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Are there beach balls or paddle boards in your summer plans? How about sunscreen, flip flops, a hat, and a couple of good books? Speaking of reading… this month I am featuring books and articles that you might add to your list.

Reading Recommendations


“High School Does Not Have to Be Boring.”

This New York Times op-ed is written by Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine. They are also the authors of a highly acclaimed new book titled In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School. Linda Darling-Hammond writes, “Not since The Good High School and Horace’s Compromise in the 1980’s there been a book which so comprehensively examines the American high school.” Michael Fullan says, “Read every page of this stunning portrayal… .” I say, start with the NYT article at www.nytimes.com/2019/03/30/opinion/sunday/fix-high-school-education.html; if you like what you find there, get the 400-page book. As for me, when I read the article in the NYT I preordered this Harvard University Press book before its publication in April 2019.

Tasks Before Apps

Author Monica Burns makes me smile! Both of us are proponents of first identifying what students are supposed to know and be able to do as a result of each unit of study. It is only after we are clear about those outcomes and how we will assess mastery that we should plan the tasks (the vehicles) we will use to navigate the learning journey. In this 100-page book from ASCD, Monica provides vivid examples of technology options to consider when seeking appropriate tools for a given task. For an introduction to her thinking, check out Monica’s free/open access  ASCD Update article titled “Embracing a Tasks Before Apps Mindset” at

“The Art of Questioning: The Teacher’s Role”

This issue of Making the Standards Come Alive! was the most popular resource on the Just ASK website during the 2018-2019 school year. Heather Clayton, principal of Mendon Center Elementary School in Pittsford Central School District, New York, provides dozens of examples ready for immediate use that are grouped in categories such as open-ended questions for responding to reading, open-ended questions for thinking mathematically, and stems that promote evidence-based thinking. She also provides examples from a middle school class, a 3rd grade math class, and and a high school social studies class. It is no wonder that Google Analytics reports over 12,000 visits this past year! Join the crowd at https://justaskpublications.com/just-ask-resource-center/e-newsletters/msca/the-art-of-questioning-the-teachers-role/

The Just ASK Mentoring Resource Collection

Clearly more people are watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup than have visited our Mentoring Resource Collection over the last five years, but 26,800 visits is pretty impressive! Thanks to all of you who who are a part of that number. We hope that you have found lots of those FREE tools and templates useful in your work. I humbly suggest that you (whether you are a returning or new visitor) spend a few minutes this summer scrolling through the ever-changing collection. I bet there is something there that you could use to support either the mentors or the new teachers you have thankfully agreed to support. Go for it! https://justaskpublications.com/just-ask-resource-center/mentoring-resources/.     

The New York Times Best-Seller Lists for Fiction

Unfortunately, I have not yet read any of the books on these lists so I cannot recommend them. I plan to make my selections by the end of the month as that is when vacation time starts for me. I hope that you find the time to escape into a few wonderful works of fiction sometime this summer. Last summer I thoroughly enjoyed The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille and Camino IsIand by John Grisham. Hope springs eternal for great beach reading in 2019.!

www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/combined-print-and-e-book- fiction/


Happy Reading!


August Mentoring Checklist

Our mentoring calendar offers suggestions for ways to support novice teachers and teachers new to the district. When you take a look at them, you will quickly see how useful they are. 
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