Conscious Classroom Management

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Authors: Rick Smith & Grace Dearborn

Genre: Education

Page Count: 325

Publication Date: 2016

Summary: Using the fictional teachers Mrs. Allgood (a teacher who manages her class effectively and well) and Mrs. Meanswell (a teacher who struggles to manage her class at all), the authors give specific tips and ideas for teachers to about how to run their classrooms.  The book is aimed at beginning teachers but could be helpful for anyone with classroom management problems.  Topics range from assuming the best about students and learning how to say “no” to how to teach procedures and what to do when consequences don’t work.

Recommended: Yes.  I feel like this is one of those books a teacher could reference over and over again.  Ideas are broken down into specific and easy-to-implement steps and there are online resources associated with the book.

Watch Out For: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “Respect isn’t received through demands. Rather, student respect is earned through providing safety, structure, and consistency.”        “For students to feel safe and connected to their teacher, classmates, classroom, and what they are learning, they need to feel welcome.  And this includes their cultures.”

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Exceptional Children by William L. Heward

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Full Title: Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education

Genre: Textbook

Page Count: 562

Publication Date: 2013

Summary: This book explains the causes and treatments (if available) of a variety of disabilities as well as best practices for teachers of students with those disabilities. Disabilities covered include intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorders, communication disorders, deafness and hearing loss, blindness and low vision, physical disabilities, health impairments, ADHD and low incidence disabilities such as severe/multiple disabilities, deaf-blindness and traumatic brain injury.  Other sections include collaborating with parents of special needs students and working with gifted and talented students.

Recommended: Yes, yes, yes.  This has been an amazing resource as a new teacher and I recommend it for all general education teachers.

If You’re Offended: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “Social skills instruction is an important curriculum component for students with emotional or behavioral disorders. Many of these students have difficulty holding a conversation, expressing their feelings, participating in group activities, and responding to failure or criticism in positive and constructive ways.”   “Gifted students who must wait for others to catch up or who are used as tutors in the classroom are not having their needs met.”

Child & Adolescent Development

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Authors: Christi Crosby Bergin & David Allen Bergin

Genre: Psychology/Human Development Textbook

Page Count: 708

Publication Date: 2015

Summary: This textbook explains in great detail the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children and adolescents. It introduces a lot of terminology that is relative to the field and does a great job of incorporating important research into the topics.

Recommended: YES! This is most definitely my favorite textbook from this semester!  It is written for a teaching audience, but it would still make an interesting read for anyone who is interested in human development.  Some of the theories can get a bit heavy but the text is mostly very user-friendly.

If You’re Offended: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “Theory of mind (ToM) refers to the understanding that other people have mental states – beliefs, desires, knowledge, and intentions – that are different from their own and to the ability to infer or figure out others’ mental states. A simple definition of ToM is ‘people reading’.”          “Am I open to negotiating and compromising with my students during discipline encounters? Or, do I expect instant obedience? Do I demand compliance even when it does not matter?”