Summer 2024 Choose Your Own Adventure

Summer 2024 Book Studies

Check out the four book study options! Sign-up on Frontline for the study(studies) of your choice. Participants who sign up by May 20th for each study get a free book. Studies may meet in person or over Zoom based on the needs of the facilitators and participants. (Each study has a 5-person minimum enrollment requirement.)

Option 1: Light Up the Learning Brain: 7 Keys to Reducing Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom by Jessica Sinarski

(Frontline Sign-up) Are you ready to increase learning opportunities, reduce negative behaviors, and improve staff and student morale? Then it's time to become a brain builder! We all are aware of an alarming increase in reported behavioral disruptions in school settings. Often less understood is the critical role that the brain plays in shaping all behavior, including the challenges we face in our classrooms and beyond.

Light Up the Learning Brain illuminates the many ways that teaching through a brain-based lens can breathe new life into your work. In these pages, you will discover:

• how the brain's two main "operating systems" interact - and often compete

• the amygdala's vital role as an alarm system and gatekeeper

• ways that brain function is closely connected to our senses

• the power of play, curiosity, and safety in fostering brain development

• tips, scripts, and tools to make your job easier and more fulfilling

Blending the latest neuroscience with practical application, this book will be your guide to wake up the creative, curious, problem-solving "upstairs" brain of staff and students. Brains are dynamic and diverse, and so are the solutions presented in this accessible resource. Facts and insights are balanced with hands-on ideas that can be implemented immediately.

As educators, we have a timely opportunity to empower our students to build their own big, brave, beautiful, world-changing brains - and isn't that, after all, why we chose this profession?

Option 3 (UDL Study): Engage the Brain: How to Design for Learning That Taps into the Power of Emotion by Allison Posey

(Frontline Sign-up) Research on the brain has shown that emotion plays a key role in learning, but how can educators apply that research in their day-to-day interactions with students? What are some teaching strategies that take advantage of what we know about the brain?

Engage the Brain answers these questions with easy-to-understand explanations of the brain's emotion networks and how they affect learning, paired with specific suggestions for classroom strategies that can make a real difference in how and what students learn. Readers will discover how to design an environment for learning that:

·        Makes material relevant, relatable, and engaging.

·        Accommodates tremendous variability in students' brains by giving them multiple options for how to approach their learning.

·        Incorporates Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and guidelines.

·        Uses process-oriented feedback and other techniques to spark students' intrinsic motivation.

Author Allison Posey explains how schools can use the same "emotional brain" concepts to create work environments that reduce professional stress and the all-too-common condition of teacher burnout.

Real-world classroom examples, along with reflection and discussion questions, add to the usefulness of Engage the Brain as a practical, informative guide for understanding how to capture the brain's incredible power and achieve better results at all grade levels, in all content areas.

Option 2: What We Know About Grading: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What’s Next by Thomas Guskey

(Frontline Sign-up) Grading is one of the most hotly debated topics in education, and grading practices themselves are largely based on tradition, instinct, or personal history or philosophy. But to be effective, grading policies and practices must be based on trustworthy research evidence.

Enter this book: a review of 100-plus years of grading research that presents the broadest and most comprehensive summary of research on grading and reporting available to date, with clear takeaways for learning and teaching. Edited by Thomas R. Guskey and Susan M. Brookhart, this indispensable guide features thoughtful, thorough dives into the research from a distinguished team of scholars, geared to a broad range of stakeholders, including teachers, school leaders, policymakers, and researchers. Each chapter addresses a different area of grading research and describes how the major findings in that area might be leveraged to improve grading policy and practice. Ultimately, Guskey and Brookhart identify four themes emerging from the research that can guide these efforts:

·        Start with clear learning goals,

·        Focus on the feedback function of grades,

·        Limit the number of grade categories, and

·        Provide multiple grades that reflect product, process, and progress criteria.

By distilling the vast body of research evidence into meaningful, actionable findings and strategies, this book is the jump-start all stakeholders need to build a better understanding of what works—and where to go from here.

Option 4 (HHS only): Roadmap to Responsibility: The Power of Give 'Em Five to Transform Schools by Larry Thompson

(Frontline Sign-up) Facing disciplinary conflicts and challenging moments with students is hard enough, but not knowing what to do is particularly stressful. Roadmap to Responsibility: The Power of Give 'Em Five to Transform Schools represents an unprecedented paradigm shift in the area of school discipline. It provides a step-by-step plan for making a long-term, positive difference in schools that will make educators less stressed and more empowered while influencing students positively for the rest of their lives.