DEN Reads and Shares

Check out the next installment of great books shared by DEN members! These are some fabulous ideas for professional reads.



The Six Secrets of Change 

Michael Fullan


Rating: 5: DEN Finger Worthy

This is a great read for leaders in education. Not only are the six secrets easy to incorporate, but Fullan writes the book in an easy to follow and practical manner. He uses real world examples and explanations to show the secrets in action and for that this book gets a five!

My favorite line/quote: “When peers interact purposefully, their expectations of one another create positive pressure to accomplish goals important to the group.”

My idea shift: Fullan says that leaders should establish their own theories based on the six secrets. He also writes that “a good theory travels when constituent parts are cohesive.” This leads to one his six secrets. Peer interaction must be purposeful. Without purpose there is no road map. Theories can’t drive themselves. Theories need action.

My take-away: “We must learn to manage change.” There’s no one answer on how to best handle it, but Fullan says “there are some good approximations” in existence.

What’s next for me: My next read is Education Nation by Milton Chen and then I plan to reread Understanding the Framework of Poverty by Ruby Payne.

Reviewed by Delsia E. in Alabama



Fall Down 7 times get up 8 

Debbie Silver


Rating: 5: DEN Finger Worthy

This book is an easy, yet informative read. It gives us a common sense approach to “teaching kids to succeed” without the former shielding from adversity.

My favorite line/quote: We need to shift our focus from doling out unmetered praise in hopes of raising their self-esteem to helping them understand the power they have in making positive choices and sustained efforts.

My shift in thinking: This book validated my views and gave me concrete strategies in facilitating learning in the classroom.

My take-away: “Okay, you seem to be having trouble making up your mind. In 15 seconds, you choose or I choose for you.”

Norma R. from South Carolina




Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids

Chris Biffle


Rating: 5: DEN Finger Worthy

For two years, I read everything I could find on how the brain makes memories and how I could use that information in my classroom. All the books I read gave me lists of things I should remember to try to do. Finally, I found Whole Brain Teaching. This is a complete framework that gives step-by-step directions on applying the latest in brain-based learning research in a real-world classroom. In fact, this teaching system has been practiced by thousands of educators throughout the world.

I began using Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom this year. My students love it. They are totally engaged. I love it. My English Language Learners are thriving. Everyone who visits my classroom makes positive comments like, “Wow, I wish every teacher taught like this.” and “This is so interesting.”

This book is a wonderful foundation for anyone interested in learning about Whole Brain Teaching.

Favorite line/quote: The more you practice our strategies, the more power you will have as an instructor to change your students’ lives, and the more power your students will have to master the learning tasks you set before them.

My take-away: In 12 years of experimenting in classrooms across the country, we have found nothing that motivates students more intensely than setting and breaking their own records. Brains seem to be nourished by their own growth. Exhilarated by its sprouting dendrites, the brain sprouts more dendrites…So let’s focus on student improvement as our educational target.

Ruby A. from Texas


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