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Specialist books aimed at teachers and other professionals in education.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2019 | Award winning author Katherine Rundell is as passionate about reading children’s books as she is about writing them. In this brief but and perfectly structured handbook she encourages all readers to think about the particular qualities of children’s books and about the special experience of reading as a child – which she remembers clearly. Drawing on her deep knowledge of children’s stories and supporting her arguments with endorsing quotes from writers of all kinds she sets out her defence of the book’s title in brief sections. She is as much at home in the factual – ‘On how children’s fiction came to be’ and ‘On children’s fiction today’ as the more personal which reflect her own views including ‘On wild hunger and heroic optimism’ and ‘The galvanic kick of children’s books’.
The author, an acclaimed headteacher, author and international speaker, talks a lot about empowerment and this inspiring read should empower teachers, governors and parents to have the confidence to resist a data and results-driven efficiency agenda from usurping the true function of education. As he says “The human race has not evolved and developed through history because of a focus on efficiency; it has evolved because of our natural-born curiosity and our desire to learn, to challenge, to innovate and to be better”. The 2013 OECD “Skills Outlook” report which he references emphasises that education has to fit young people for a rapidly changing future. He is emphatically child-centred and believes that empowerment extends to them as well. A successful school works in partnership with learners and with the external community it serves but is, in and of itself, a collaborative learning community too. His mantra is “systems and structures change nothing; people do” A school can only be as good as its teachers and for both teachers and students it has to provide trust, security and a common purpose. His thoughtful analysis of what and why change is needed, with examples learned beyond education will provide a sustaining boost to morale for any teacher struggling in difficult circumstances and a timely reminder to those in charge to raise their heads above the parapet and stand up for the future of learning. This valuable read is not a practical how-to guide at all, nor an angry polemic, but rather a genuinely heartfelt plea to put purpose and people over structures and tests. He successfully advocates Ghandi’s challenge: “Be the change you want to be”
This book is a fascinating read for both primary and secondary teachers of mathematics. It explores comprehensively the use of concrete and pictorial approaches such as tallying, counters, the number line, ordered-pair graphs, proportion diagrams, bar models, base ten blocks and vectors in one dimension to represent different types of numbers and how operations using these numbers can be explained. To begin with, this book looks at the pros and cons of each approach to represent whole numbers, both positive and negative before moving on to fractions and decimals. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division follows, presented in a colourful, diagrammatic way surrounded with clear, logical written reasoning, allows the reader to make their own informed choice about which representation best suits their students. Once the fundamental concepts are secure, this book moves on to look at more complex ideas such as powers and roots, irrational numbers, laws of arithmetic and order of operations before moving into the abstract world of algebra, yet still applying the same concrete and pictorial approaches as before. Primary teachers are able to appreciate the mathematics that they will teach from a variety of angles. Secondary teachers are given a valuable insight into approaches taught in feeder primaries. Both sectors can consider how the concepts are extended and how these concrete and pictorial representations can be used to demonstrate these concepts at secondary school. Furthermore, throughout the book and in the final ‘frequently asked and anticipated questions’ chapter, ideas and appropriate questions to consider are given to support teachers in developing their own understanding of each approach and provide the structure needed to build confidence as to how they can implement these representations in their own classrooms. Visible Maths has given me food for thought and opened my eyes to new pictorial representations that I hadn’t considered as well as making me evaluate some of the teaching approaches I currently use. I thoroughly recommend this book, especially for those adopting a teaching for mastery approach. It is also a ‘must read’ for all KS2/KS3 mathematics teachers enabling a smooth transition in the teaching of these key concepts between primary and secondary school to be achieved for the benefit of every student. ~ Helen Thompson, Assistant Principal and Head of Maths, Corby Business Academy
Every year, an increasing number of children enter the Early Years setting either new to English or with English as an additional language (EAL), which can be daunting, not just for the child but for the practitioner too. How can Early Years practitioners ensure that the right support is in place for the child and themselves? What practical ideas can be used successfully to enrich an EAL child's understanding of a new language, while, at the same time, allowing that child to bond with their peers? 50 Fantastic Ideas for Children with EAL is an invaluable resource to help integrate children with EAL into the classroom with fresh, exciting and engaging activities that are easy to resource, require little preparation and are fun to carry out. The activities include simple speak-and-repeat games, visual ideas to support learning new words and phrases and activities that evoke feelings of being at home, allowing the children to feel welcomed and part of the school's diverse community. Traditional games are also featured to help children with EAL play with their peers, as well as feel that they can contribute to the learning of others. Perfect for promoting inclusion and self-esteem, 50 Fantastic Ideas for Children with EAL is ideal for supporting children as they navigate the ups and downs of having English as an additional language.
This is a book which any adult who deals with children, and not just teachers and others who work in school settings, would find enlightening, thought provoking and revealing. As we learn from the little snippets from the school reports of Paul Dix at the end of each chapter, the author has direct experience of being one of the ‘bad boys’ and now has more than 25 years of working to transform the most challenging behaviour in schools, referral units and colleges to call upon. As a 14-year-old he vowed he would change the way adults deal with behaviour and I defy any reader not to rethink their own strategies as a result of reading this book. Responsible adults should be just that – always in control of themselves before they attempt to take control of others. But this book is nothing to do with blaming teachers. Paul Dix is angry but he is angry with the lack of proper training in behaviour management and angry with the unrelenting drive for ‘progress’, pleasing Ofsted and analysing data which is destroying any ethos of pastoral care. Here chapter by chapter he asks hard hitting questions about school policies and behaviours and shows how these impact on students and often in a very counter- productive way. He writes with humour and the occasional frank expletive, he shares personal anecdotes, observations and tried and tested strategies backed up by theory, case studies and international examples. Each chapter concludes with three helpful checklists: Testing, Watch Out For and Nuggets which sum up, encourage and act as a quick aide memoire going forward. Ultimately the author’s message is about consistency and kindness. “ Visible consistency with visible kindness allows exceptional behaviour to flourish” This is a genuine must read that can genuinely transform schools and as his many examples show where improved behaviour leads, improved attainment follows.
Storytelling in Early Childhood is a captivating book which explores the multiple dimensions of storytelling and story acting and shows how they enrich language and literacy learning in the early years. Foregrounding the power of children's own stories in the early and primary years, it provides evidence that storytelling and story acting, a pedagogic approach first developed by Vivian Gussin Paley, affords rich opportunities to foster learning within a play-based and language-rich curriculum.