Professional Learning Book Clubs

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 9:21am

We are excited to invite you to join us this year for our professional learning through book clubs.  The teachers will be participating in four different professional books which we invite you to purchase and participate as equal members.  The books we are reading this year are… 


Grading Smarter Not Harder: (Myron Dueck) All the talk of closing the achievement gap in schools obscures a more fundamental issue: do the grades we assign to students truly reflect the extent of their learning? In this lively and eye-opening book, educator Myron Dueck reveals how many of the assessment policies that teachers adopt can actually prove detrimental to student motivation and achievement and shows how we can tailor policies to address what really matters: student understanding of content. In sharing lessons, anecdotes, and cautionary tales from his own experiences revamping assessment procedures in the classroom, Dueck offers a variety of practical strategies for ensuring that grades measure what students know without punishing them for factors outside their control; critically examining the fairness and effectiveness of grading homework assignments; designing and distributing unit plans that make assessment criteria crystal-clear to students; creating a flexible and modular retesting system so that students can improve their scores on individual sections of important tests.

Grading Smarter, Not Harder is brimming with reproducible forms, templates, and real-life examples of grading solutions developed to allow students every opportunity to demonstrate their learning. Written with abundant humor and heart, this book is a must-read for all teachers who want their grades to contribute to, rather than hinder, their students' success.  (From Google Books)


The End of Molasses Classes:  (From Ron Clark) 

101 innovative and classroom-tested ways for improving America’s schools 

and leading our children to greatness.

For PARENTS who want more from their children:
• TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO STUDY; don’t expect it to come naturally 


For TEACHERS who need strategies for helping every student achieve success:
• LOVE WHAT YOUR STUDENTS LOVE, whether it’s iCarly, Twilight, or Monday Night Football 
• KIDS NEED TO MOVE; bring education to life with kinesthetic learning
• GET A DRUM FOR THE CLASSROOM and use music to excite, motivate, and inspire

For COMMUNITIES who hope to uplift every child and improve the education of our next generation: 
• PROVIDE EXAMPLES OF EXCELLENCE; we have to be our best individually, but never forget that educating our children is a shared responsibility



Poor Students Rich Teaching: (From Eric Jensen) Discover practical and research-based strategies to ensure all students, regardless of circumstance, are graduate college and career ready. This thorough resource details the necessary but difficult work that teachers must do to establish the foundational changes essential to positively impact students in poverty. Organized tools and resources are provided to help teachers effectively implement these essential changes.

  • Understand the urgency of poverty in the United States.
  • Gain four powerful mindsets to bring change. 
  • Build effective relationships with students, and help them see achievement as a reachable target. 
  • Create a welcoming classroom climate where all students love to learn and are engaged for success.


Waking Up White: (From Debby Irving) Waking Up White is the book I wish someone had handed me decades ago. My hope is that by sharing my sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As I unpack my own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, I reveal how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated my ill-conceived ideas about race. I also explain why and how I’ve changed the way I talk about racism, work in racially mixed groups, and understand the racial justice movement as a whole. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas. Waking Up White's personal narrative is designed to work well as a rapid read, a book group book, or support reading for courses exploring racial and cultural issues.


If you are interested in participating in any of these book discussions, the dates are as follows:

September 11th 3-4pm – Norm Setting

October 2nd 3-4pm – 1st Internal Discussion 

November 6th 3-4pm - 2nd Internal Discussion 

December 4th 3-4pm -  3rd Internal Discussion 

January 8th 3-4pm – Create Plan to share with rest of staff and parents

February 5th 3-4pm – 1st Share Out

March 5th 3-4pm – 2nd Share Out

April 9th 3-4pm – 3rd Share Out/ Reflection


Please fill out this form to participate.