MICDS Faculty Summer Reading Choices

#1: Category #1 : Motivating Students and Ourselves

2011

Carol Dweck Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
From Publishers Weekly Mindset is "an established set of attitudes held by someone," says the Oxford American Dictionary. It turns out, however, that a set of attitudes needn't be so set, according to Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford. Dweck proposes that everyone has either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is one in which you view your talents and abilities as... well, fixed. In other words, you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one in which you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. Which mindset do you possess? Dweck provides a checklist to assess yourself and shows how a particular mindset can affect all areas of your life, from business to sports and love. The good news, says Dweck, is that mindsets are not set: at any time, you can learn to use a growth mindset to achieve success and happiness. This is a serious, practical book. Dweck's overall assertion that rigid thinking benefits no one, least of all yourself, and that a change of mind is always possible, is welcome.

Daniel Pink Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
From Publishers Weekly
According to Pink (A Whole New Mind), everything we think we know about what motivates us is wrong. He pits the latest scientific discoveries about the mind against the outmoded wisdom that claims people can only be motivated by the hope of gain and the fear of loss. Pink cites a dizzying number of studies revealing that carrot and stick can actually significantly reduce the ability of workers to produce creative solutions to problems. What motivates us once our basic survival needs are met is the ability to grow and develop, to realize our fullest potential. Case studies of Google's 20 percent time (in which employees work on projects of their choosing one full day each week) and Best Buy's Results Only Work Environment (in which employees can work whenever and however they choose—as long as they meet specific goals) demonstrate growing endorsement for this approach. A series of appendixes include further reading and tips on applying this method to businesses, fitness and child-rearing. Drawing on research in psychology, economics and sociology, Pink's analysis—and new model—of motivation offers tremendous insight into our deepest nature.

MICDS Faculty Summer Reading Choices

2011

#2: Homework Category #2 : Too Little, Too Much, Just Right? Homework and Effective Student Learning Cathy Vatterott Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs
From the Publisher
Is homework an essential component of rigorous schooling or a harmful practice that alienates and discourages a significant number of students? The debate over homework has gone on for decades, but schools and families have changed in many ways, and, as author Cathy Vatterott notes, "There's a growing suspicion that something is wrong with homework." Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs examines the role homework has played in the culture of schooling over the years; how such factors as family life, the media, and the "balance movement" have affected the homework controversy; and what research—and educators' common sense—tells us about the effects of homework on student learning. The best way to address the pro- and anti-homework controversy is not to eliminate homework. Instead, the author urges educators to replace the "old paradigm" (characterized by longstanding cultural beliefs, moralistic views, the puritan work ethic, and behaviorist philosophy) with a "new paradigm" based on the following elements: * Designing quality homework tasks; * Differentiating homework tasks; * Deemphasizing grading of homework; * Improving homework completion; and * Implementing homework strategies and support programs. Numerous examples from teachers and schools that have revised their practices and policies for homework illustrate the new paradigm in action. The end product is homework that works—for all students, at all levels.

Alfie Kohn The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing
From Publishers Weekly
Education watchdog and author Kohn (No Contest: The Case Against Competition) questions why teachers and parents continue to insist on overloading kids with homework when there are no definitive studies proving its overall learning benefits. Indeed, argues Kohn persuasively, homework can be detrimental to children`s development by robbing families of quality evening time together and not allowing a kid time simply to be a kid. Americans in general advocate a tough-going approach to education and push teachers to give more drudgery nightly as a way of "building character." Yet Kohn shows that doing forced busywork only turns kids off to school and kills intellectual and creative curiosity. The American insistence on producing good worker bees "by sheer force or cleverness," notes Kohn, "reflects a stunning ignorance about how human beings function in the real world." Kohn pursues six reasons why homework is still so widely accepted despite the evidence against it, including the emphasis on competitiveness and "tougher standards" and a basic distrust of children and how they would fill their time otherwise if not doing busywork. There aren't enough case studies in Kohn's work, but Kohn sounds an important note: parents need to ask more challenging questions of teachers and institutions.

MICDS Faculty Summer Reading Choices

2011

#3: OverOverCategory #3 : Over- Programmed, Over- Stressed: Inevitabilities of 21 st-Century American Childhood and Youth?

Carl Honore Under Pressure: Putting the Child Back in Childhood
From the Publisher
"Why do grown-ups have to take over everything?" This innocent question from acclaimed journalist and international bestselling author Carl Honoré’s son sparked a two-year investigation into how our culture of speed, efficiency, and success at all costs is damaging both parents and children. When the impulse to give children the best of everything runs rampant, parents, schools, communities, and corporations unwittingly combine forces to create over-scheduled, over-stimulated, and overindulged kids. The mere mention of potty-training, ballet classes, preschool, ADD, or overeating is enough to spark a heated debate about the right way to raise our children. The problem is that despite the best intentions of all involved, the pressure to manage every detail of our children’s lives from in utero through college is overwhelming.

Delivering much more than a wake-up call, international bestselling author Carl Honoré interviews experts in Europe, North America, and the Far East, talks to families around the world and sifts through the latest scientific research. Not only do we see the real dangers of micromanaging children, but Honoré also shows us an emerging new movement inspiring many to slow down and find the natural balance between too little and too much. Blending the finest reportage, intellectual inquiry, and extraordinary true stories, Under Pressure is the first book to challenge the status quo by mapping out an alternative to the culture of hyperparenting that is presently pushing children and their parents to the brink.

Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children
From Publishers Weekly
The central premise of this book by Bronson (What Should I Do with My Life?) and Merryman, a Washington Post journalist, is that many of modern society's most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiring because key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked. Two errant assumptions are responsible for current distorted child-rearing habits, dysfunctional school programs and wrongheaded social policies: first, things work in children the same way they work in adults and, second, positive traits necessarily oppose and ward off negative behavior. These myths, and others, are addressed in 10 provocative chapters that cover such issues as the inverse power of praise (effort counts more than results); why insufficient sleep adversely affects kids' capacity to learn; why white parents don't talk about race; why kids lie; that evaluation methods for “giftedness” and accompanying programs don't work; why siblings really fight (to get closer). Grownups who trust in “old-fashioned” common-sense child-rearing—the definitely un-PC variety, with no negotiation or parent-child equality—will have less patience for this book than those who fear they lack innate parenting instincts. The chatty reportage and plentiful anecdotes belie the thorough research backing up numerous cited case studies, experts' findings and examination of successful progressive programs at work in schools.

MICDS Faculty Summer Reading Choices

2011

#3, continued: OverOverCategory #3 , continued : Over- Programmed, Over- Stressed: Inevitabilities of 21 st- Century American Childhood and Youth? Denise Clark Pope Doing School: How we Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students

From Publishers Weekly
By and large, the recent focus on American education has been on the shortcomings of our worst schools. Pope, a lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education, zeroes in on a well-regarded California public high school and explores "the educational experience" from the students' points of view. Her year-long shadowing of five intelligent, motivated students from diverse backgrounds raises the troubling proposition that even our best schools may be misserving our best students, and reveals the ambiguous nature of our successes. Devoting a detailed chapter to the school lives of each student, Pope asks two important questions: "What exactly is being learned in high schools like Faircrest? And at what costs?" The answers are dismaying. Students learn that getting A's is of supreme importance, and that it is sometimes more advantageous to be "system savvy" than it is to actually learn the material. Still, Pope's five subjects work hard at grueling routines, sacrificing sleep and social lives to the desire to succeed. The costs of their achievements, she suggests, are "severe anxiety or breakdowns," "persistent health or sleep problems" and ethical compromise in the conflict between these students' ideals and values and the grade-grubbing, self-serving alliances with adult advocates and (usually subtle) cheating they deem necessary to success. A scholarly study presented with great clarity and enlivened by vignettes of student life, this work provides a fresh perspective on the state of American education, and yet another reason to press for systematic reform.

#4: Category #4 : Designing Authentic Assessments

Susan M. Brookhart How to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom
From the Publisher
Educators know it's important to get students to engage in "higher-order thinking." But what does higher-order thinking actually look like" And how can K-12 classroom teachers assess it across the disciplines" Author, consultant, and former classroom teacher Susan M. Brookhart answers these questions and more in this straightforward, practical guide to assessment that can help teachers determine if students are actually displaying the kind of complex thinking that current content standards emphasize. Brookhart begins by laying out principles for assessment in general and for assessment of higher-order thinking in particular. She then defines and describes aspects of higher-order thinking according to the categories established

MICDS Faculty Summer Reading Choices
in leading taxonomies, giving specific guidance on how to assess students in the following areas: Analysis, evaluation, and creation Logic and reasoning Judgment Problem solving Creativity and creative thinking

2011

Examples drawn from the National Assessment of Educational Progress and from actual classroom teachers include multiple-choice items, constructed-response (essay) items, and performance assessment tasks. Readers will learn how to use formative assessment to improve student work and then use summative assessment for grading or scoring. Aimed at elementary, middle, and high school teachers in all subject areas, How to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom provides essential background, sound advice, and thoughtful insight into an area of increasing importance for the success of students in the classroom-and in life.

Suzie Boss & Jane Krauss Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age
From the Publisher
Reinventing Project-Based Learning offers educators an accessible guide for maximizing the benefits of projectbased learning in today’s technology-rich learning environment. This reader-friendly book speaks directly to educators, administrators, and professional development specialists who want to transform learning into a more active, student-driven experience, using technology tools for inquiry, collaboration, and connection to the world beyond the classroom. Examples from educators in many different countries showcase this new vision of instructional design. The book itself follows the arc of a project, providing you with guided opportunities to direct and reflect on your own learning. Starting with an assessment of your readiness to embrace technology-rich, authentic projects, the book then provides strategies to engage with colleagues and build collaboration in project design. The authors then discuss project management, implementation, and troubleshooting. Final chapters focus on assessment, reflection, and sharing. With proven strategies, rich illustrations, classroom examples, and teacher interviews from around the world, Reinventing Project-Based Learning shows how to design authentic projects that make the most of available and emerging tools and technologies. Features: Guided process for designing and implementing effective projects

Collaborative activities in each chapter Focus on the essential learning functions of digital tools, the Internet, and Web 2.0

MICDS Faculty Summer Reading Choices

2011

Judy Willis, M.D. Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher
From the Publisher
Drawing on her neurology expertise and classroom experience, author Judy Willis examined decades of learningcentered brain research to determine what information was most valid and relevant for educators. The result is a comprehensive and accessible guide for improving student learning based on the best the research world has to offer. Willis takes a reader-friendly approach to neuroscience, describing how the brain processes, stores, and retrieves material and which instructional strategies help students learn most effectively and joyfully. You will discover how to captivate and hold the attention of your students and how to enhance their memory and test-taking success. You will learn how to know when students are ready for learning and when their brains need a rest. You will also learn how stress and emotion affect learning and how to improve student engagement. And you will find innovative techniques for designing assessments and adjusting teaching practices to ensure that all students reach their potential. No matter what grade or subject you teach, Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning will enrich your repertoire of teaching strategies so you can help students reach their full academic potential.

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