DEN Reads and Shares

It’s almost Friday, and it’s time for an update to our professional reading suggestions from the DEN Community. We’d love to hear about any books from our lists that you’ve read this summer. Leave us a comment to share what you chose to read and what you thought!


The Mind of Boys

by Michael Gurian

My Rating: 5, DEN Finger Worthy! It has helped transform the way I work with boys in my class. The culture and attitude of my boys has been changed to a very productive setting.

My Favorite Line/Quote: For lots of boys, work space is going to need to be roomier than you might have imagined. The young male brain tends to be spacial-mechanical play and learning, so it tends to ‘use more space’ than girls will often.

My Idea Shift: Helps explain why boys do the “I don’t know” stuff they do DAILY!

My Take Away: Treat boys like boys! Girls will come along.

Reviewed by Mark C. from North Carolina



The Book Whisperer

by Donalyn Miller

My Rating: 5, DEN Finger Worthy! It supports why we should instill the love of reading into every child and it gives explicit ways to do this.

My Favorite Line/Quote:  “Books are love letters (or apologies) passed between us, adding a layer of conversation beyond our spoken words.”

My Idea Shift:  That no matter what type of reader they are- there are no boundaries to what type of reader they can become.

My Take Away: It is another one of her quotes that will stick with me. “I believe that this corporate machinery of scripted programs, comprehension worksheets (reproducibles, handouts, printables, whatever you want to call them), computer-based incentive packages, and test practice curriculum facilitates a solid bottom-line for the companies that sell them, and give schools proof they can point to that they are using every available resource to teach reading, but these efforts are doomed to fail a large number of students because they leave out the most important factor. When you take a forklift and shovel off the programs, underneath it all is a child reading a book.”

Reviewed by Dacia J. from North Carolina



Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use to Meet the Academic Needs of the Gifted and Talented

By Susan Winebrenner

My Rating: 5, DEN Finger Worthy! I teach gifted students in the classroom and find that sometimes I have students who have moved way beyond the curriculum in my classroom. Enrichment is not enough for these kids at times so this book can help with ideas such as compacting for this group of kids.

I do compacting and the CD that comes with the book allows me to modify the worksheets so I can document the practices in my classroom for this group of kids.

My Favorite Line/Quote:  For me I especially use the strategies in chapters 4-6 which are designed to be used with subject areas that appear to represent new learning for students, such as science, social studies, and interdisciplinary and/or thematic units. Chapter 7 covers appropriate reading instruction for gifted students, and chapter 8 discusses how to evaluate their work. Chapter 9 helps teachers to understand the special needs of gifted students in cooperative learning experiences. It is hard to nail down just one aspect of this book.

My Idea Shift:  I had never compacted my curriculum before and find it works really well for my highly gifted kids. I have them sign contracts with parent consent and then have them work on a portfolio independent from the class.

My Take Away:  That it is not enough to let our gifted kids sit in the classroom bored out of their minds because the teacher is unwilling to enrich and change the curriculum to fit our gifted kids needs.

Reviewed by Wendy N. from Florida


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