Hittin' the Books!

Monday, August 31, 2015
I was given a few teacher resource books and I purchased a few based on the recommendations of my co-workers. Lets face it, they were gathering dust for a bit.

I didn't get post-it crazy, I swear.
The goal was to get to these books before school started because I really wanted to up my teaching game. I've got to admit, it took some time to get through these. I'm just going to list the "honorable mentions" of the textbooks. Plus, if you're feelin' these books after my review, glad I could be of assistance!

Here's the three books I dove into this past week:

I Hate to Write! Tips for Helping Students with Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders Increase Achievement, Meet Academic Standards, and Become Happy, Successful Writers.
I bought this last year because I needed a lot of help with figuring out how to have students write better. I was finding and using graphic organizers from our CCSS consultant or online. Not only did this give some awesome goodies, but it gave me a lot of background information into why students may feel this way. This isn't just for students with Autism, I really think that you can use this across for all students. 
  • Provides recommendations based on the following categories: sensory, technology, language, and organization
  • Awesome graphic organizers to use in class both with and without visuals
  • Easy to navigate based on students behaviors, an explanation as to why it's happening, and what to do when it happens/ prevention.


Everyday Classroom Strategies and Practices for Supporting Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
I really enjoyed this since I'm all about the behavior management skills. I have a student who shares some of the same behaviors discussed in the book. 
  • Discusses why the behavior happens and what to do when these behaviors occur.
  • Tier I, II, and III forms alongside a steps checklist to use with our co-workers
  • 5 Point Scale strategy and various ways to use it
  • Good samples of how to use forms, tasks sheets, etc.


Differentiating Instruction
I was really confused when I cracked this book open. It was given to me by Sheila, and I went to his seminar during Illinois Includes, but I had a really hard time understanding it. I think I was expecting this book to be about differentiating instruction in a co-taught, inclusive classroom since it was given to me by Sheila. It kind of is, but it is focused more on how to differentiate in general. I also had to text Julia to really understand it fully. 
  • Discusses Two different ways of differentiating: Retrofitting and Understanding Backwards Design (UbD)
  • Lesson plan and curriculum plan formats to use
  • Middle of year surveys to hand to students (really want to use this)
  • Co-teaching approaches and roles charts
  • LOADS of resources in the back

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