An Agency of the Regional Offices of Education for Will and Grundy - Kendall Counties
Phone: (815) 744-8334   Fax: (815) 744-8396  
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Online Monthly Educational Book Studies

September 2021 - Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

PD Hours: 19Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

The classic, bestselling book on the psychology of racism — now fully revised and updated.

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America.

Length: 464 Pages

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October 2021 - Social-Emotional Learning and the Brain

PD Hours: 9Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

Today's teachers face a daunting challenge: how to ensure a positive school experience for their students, many of whom carry the burden of adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse, poverty, divorce, abandonment, and numerous other serious social issues. Spurred by her personal experience and extensive exploration of brain-based learning, author Marilee Sprenger explains how brain science—what we know about how the brain works—can be applied to social-emotional learning. Specifically, she addresses how to:

• Build strong, caring relationships with students to give them a sense of belonging.
• Teach and model empathy, so students feel understood and can better understand others.
• Awaken students' self-awareness, including the ability to name their own emotions, have accurate self-perceptions, and display self-confidence and self-efficacy.
• Help students manage their behavior through impulse control, stress management, and other positive skills.
• Improve students' social awareness and interaction with others.
• Teach students how to handle relationships, including with people whose backgrounds differ from their own.
• Guide students in making responsible decisions.

Offering clear, easy-to-understand explanations of brain activity and dozens of specific strategies for all grade levels, Social-Emotional Learning and the Brain is an essential guide to creating supportive classroom environments and improving outcomes for all our students.

Length: 219 Pages

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November 2021 - The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nature Your Child's Developing Mind

PD Hours: 8Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.

Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.

Length: 192 Pages

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December 2021 - If the Dance Floor is Empty, Change the Song: A Superintendent's Spin on Making Schools Rock

PD Hours: 11Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

What can a deejay teach us about the classroom? What does a superintendent do besides decide when to close school for snow? What makes someone a great teacher or a great principal? In this collection of essays, Dr. Joe Clark answers these questions by offering a model for compassionate, principled, and student-centered school leadership. In the process, If the Dance Floor Is Empty, Change the Song offers leaders a handbook for placing kindness, community, and diversity at the heart of successful education.

Full of humor and resilience, Clark’s essays beam with as much range as they do insight. He dives right into issues like changing instructional standards, increased reliance on testing, and anxiety about social media in schools—and others—while providing collegial advice that new school leaders in particular will find indispensable. With an eye toward centering students, supporting teachers, and empowering communities, If the Dance Floor Is Empty, Change the Song never loses sight of the human needs and connections that ultimately drive learning.

Length: 262 Pages

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January 2022 - Explore Like a Pirate: Engage, Enrich, and Elevate

PD Hours: 11Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

Are you ready to transform your classroom into an experiential world that flourishes on collaboration and creativity? Then set sail with classroom game designer and educator Michael Matera as he reveals the possibilities and power of game-based learning.

In EXPLORE LIKE A PIRATE, Matera serves as your experienced guide to help you apply the most motivational techniques of gameplay to your classroom using strategies that work with and enhance (rather than replace) your current curriculum.

Part I debunks common myths and fears about gamification and explains why and how game-based learning effectively engages students in any subject or grade level.

Part II focuses on how you can empower students to take control of their learning. You’ll also learn all about the different kinds of players in your classroom—and how to inspire them to set and achieve big goals.

Part III is an all-in-one treasure chest, tool box, and field guide. Packed with ideas and examples that can be applied or adapted to any classroom—from badges and points, to mini-games and yearlong adventures—this is a resource you’ll return to again and again.

Join the adventure with EXPLORE LIKE A PIRATE and discover how gamification can enrich your classroom!

Length: 254 Pages

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February 2022 - How to Be an Anti-Racist

PD Hours: 13Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Length: 320 Pages

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March 2022 - Unpack Your Impact

PD Hours: 8Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

Primary educators know that little kids can do big things. So why teach the same old lessons when we can expose students to impactful, interesting, and beautiful ideas about the real world? In an era of heightened political tensions and narrowed curricular focus, superstar educators Naomi O’Brien and LaNesha Tabb have found a surprising way to expose our youngest learners to more perspectives, center culture in the primary classroom, and take the need—and potential—for teaching about citizenship seriously: social studies!

By laying out their revolutionary approach to teaching social studies, O’Brien and Tabb explain how to provide students with a deep but achievable understanding of global social systems as they’re transformed by history, sociology, economics, geography, and civics. And, because the Unpack Your Impact curriculum can be folded into existing lessons for almost any topic, students garner an inclusive and interdisciplinary appreciation for how all learning shapes, and is shaped by, a diverse array of human cultures. Inspiring, optimistic, and empowering, Unpack Your Impact shows that primary teachers can make a positive impact—individually and globally.

Length: 180 Pages

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April 2022 - The Educator's Practical Guide to Emotional Intelligence

PD Hours: 6Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

This guide will teach you to apply emotional intelligence to instruction and leadership. Plus, you'll learn to:

Develop your emotional intelligence skills
Solve difficult instructional and leadership challenges
Enhance student well-being and academic performance

This book teaches you emotional intelligence skills to help you become a more emotionally intelligent educator. Learn how to Map Emotions, Match Emotions, understand the Meaning of Emotions and Move Emotions—the four skills of emotional intelligence based on the original scientific theory of emotional intelligence by psychologists John (Jack) Mayer and Peter Salovey.

With these skills you can create a more positive school culture and classroom climate, be a more effective educator and a better colleague. We address difficult challenges every educator faces and provide you with a set of Emotional Intelligence Blueprints to successfully address these challenges. We then teach you how to build your own Blueprint.“The ability-based model of emotional intelligence provides a valid and useful framework for coaching individuals, intervening in workplaces, and developing school curricula. David Caruso and his colleagues provide here a powerful explanation of it and helpful set of tools for educators who would like to improve their work in the classroom and outside of it. Now, more than thirty years after the first articles on emotional intelligence were published, I am delighted to see all the ways this idea can be put to good use, especially in the service of students.”—Peter Salovey, President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, Yale University The authors combine decades of education, research, teaching and training experience on emotional intelligence. David R. Caruso, Ph.D. Research Affiliate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, co-author of Mayer, Salovey, Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. Lisa T. Rees, PCC, MPA Owner of LTR Leadership, Leadership Coach at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.David Adams, M.Ed. Director of Social Emotional Learning at the Urban Assembly, Board of Directors Collaborative for Academic, Emotional, and Social Learning (CASEL)

Length: 148 Pages

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May 2022 - The Power of Making Thinking Visible: Practices to Engage and Empower All Learners

PD Hours: 11Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

The long-awaited follow-up to Making Thinking Visible, provides new thinking routines, original research, and unique global case studies Visible Thinking―a research-based approach developed at Harvard's Project Zero - prompts and promotes students' thinking. This approach has been shown to positively impact student engagement, learning, and development as thinkers. Visible Thinking involves using thinking routines, documentation, and effective questioning and listening techniques to enhance learning and collaboration in any learning environment.

The Power of Making Thinking Visible explains how educators can effectively use thinking routines and other tools to engage and empower students as learners and transform classrooms into places of deep learning. Building on the success of the bestselling Making Thinking Visible, this highly-anticipated new book expands the work of the original by providing 18 new thinking routines based on new research and work with teachers and students around the world. Original content explains how to use thinking routines to maximum effect in the classroom, engage students exploration of big ideas, link thinking routines to formative assessment, and more. Providing new research, new global case studies, and new practices, this book: Focuses on the power that thinking routines can bring to learning Provides practical insights on using thinking routines to facilitate student engagement Highlights the most effective techniques for using thinking routines in the classroom Identifies the skillsets and mindsets needed to truly make thinking visible Features actionable classroom strategies that can be applied across grade levels and content areas Written by researchers from Harvard's Project Zero, The Power of Making Thinking Visible: Practices to Engage and Empower Learners is an indispensable resource for K-12 educators and curriculum designers, higher education instructional designers and educators, and professional learning course developers.

Length: 272 Pages

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June 2022 - Transgender teen: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals

PD Hours: 14Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

Is it just a phase, a fad, or a real issue with your teen? This comprehensive guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising a teenager who may be transgender, gender-variant or gender-fluid. Covering extensive research and with many personal interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the author covers pressing concerns relating to physical and emotional development, social and school pressures, medical options, and family communications. Learn how parents can advocate for their children, find acceptable colleges and career paths, and raise their gender variant or transgender adolescent with love and compassion.

Length: 356 Pages

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June 2022 - The ABC's of LGBT+

PD Hours: 8Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

#1 Best Seller in Transgender Studies and Bisexuality

The ABCs of LGBT+ is a #1 Bestselling LGBT book and is essential reading for questioning teens, teachers or parents looking for advice, or anyone who wants to learn how to talk about gender identity and sexual identity.

Ashley Mardell, a beloved blogger and YouTube star, answers your questions about:


• LGBT and LGBT+
• Gender identity
• Sexual identity
• Teens in a binary world
• The LGBT family
• and more

Understanding gender identity and sexual identity. The 21st Century has seen very positive movement for LGBT+ rights. The overturning of DOMA, the SCOTUS ruling in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, American transgender politicians elected to office, and landmark moments such as Apple becoming the most valuable company in the world under the leadership of an openly gay CEO have advanced LGBT awareness and understanding.

Length: 200 Pages

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July 2022 - Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People

PD Hours: 11Jill Sorensen-Davis
$80

“Accessible and authoritative . . . While we may not have much power to eradicate our own prejudices, we can counteract them. The first step is to turn a hidden bias into a visible one. . . . What if we’re not the magnanimous people we think we are?”—The Washington Post

I know my own mind.
I am able to assess others in a fair and accurate way.


These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality.

“Blindspot” is the authors’ metaphor for the portion of the mind that houses hidden biases. Writing with simplicity and verve, Banaji and Greenwald question the extent to which our perceptions of social groups—without our awareness or conscious control—shape our likes and dislikes and our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential.

In Blindspot, the authors reveal hidden biases based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, a method that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the human mind and that gives us a glimpse into what lies within the metaphoric blindspot.

The title’s “good people” are those of us who strive to align our behavior with our intentions. The aim of Blindspot is to explain the science in plain enough language to help well-intentioned people achieve that alignment. By gaining awareness, we can adapt beliefs and behavior and “outsmart the machine” in our heads so we can be fairer to those around us. Venturing into this book is an invitation to understand our own minds.

Brilliant, authoritative, and utterly accessible, Blindspot is a book that will challenge and change readers for years to come.

Length: 272 Pages

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