DEN Reads and Shares

It’s time for this week’s additions to the DEN Reads suggestions. Have you taken any suggestions? Which have been your favorites?


Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8

by Debbie Silver

My Rating:    5: DEN Finger Worthy, This book is fun to read and has a great approach to learning strategies that target all sorts of learners. It was given to everyone who attended the Star 3 Leadership Training session led by Debbie Silver. She was HILARIOUS and enlightening. Also, the cover was designed by our beloved Peter Reynolds.

My Favorite Line/Quote:   “Self-motivation is severely damaged when learners experience a sense of entitlement.”

My Take Away:   Debbie incorporates the concepts behind the The Zone of Proximal Development. The developer of this idea believes that optimal motivation comes for students when they are “asked to reach just beyond their present state but not beyond a reasonable expectation.” (p. 20)My Shift:   In this book Debbie redirects you to the idea of self efficacy instead of focusing on the student’s self esteem. She strongly believes that failure is a huge part of success, and often people choose areas where they have a higher self efficacy (or feeling of confidence) to avoid failure.

What’s Next for Me:   Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers by Debbie Silver

Reviewed by Judy U. from North Carolina



History of Standardized Testing in Texas

by Nate Blakeslee

My Rating:  5: DEN Finger Worthy, It has lots of good information about why we have to do the testing we do as well as a lot of backing for those who fight against this.

My Favorite Line/Quote:   Years ago, when her youngest kids were in the first and third grades, she managed to get an author of science books for children to agree to speak for free to both classes. At her third grader’s school, located in the Kellners’ affluent neighborhood, the teacher was delighted. But Kellner’s first grader attended a school in a less affluent neighborhood that offered a dual-language curriculum. “Oh no,” her teacher replied. “That’s the week before TAKS, and we just can’t free up the time.” Kellner was flummoxed. “I thought if any children need exposure to this enriched, fun way to learn about science, it’s the children from poverty or minority backgrounds, not the wealthy white children,” she recalled.

My Shift:   No real idea shifts, just a lot of backup for anti-testing or at least anti-testing to the extent that we do now.

My Take Away:   Once upon a time testing was one afternoon and the results were for diagnostic purposes.

What’s Next for Me:   The Gamification of Education by Karl Kapp

Reviewed by Jen K. from Pennsylvania



Gamification by Design

by Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham

My Rating:  4, I think this is a good book for those interested in gamifying their classroom. I relied on it heavily when I was planning to do so for this school year.

My Shift:   The whole thing made me think about what I was doing and how I could make bland skills like keyboarding more interesting.

My Take Away:   It has a great description of how to go about planning and setting things up.

Reviewed by Jen K. from Pennsylvania


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