DEN Reads and Shares

School’s almost through. Summer sun is beating down. It’s time to dust off those reading glasses and that favorite lawn chair. Check out these great professional suggestions from DEN members across America as you start that pile of books to tackle this summer. They are good ones!


The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck

Ron Clark

Rating:  5: DEN Finger Worthy978-1-4516-3972-8

I loved this book! It is so inspiring and motivating for teachers of all grade levels and content areas!

This would be a great book for new or experienced teachers regardless of what content area or grade level the teacher teaches. R

on’s school uses a great deal of technology but when technology is used, the focus is on the task not the device. This is a great way to model how successful technology can be integrated in the classroom seamlessly and meaningfully.

Favorite line/quote: I laughed out loud when Ron Clark shared when asked during his first interview for a teaching job why he wanted the position and his response was, “My mama made me come!”. Although a true story, it changed his life forever and he has become an inspiration to students, parents and educators alike.

Idea shift: When Ron talks about including the parents, I was already familiar with how paramount the home/school connection is for student success but he gave ideas to interact with parents to truly make them feel welcome in a non punitive, daunting way.

My take-away:  Ron stresses sharing interests with students so that discussions and learning is authentic and real. Kids can tell when an adult is not being ‘real’ and this connection and influence in a student’s life can make a significant difference and takes little time or energy on the teacher’s part. The rewards or difference made in the student’s life can be remarkable and the teacher may be the one person on the child’s side encouraging success or believing in him/her.

Review by Kim C. from Texas



“How the iPad Can Transform Classroom Learning”

Ben Johnson

Rating: 5: DEN Finger Worthy

I like that the author is also a principal and once I start digging around in Edutopia, I just find all of their articles worth the read.

Favorite line/quote:   If students are given engaging, open-ended problems to solve, they won’t want or need to play games on their iPads during class time.

Review by Amy F. from Alaska



Special Populations in Gifted Education

Jaime A Castellano & Andrea Dawn Frazier


Rating: 5: DEN Finger Worthy

I use this book to teach my Special Populations of Gifted class to teachers who want to achieve their gifted endorsement. It covers a lot of our special populations, those kids that we often do not see as gifted.

Favorite line/quote: I think the introduction to the book highlights how the identification of gifted kids is not a one size fits all.

Idea shift:  I think the greatest misconception we have is that gifted kids are high IQ and high intellect. However, it also includes artistic inclinations, leadership qualities, musical acumen, academic proficiency and language and mathematical prowess. Many potentially identifiable children are overlooked when school staff use observable behavior instead of the thinking process students use to make meaning of information.

My take-away:  That children with a learning disability can e gifted as well as those with physical disabilities.

Review by Wendy N. from Florida


Related posts


  1. Nancy said:

    Loving the ‘DEN Reads & Shares’ series. I’ve been adding recommendations to my Summer Reading pile (grateful for the Kindle versions or my book pile would be toppling over! Just downloaded Kim’s suggestion, ‘The End of Molasses…’. Now to find a breezy summer day, a hammock, and glass of sweet iced tea.

  2. Larry said:

    Education is the best thing we can give with our children. Making them aware of the things they hard to learn at their young age makes them prepared for the big real world.

Comments are closed.