The August PD Book

So far this summer there have been over 100 threads on The Underground Railroad and Hillbilly Elegy, totaling well over 700 comments.

That’s what we do in the TWT Summer Book Club. We read, discuss, share, and learn. It is a community that is rich and supportive, and we want you to vote for the book that will create a brighter, bolder, better you in the classroom.

Join us this August as we prepare for back to school and help you craft a better, bolder, brighter you in the classroom.

To be a part of the group, just submit your email at the bottom of this post.

The New Art and Science of Teaching: More Than Fifty New Instructional Strategies for Academic Success


This title is a greatly expanded volume of the original Art and Science of Teaching, offering a framework for substantive change based on Marzano’s 50 years of education research. While the previous model focused on teacher outcomes, the new version places focus on student outcomes, with strategies teachers can use to help students grasp the information and skills transferred through their instruction. Throughout the book, Marzano details the elements of three overarching categories of teaching, which define what must happen to optimize student learning: students must receive feedback, get meaningful content instruction, and have their basic psychological needs met.

Feedback That Moves Writers Forward: How to Escape Correcting Mode to Transform Student Writing

The number one challenge of student writers today isn’t word choice, logic, voice, or even grammar and spelling—it’s buy-in. In Feedback That Moves Writers Forward, Patty McGee shares how to’s for teaching that changes the writing-as-obligation vibe for good. She demonstrates the way feedback can inspire students to reach new heights as writers. With Patty’s help, you learn to:

  • Resign from your position as Corrector-in-Chief and be amazed as students eagerly take over responsibility for refining their writing
  • Apply the research on growth mindset and goal setting, whether you use a writing program or a workshop model
  • Use tone, trust, and language to quicken students’ discovery of their writing identities and take risks when they are stuck
  • Use student work to deliver clear, just-in-time feedback during planning, drafting, revising, and editing
  • Use the online printable forms for delivering customized feedback with just the right wording
  • Balance grading and feedback
  • Help writers reflect so they are better able to apply what they learned about content, craft, and style to their future writing

Teaching Arguments: Rhetorical Comprehension, Critique, and Response


No matter where  students lives lead after graduation, one of the most essential tools we can teach them is how to comprehend, analyze, and respond to arguments. Students need to know how writers and speakers choices are shaped by elements of the rhetorical situation, including audience, occasion, and purpose. In Teaching Arguments, Jennifer Fletcher provides teachers with engaging classroom activities, writing prompts, graphic organizers, and student samples to help students at all levels read, write, listen, speak, and think rhetorically.

Jennifer believes that, with appropriate scaffolding and encouragement, all students can learn a rhetorical approach to argument and gain access to rigorous academic content. Teaching Arguments opens the door and helps them pay closer attention to the acts of meaning around them, to notice persuasive strategies that might not be apparent at first glance. When we analyze and develop arguments, we have to consider more than just the printed words on the page. We have to evaluate multiple perspectives; the tension between belief and doubt; the interplay of reason, character, and emotion; the dynamics of occasion, audience, and purpose; and how our own identities shape what we read and write. Rhetoric teaches us how to do these things. Teaching Arguments will help students learn to move beyond a superficial response to texts so they can analyze and craft sophisticated, persuasive arguments a major cornerstone for being not just college-and career-ready but ready for the challenges of the world.

The Pocket Instructor: Literature: 101 Exercises for the College Classroom

 This is the first comprehensive collection of hands-on, active learning exercises for the college literature classroom, offering ideas and inspiration for new and veteran teachers alike.

These 101 surefire lesson plans present creative and interactive activities to get all your students talking and learning, from the first class to final review. Whether you are teaching majors or nonmajors, genres or periods, canonical or noncanonical literature, medieval verse or the graphic novel, this volume provides practical and flexible exercises for creating memorable learning experiences. Help students learn more and retain that knowledge longer by teaching them how to question, debate, annotate, imitate, write, draw, map, stage, or perform. These user-friendly exercises feature clear and concise step-by-step instructions, and each exercise is followed by helpful teaching tips and descriptions of the exercise in action. All encourage collaborative learning and many are adaptable to different class sizes or course levels.

A collection of successful approaches for teaching fiction, poetry, and drama and their historical, cultural, and literary contexts, this indispensable book showcases the tried and true alongside the fresh and innovative.

    • 101 creative classroom exercises for teaching literature
    • Exercises contributed by experienced teachers at a wide range of colleges and universities
    • Step-by-step instructions and teaching tips for each exercise
    • Extensive introduction on the benefits of bringing active learning to the literature classroom
    • Cross-references for finding further exercises and to aid course planning
    • Index of literary authors, works, and related topics

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