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Eight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K-8
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Eight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K-8
Bringing Out the Best in Your Students

Edited by:


May 2008 | 192 pages | Corwin

"Contains information that is vitally important for the success of any classroom."
—Julie Duford, Fifth-Grade Teacher
Polson Middle School, MT

"Gives teachers a format that we can develop into a philosophy or goal for our classrooms so our students become enthusiastic about learning."
—Debbie Halcomb, Fourth-Grade Teacher
Robert W. Combs Elementary, Cornettsville, KY

"Takes Gardner, Covey, Tomlinson, and wraps them all together in a very motivating approach."
—Karen Kersey, Second-Grade Teacher
Albans Elementary, St. Albans, WV

Embrace quality as the number one priority in your classroom!

Inspirational and practical, this book focuses on the quality of teaching and learning in elementary and middle school classrooms and helps teachers and students find more joy, satisfaction, and meaning in their work.

Experienced teacher Steve Reifman defines a quality classroom in reader-friendly terms, explains how to measure quality, and covers the conditions under which all students are empowered to reach their full potential. The author synthesizes key concepts from the fields of education, psychology, management, and personal growth to arrive at the eight essential elements of teaching, including realistic goal setting, assessment-oriented instruction, parent involvement, and teacher leadership. Written in a personal, engaging voice and drawing upon the work of experts such as Stephen Covey, Howard Gardner, Ted Sizer, William Glasser, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Alfie Kohn, and Alan Blankstein, this resource

  • Promotes student motivation and a classroom environment of trust and respect
  • Builds higher-level thinking and group problem solving into the curriculum
  • Presents classroom applications, examples, anecdotes, and reproducible pages
  • Features ideas from practicing teachers for putting these essential ideas to work in the classroom

Eight Essentials for Empowered Teaching and Learning, K–8 motivates student teachers, beginning teachers, and veteran educators to become the most effective instructors they can be and achieve the best learning outcomes possible for their students.


 
List of Figures
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
 
1. Essential 1: Establishing a Sense of Purpose
The Overall Aim  
Class Mission Statement  
The Seven Life Roles  
Personal Mission Statements  
Key Points From Essential 1  
 
2. Essential 2: Determining Goals
What Is Quality?  
Determining Student Goals  
Key Points From Essential 2  
Reflection Questions  
 
3. Essential 3: Building Quality Into the Process
The Inspection Role Play  
The Writing Process Example  
Guiding Approaches  
Disciplinary Understanding  
The Funds of Knowledge Approach  
Differentiated Instruction  
Multiple Intelligences  
Wrapping Up the Story Writing Example  
Building Quality Into the Process: Other Examples  
The Yearlong Perspective  
A Single School Day  
Individual Lessons  
Key Points From Essential 3  
Reflection Questions  
 
4. Essential 4: Involving Parents
Nine Reasons to Make the Effort  
Guiding Principles for Home-School Communication  
Ways to Build and Maintain Relationships With Parents  
Other Ways to Promote Working Together  
Helping Parents Help Their Children  
Back to School Night, Conferences, and Open House  
Key Points From Essential 4  
Reflection Questions  
 
5. Essential 5: Improving Continuously
Improving Our Habits of Character  
Academic Improvement at the Individual Level  
Academic Improvement at the Team Level  
Increasing Enthusiasm Throughout the Year  
Continuous Process Improvement: The Personal Spelling List Example  
Individual Improvement Projects  
Our Development as Professional Educators  
Key Points From Essential 5  
Reflection Questions  
 
6. Essential 6: Investing in Training
Key Points From Essential 6  
Reflection Questions  
 
7. Essential 7: Nurturing Intrinsic Motivation
Classroom Parallels  
The Problems With Rewards  
Coming to Grips With These Findings  
A Different Approach  
Nurturing Forces of Intrinsic Motivation  
Intrinsic Motivation: A Summary  
Key Points From Essential 7  
Reflection Questions  
 
8. Essential 8: Exercising Leadership
The Big Picture  
Rounding Out the Leadership Skeleton  
Conclusion  
Key Points From Essential 8  
Reflection Questions  
 
Resource A: The Seven Life Roles
 
Resource B: Guiding Approaches
 
Resource C: Classroom Management Plan
 
Resource D: Using Student Handbooks
 
Notes
 
References
 
Index

"The book has many fine qualities—chief among them is a very desirable structure for helping teachers organize and maintain classrooms in which students are likely to flourish. This book goes a long way toward helping teachers acquire that competence."

C.M. Charles, Professor Emeritus
San Diego State University

"Takes Gardner, Covey, Tomlinson, and wraps them all together in an approach that I find very motivating."

Karen Kersey, Second-Grade Teacher
Albans Elementary, St. Albans, WV

"Contains information that is vitally important for the success of any classroom."

Julie Duford, Fifth-Grade Teacher
Polson Middle School, MT

"Gives us a format that we can develop into a philosophy or goal for our classrooms so our students become enthusiastic about learning. I could barely put this book down until I finished it. In fact, I am recommending it to my principal."

Debbie Halcomb, Fourth-Grade Teacher
Robert W. Combs Elementary, Cornettsville, KY
Key features
  • A comprehensive approach to organizing and managing elementary and middle school classrooms that will allow students to produce their best-quality work
  • Features Ideas from Teachers for putting the eight essential strategies to work in a classroom
  • Synthesizes key concepts from the work of Stephen Covey, Howard Gardner, Ted Sizer, William Glasser, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Alfie Kohn, and W. Edwards Deming
  • Appropriate for student teachers, beginning teachers, and veteran teachers
  • Emphasizes high expectations for learners and educators alike
  • Topics include building higher-level thinking and habits of mind into the curriculum; promoting student motivation and self-efficacy; exercising teacher leadership; conducting student-led conferences; building meaningful home-school relationships, and much more  

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