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Holiday Reading Roundup

Wednesday, December 16, 2015  
Posted by: Christina Mimms, SAIS
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Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era

by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith

From Amazon: From two leading experts in education and entrepreneurship, an urgent call for the radical re-imagining of American education so that we better equip students for the realities of the 21st Century economy. Today more than ever, we prize academic achievement, pressuring our children to get into the “right” colleges, have the highest GPAs, and pursue advanced degrees. But while students may graduate with credentials, by and large they lack the competencies needed to be thoughtful, engaged citizens and to get good jobs in our rapidly evolving economy. Our school system was engineered a century ago to produce a work force for a world that no longer exists. Alarmingly, our methods of schooling crush the creativity and initiative young people need to thrive in the twenty-first century.

In Most Likely to Succeed, bestselling author and education expert Tony Wagner and venture capitalist Ted Dintersmith call for a complete overhaul of the function and focus of American schools, sharing insights and stories from the front lines, including profiles of successful students, teachers, parents, and business leaders. Most Likely to Succeed presents a new vision of American education, one that puts wonder, creativity, and initiative at the very heart of the learning process and prepares students for today’s economy. This book offers parents and educators a crucial guide to getting the best for their children and a roadmap for policymakers and opinion leaders.



Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids
by Denise Pope, Maureen Brown and Sarah Miles

From Greenwich Leadership Partners: In Overloaded and Underprepared, Pope, Brown and Miles get very practical about the immediate need and opportunity for schools and parents to make positive changes in students' lives. Their book is about HOW and is one of the best blueprints for action we've seen; written for parents and schools hoping to make learning a healthier, more engaging experience that prepares students for the demands ahead. The book uses case studies, research and examples from their work at Challenge Success, where they partner with schools and families to provide kids with the academic, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed now and in the future. The authors give us examples of how real schools-independent, public, rural and suburban-have made concrete changes to create healthier learning climates for their students by looking at the daily schedule and the demands of homework and traditional classroom practices. This tool-based book highlights the importance of student engagement and everything that goes along with it-from rethinking classroom pedagogy and assessment to building a climate of care with students, parents, and faculty/staff. 



 Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring The Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience

by Mary Helen Immordino-Yang

From the Publisher: In this groundbreaking collection, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang — an affective neuroscientist, human development psychologist, and former public school teacher — presents a decade of work with the potential to revolutionize educational theory and practice by deeply enriching our understanding of the complex connection between emotion and learning.

With her signature talent for explaining and interpreting neuroscientific findings in practical, teacher-relevant terms, Immordino-Yang offers two simple but profound ideas: first, that emotions are such powerful motivators of learning because they activate brain mechanisms that originally evolved to manage our basic survival; and second, that meaningful thinking and learning are inherently emotional, because we only think deeply about things we care about. Together, these insights suggest that in order to motivate students for academic learning, produce deep understanding, and ensure the transfer of educational experiences into real-world skills and careers, educators must find ways to leverage the emotional aspects of learning.

Immordino-Yang has both the gift for captivating readers with her research and the ability to connect this research to everyday learning and teaching. She examines true stories of learning success with relentless curiosity and an illuminating mixture of the scientific and the human.

What are feelings, and how does the brain support them? What role do feelings play in the brain's learning process? This book unpacks these crucial questions and many more, including the neurobiological, developmental, and evolutionary origins of creativity, facts and myths about mirror neurons, and how the perspective of social and affective neuroscience can inform the design of learning technologies.



Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age

by Yalda Uhls

From Amazon: A new media was unleashed upon the world and children took to it like ducks to water. Young people everywhere devoured its content, spending hours upon end immersed in it, while simultaneously ignoring the adults in their lives. Parents were understandably alarmed and worried that this new media was ruining young minds. It may surprise you to know that this new media was not the Internet, radio, or television but rather the 19th Century novel. Yes, parents were concerned that reading too much Jane Austin was going to ruin their children.

Fast forward to today and we are still having the same conversation. Will digital media, in its various forms, ruin our children? In Media Moms & Digital Dads, former film producer turned child psychologist Yalda Uhls cautions parents not to be afraid of the changing state of media but to deal with the realities of how our kids engage with it. The truth is children today spend more time with media than they do with parents or in schools. And as parents, many of us did not have early exposure to the Internet, mobile phones, and gaming, making the world of our children somewhat foreign to us. The key, says Uhls, is to understand the pros and cons of media so that parents can make informed decisions about cause and effect, boundaries and exposure.

Uhls debunks the myths around media by delving into the extensive body of social science research, proving that our kids are all right, and that parents can and must adapt to help their children thrive in the digital age. The author explores critical questions:

  • Do kids learn better from paper versus screens?
  • Do children really learn from video games?
  • Is the era of the selfie creating self-obsessed children?
  • Does the endless stream of information and multitasking lead to distraction?
  • Do kids learn the same things about the world when they look at faces on screens versus in real life?
  • Is the brain changing?

This book will draw back the curtain and reveal the truth - often surprising and counterintuitive, and other times reassuring - in order to help guide the conversation about our digital age and the future of childhood



Learn Like a Pirate: Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed

by Paul Solarz

From Amazon: Collaboration. Empowerment. Student Leadership. These buzz words get a lot of press, but what do they really mean for today’s students? Can students really handle the responsibility of leading the class? Can they actually learn what they need to if they are working together so often? Won’t all this freedom cause chaos in the classroom? Not if you’re teaching them to learn like PIRATES!

Peer Collaboration builds community and supports teamwork and cooperation.Improvement-focused learning challenges students to constantly strive to be their best. Responsibility for daily tasks builds ownership in the classroom. Active learning turns boring lessons into fun and memorable experiences. Twenty-first century skills engage students now and prepare them for their futures. Empowerment allows students to become confident risk-takers who make bold decisions.

In Learn Like a PIRATE, teachers will discover practical strategies for creating a student-led classroom in which students are inspired and empowered to take charge of their learning experience. You'll learn strategies for:

  • Crafting active, relevant, and interesting lessons
  • Creating opportunities for student leadership
  • Providing effective and beneficial feedback
  • Instilling confidence so students can take risks
  • Increasing curiosity and passion for learning

Incorporate the techniques and strategies Paul Solarz uses in his student-led classroom and watch your students transform into confident, collaborative leaders.




Calendar more
SAIS@NAIS Reception
February 27 | Long Beach, CA
Please stop by SAIS booth #882 in the exhibit hall too!

Leadership Retreat
April 15-16 | New Orleans, LA
Join us for a real conversation about women in independent school leadership.

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