Best Practice: Today's Standards for Teaching and Learning in America's Schools

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Heinemann, 2005 - Education - 336 pages
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Best practice is the pillar that supports powerful teaching, and the first two editions of the highly acclaimed "Best Practice" have promoted instructional excellence for more than ten years. Now the third edition, with forty-five percent new material, does still more to make the big ideas of education accessible, identifying the teaching methods that help students learn, explaining how to implement them in the classroom, and showing what exemplary instruction really looks like.

Recognizing that the themes of American education have changed dramatically, Steven Zemelman, Harvey Daniels, and Arthur Hyde reconvened, and their new edition provides fresh, inspiring examples of state-of-the-art teaching methods in action. It also carefully examines state, national, and discipline-specific standards and demonstrates how engaging and interactive classroom instruction is truly the most effective way to meet those standards. You'll find that time-tested tools like the famed "More Than-Less Than" charts are updated, while the wealth of recent research and new classroom vignettes will lead your teaching in invigorating new directions.

Building on the official standards documents of leading professional organizations in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and the arts, Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde describe the classrooms and techniques of some of America's most effective teachers with the passionate, humorous, and conversational tone that has made "Best Practice" a favorite of veteran and novice teachers, staff developers, and teacher trainers across the country. Read "Best Practice," Third Edition - on your own or with a whole-school faculty study group - and find out why even though some things in education may change in the short term, methods that are student centered, experiential, democratic, collaborative, and rigorously challenging will always be the key to high-quality teaching and authentic learning.

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User Review  - goodnightmoon - LibraryThing

The absolute authority on how best to teach anything. A great reference and a great inspiration. Many dog-ears and underlines and post-its! Read full review


The Progressive
Best Practice in Reading
Best Practice in Writing

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About the author (2005)

Steven Zemelman has worked in many capacities to promote the sustainability of innovative schools in Chicago. For eight years he directed the Center for City Schools at National-Louis University, and he is a founding director of the Illinois Writing Project. He has spearheaded the start of a number of innovative small high schools in the city. His experiences and research in these areas led to his Heinemann book 13 Steps to Teacher Empowerment, coauthored with Harry Ross. Steve has been a frequent collaborator with Harvey "Smokey" Daniels. They have coauthored six books and videos with Heinemann, including the new Best Practice, Fourth Edition; Content-Area Writing; Subjects Matter: Every Teacher's Guide to Content-Area Reading; Rethinking High School and its companion video; and A Community of Writers. These books are filled with practical strategies for making writing, reading, the content areas, and indeed the life of a school itself into a deeper and richer learning experience for kids. Zemelmen and Daniels are known for immediately useful teaching strategies that range from brief, easy-to-use reflections that help students learn right in class to bigger public-writing projects that can make school truly memorable for kids and teachers alike. Steve consults with schools and districts around the country and may be contacted directly at

Harvey Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. In language arts, Smokey is known for his pioneering work on student book clubs, as recounted in Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups, and Minilessons for Literature Circles. Smokey has recently coauthored three bestselling books on content-area literacy: Comprehension & Collaboration; Subjects Matter: Every Teacher's Guide to Content-Area Reading, and Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher's Guide. He is also coauthor of the new Best Practice, Fourth Edition, and editor of Comprehension Going Forward. Smokey works with elementary and secondary teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering demonstration lessons, workshops, and consulting, with a special focus on creating, sustaining, and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students' reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers.

Arthur Hyde is the author or coauthor of the Heinemann titles Understanding Middle School Mathematics; Comprehending Math; Best Practice, Fourth Edition; and Mathwise. A professor of mathematics education at National-Louis University , he received its Excellence in Teaching award. While teaching high school mathematics in Philadelphia , he developed a variety of creative methods for teaching math. He also obtained a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Pennsylvania , where he later was Associate Director of Teacher Preparation. He continues to work frequently in elementary and middle school classrooms and conducts extensive professional development programs on mathematics and problem solving in Chicago and its surrounding school districts.

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