplaces, and local communities, grounding us in the physical world and empowering us to solve the challenges we face.

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Hacking HomeworkHacking Homework – May 2017

As schools and educators continue to struggle with homework, renowned teachers and presenters Starr Sackstein and Connie Hamilton provide 10 practical solutions to common problems associated with learning outside the classroom, including:

  • Teaching students to be accountable for learning during the school day
  • Shaping homework policies with teachers and administrators
  • Building relationships with parents and empowering them to guide learning at home
  • Shaking up how learning happens at home
  • Connecting play with learning (It should be both meaningful and fun!)
  • Helping students self-assess and track learning at home

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Start. Right. Now. – April 2017

Are You Ready to Take the First Step Toward Excellence? What does it take to be the very best teacher—or the very best leader? What sets excellent educators apart from their peers? And how can you join their ranks? In their work leading up to Start. Right. Now. Todd Whitaker, Jeff Zoul, and Jimmy Casas studied educators from across the nation and discovered four key behaviors of excellence: Excellent Leaders and Teachers… Know the Way From their content to best practices, these educators know their stuff. Show the Way Casting a bright vision for the future, these educators see possibilities where others see problems. Go the Way Leading by example is a way of life for the very best. and Grow Each Day A focus on personal and professional development helps these educators succeed. Wherever you are on your journey as an educator, choose to become even greater still—our kids are worth it. Start. Right. Now.

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Uncommon Learning – April 2017Uncommon Learning.jpg

Schools have traditionally been designed to work well for adults, but the conventional school design hasn’t always served our learners. Students today need to be empowered to take ownership of their learning in relevant and meaningful ways to prepare them for a constantly evolving world. It is time to learn how to cultivate shared ownership, respect, and trust, creating a school learning culture that students value and to which they want to belong in the digital age.
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. Included in the book: Vignettes to illustrate key ideas Real life examples to show what works Graphs and data to prove initiatives’ impact.

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