Summer reading choices

June 16, 2017

Your summer break may be the ideal time for you to delve into some of the latest books on curriculum, instruction, and assessment and grading. The titles that are highlighted here are just a few of the many exciting materials that are available in the Stewart Resources Centre, all of which can be located in our online catalogue.

In her book Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum: How to Design, Revise or Adopt Curriculum Aligned to Student Success, Angela Di Michele Lalor first looks at the big picture of curriculum. This is typically thought of as the “what” in teaching, and then clarifies the term by describing the various layers of curriculum that include: the formal curriculum, which outlines what students need to know, be able to do and value; the operational curriculum, which translates the formal curriculum into a plan for instruction; the taught curriculum, which is what is delivered in the classroom; the assessed curriculum, which is what is evaluated; and the learned curriculum, or what students come to understand. She then illustrates how to align what is taught in the classroom to official curricula and how to embed performance assessments and instructional strategies within the curriculum.

A volume that is packed with many tools to assist in providing high-quality instruction is Ready-to-Go Instructional Strategies That Build Collaboration, Communication, & Critical Thinking, by Denise White and Alisa Braddy. Strategies for opening lessons, creating questions for critical thinking, structuring conversations, enhancing collaboration, embedding movement into instruction, closing lessons and providing reflection are laid out clearly.

What’s Worth Teaching? Rethinking Curriculum in the Age of Technology, by Allan Collins, examines how schools can use technology to foster digital literacy, self-sufficiency and self-regulation, as well as career skills. The last chapter presents the author’s vision for passion schools in which curricula are based on students’ interests and curricular approaches including problem-based learning, learning by design, computer simulations and the maker movement.

Pathways for Remembering and Recognizing Indigenous Thought in Education: Philosophies of Iethi’nihsténha Ohwentsia’kékha (Land), by Sandra D. Styres, presents a comprehensive framework that can be used for decolonizing curriculum and instruction through land-based philosophies and pedagogies. The book is divided into sections describing the importance of the land in the vision, relationships, knowledge, action and re-actualization of education.

A made-in-Saskatchewan approach to assessment has been developed by Katie White, an educator in the North East School Division. Entitled Softening the Edges: Assessment Practices That Honor K-12 Teachers and Learners, this practical and user-friendly book is divided into chapters on assessing the whole person, using a learning continuum to plan instruction and assessment, pre-assessment, formative assessment, self-assessment and goal-setting, summative assessment and methods of reporting.

In Beyond the Grade: Refining Practices That Boost Student Achievement, by Robert Lynn Canady, Carol E. Canady and Anne Meek, Part I provides an overview of the problems associated with traditional grading practices and standardized assessments and discusses how poverty affects achievement. Part II focuses on possible solutions such as implementing standards-based grading, changing scheduling practices, and addressing some of the effects of poverty through school programming and early literacy instruction, using mentors and peer tutors, adopting growth mindsets and gradually releasing responsibility to students.

To borrow these and other materials, please email or use our online forms.

We will be tweeting about new resources and activities in the Stewart Resources Centre all summer long. Follow us on Twitter @STFLibrary.

We are open Monday to Friday all summer. Hours for July to mid-August are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Best wishes for a relaxing and rejuvenating summer.