An Agency of the Regional Offices of Education for Will and Grundy - Kendall Counties
Phone: (815) 744-8334   Fax: (815) 744-8396  
Saturday, January 28, 2023

Online Monthly Educational Book Studies

January 2023 - Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

PD Hours: 19Jill Sorensen-Davis

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


February 2023 - What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing

PD Hours: 13Jill Sorensen-Davis


Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand.

“Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives.”?Oprah Winfrey

This book is going to change the way you see your life.

Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior?" Others may judge our reactions and think, "What's wrong with that person?" When questioning our emotions, it's easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It's time we started asking a different question.

Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”

Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. In conversation throughout the book, she and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future?opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way. 


March 2023 - Better Than Carrots or Sticks - Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management

PD Hours: 7Jill Sorensen-Davis

Classroom management is traditionally a matter of encouraging good behavior and discouraging bad by doling out rewards and punishments. But studies show that when educators empower students to address and correct misbehavior among themselves, positive results are longer lasting and more wide reaching. In Better Than Carrots or Sticks, longtime educators and best-selling authors Dominique Smith, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey provide a practical blueprint for creating a cooperative and respectful classroom climate in which students and teachers work through behavioral issues together. After a comprehensive overview of the roots of the restorative practices movement in schools, the authors explain how to * Establish procedures and expectations for student behavior that encourage the development of positive interpersonal skills; * Develop a nonconfrontational rapport with even the most challenging students; and * Implement conflict resolution strategies that prioritize relationship building and mutual understanding over finger-pointing and retribution. Rewards and punishments may help to maintain order in the short term, but they're at best superficially effective and at worst counterproductive. This book will prepare teachers at all levels to ensure that their classrooms are welcoming, enriching, and constructive environments built on collective respect and focused on student achievement. Length: 170 pages


April 2023 - Significant 72: Unleashing the Power of Relationships in Today's Schools

PD Hours: 8Jill Sorensen-Davis

Creating strong educational environments for ALL learners continues to be at the forefront of conversations with school systems across the globe. In his groundbreaking book, Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement (2009), Professor John Hattie set out to identify which strategies and innovations have the greatest impact on student achievement in schools. His research, which synthesized findings from over 50,000 educational research studies on 236 million school-aged students found teacher-student relationships have an effect size of .72. This means strong teacher-student relationships leads to almost two years of student growth in one year’s time. Significant 72: Unleashing the Power of Relationships brings Hattie’s research to life in every school and every classroom. Greg Wolcott is masterful in his ability to help educators not only understand the importance of relationships within learning, but also provide practical tools to ensure it happens. As a result of reading this book, educators will: 1. discover how having a deep understanding of each child’s background enhances engagement and provides a launch pad for developing autonomous learners 2. realize the critical role the teacher-student relationship plays in being able to challenge students to move outside their individual comfort zones and achieve at high levels. 3. gain a framework for developing connections with and between students that fosters an environment of trust and acceptance. 4. learn techniques to identify which students in the class are in most need of developing strong relationships and strategies to help them succeed socially, emotionally and academically. 5. understand how creating a relationship mindset in the classroom not only enhances students outcomes but greatly enhances personal well being at the same time. 


May 2023 - Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population

PD Hours: 12Jill Sorensen-Davis

Leading today’s teens and young adults can often times leave today’s adults feeling both concerned and fearful for their future.
Generation Z is growing up in a time that is causing some drastic changes that can be difficult to understand. While they are the most socially connected generation in history, statistics show that they are more lonely than ever. While they will enter the workforce with more education, they will also have less job experience than any previous generation. While they can binge watch or game for hours, most struggle with an 6-8 second attention spans in the classroom.
Most concerning of all, they are now the most anxious youth population in human history. Research tells us that the average student today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s.
The fact is Generation Z is completely different from past generations. These challenges, however, don’t have to mean they are guaranteed to fail. In order for them to successfully reach their potential as a generation, we, their parents, teachers, coaches, employers, and leaders must choose to believe in them, encourage them, and walk with them through the nine greatest challenges they will face.
That is what this book is all about. After decades of research, conversations, and hands-on experience, Dr. Tim Elmore and Andrew McPeak have collated their wisdom into this new resource for anyone who desires to lead Generation Z. Inside you will find practical ideas along with solutions that are research-based and solution-biased.
In Generation Z Unfiltered, they share practical, research-based solutions that help adults:

  • Understand the differences between Generation Z and previous generations – including the Millennials (Generation Y)
  • Discover the nine unique challenges that Generation Z is currently facing and how you can help them practically address each one
  • Develop coping skills in students to help them overcome their high levels of stress and anxiety
  • Cultivate grit and resilience in young adults that will allow them to bounce back from future setbacks
  • Apply proven, research-based strategies to equip teens and young adults to reach their potential

Length: 311 pages


June 2023 - Social-Emotional Learning and the Brain

PD Hours: 9Jill Sorensen-Davis

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


July 2023 - Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain

PD Hours: 8Jill Sorensen-Davis

A bold, brain based teaching approach to culturally responsive instruction To close the achievement gap, diverse classrooms need a proven framework for optimizing student engagement. Culturally responsive instruction has shown promise, but many teachers have struggled with its implementation―until now. In this book, Zaretta Hammond draws on cutting edge neuroscience research to offer an innovative approach for designing and implementing brain compatible culturally responsive instruction. The book includes:

  • Information on how one’s culture programs the brain to process data and affects learning relationships
  • Ten "key moves" to build students’ learner operating systems and prepare them to become independent learners
  • Prompts for action and valuable self reflection Length:

192 pages

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