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Books & Materials

Editor's Choice

The following selections are the DA editors' choices of important and useful books and materials reflecting trends in K12 education today. Most of the books selected deal with technology and emerging Web 2.0 tools such as podcasting and handheld devices. Other books and materials cover new developments in measurement/evaluation, preschool/primary transitions, and knowledge regarding at-risk learners. These are excellent resources both for adding to your professional library and for recommending to colleagues.



Educational Technology: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, $60

Will Richardson's book presents educators with ideas increasing technology use to strengthen students' critical thinking, writing and refl ection. Richardson demonstrates how Web tools can generate excitement about learning and explains how to apply these tools in the classroom to engage all students. The book offers simple explanations and how-tos, along with specific teaching applications.



The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics, $26.95

This is David L. Kirp's behind-the-scenes account of the shrewd political campaigning of key local and national figures in school systems, foundations, universities and legislatures who are trying to develop and run preschools. It also provides a clear and comprehensive account of academic developmental psychology and developmental neuroscience research on the of the growing brain and the long-term impact of early experience. All the elements that have propelled the preschool movement, such as brain science, molecular genetics, economics, evaluation and issue-framing, are covered.



Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade, $25

Author Linda Perlstein, a former education writer for Washington Post, introduces readers to the daily realities faced by the Tyler Heights Elementary School, which was once on the newspaper's list of Maryland's troubled schools. Perlstein chronicles the principal's challenges, including ensuring that teachers meticulously prepare students for annual tests by applying current learning research, new age motivational and centering exercises, and incentives and rewards.



Educator's Podcast Guide , $31.95/nonmember

Author Bard Williams explains what podcasts are and the technology needed to create and view them in a classroom. He then provides examples of professional, educational, school and classroom podcasts, encouraging readers to sample podcasts in order to learn about them. Two-page descriptions of sample podcasts are written and displayed and include a site screenshot, topics to try, classroom applications, and the organization's rationale for creating it.



Web 2.0 New Tools, New Schools, $34.95

Educational technology authors Lynn Schrum and Gwen Solomon take the mystery out of Web 2.0 by providing comprehensive overview that is a good read for those without any knowledge of Web 2.0 as well as experienced users. They share the history as well their expert opinion, offering specific examples from educators and administrators. Teachers will find creating classroom curricula, dovetailing with the technology that students need to succeed today while meeting local and state standards. Administrators will discover new ways to provide professional development as well as communicate within the school and the community. Security and safety issues that are of interest to technology directors are also addressed. There is a stand-alone reference section, but readers will find the Web links found on almost every page especially valuable.



Mentoring in the 21st Century Resource Kit, $985

Paula Rutherford's mentoring kit provides tools to design and implement a comprehensive mentoring program. When you use this kit-complete with suggested session outlines, learning exercises and learning tools, including videos for workshop sessions-you can either replicate the two-day institutes that Just ASK Publications & Professional Development offers or customize your own workshops. Other instructional aids include DVDs that feature inspirational and instructional clips and authentic conversations between mentors and their prot?g?s, and four Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) videos, including How to Co-Teach to Meet Diverse Student Needs.



Handheld Computers in Schools and Media Centers, $39.95

Ann Bell guides library media and technology specialists through the process of selecting hardware and software that students can listen to e-Books, research Web sites, use videos and audio books. Educators will learn how use handhelds for curriculum purposes and to meet national technology standards. The book explains how using portable technologies in the classroom can engage their learning environment.



The Expert School Leader: Accelerating Accountability, $24.95

Lynette and Naftely Glasman detail a new approach identifying, analyzing, acquiring and using specific competencies that are needed for effective and accountable school leadership. Reported investigations identify ways in which leaders can improve their performance and help to meet the challenge of maintaining safety and rule enforcement. The authors an approach to formulating recommendations regarding competencies, offering interviews with exemplars from other fields that represent various aspects of a school leader's role and describe the ways professionals act on their commitments.



Black Dog Opera Library, $41.75 per title

Recorded Books' high-quality audio opera productions feature accomplished vocalists, conductors, choirs and orchestras that can enhance music appreciation course. Each title consists three music CDs, an introductory CD with rich background information about the composer and librettist, and historical and cultural information about the period. It also includes character analysis, biographical information on each lead performer, and a plot

synopsis. Currently available are Aida, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, Il Trovatore, La Boh?me, La Traviata, Madama Butterfly and The Marriage of Figaro.



Ensuring Success in Math and Science: Curriculum and Teaching Strategies for At-Risk Learners, $21.95

Randolf Tobias offers analysis of the systemic and instructional problems that contribute to math and science failure. His solutions for closing the performance include curriculum redevelopment, design and implementation. Also included are tested K8 math and science lessons developed in collaboration with teachers, as well as creative assignments that families reinforce math and science at home.



Author programs, Starts at $325/year is an online collection of K12 multimedia author and book resources. Through multimedia book guides, audio excerpts and author Web site links, students can examine their texts in greater depth and get behind-the-scenes insight into the writing process.



Oral Language Builder, $180

Oral Language Builder is designed for pre-K2 students learning English, French Spanish. Each of the 10 stand-alone kits comes with vocabulary picture cards and an illustrated wordless big book-the Stick-On Storybook. Teachers and students create their own stories using self-adhesive writing pads to place the book. This allows teachers to start with a basic story for beginning readers, then extend it and increase the language complexity for students as they advance. The teacher's guide offers games, activities and cross-curricular connections that can be transferred to other target languages.