Book Review- 180 DAYS: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents

180 Days

180 DAYS: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents

by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle

Rating: 4/5

From the publisher: “180 Days represents the collaboration of two master teachers-Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle-over an entire school year: planning, teaching, and reflecting within their own and each other’s classrooms in California and New Hampshire. Inspired by a teacher’s question, “How do you fit it all in?” they identified and prioritized the daily, essential, belief-based practices that are worth spending time on. They asked, ‘Who will these students be as readers and writers after a year under our care?'”

180 Days tracks Kittle & Gallagher’s thinking across the course of a school year, from planning, to execution, to reflection. I appreciated the way they made their thinking visible and offered ideas for why thinks worked, or didn’t.
In 180 Days, Kittle & Gallagher argue that daily reading and writing practice leads to stronger students. They achieve this by having 10 minutes dedicated to reading at the beginning of each class day, 10 minutes of daily notebook writing, a short mini lesson and then time to create for the rest of the period.
My main criticism of the book is that it relies very heavily on independent student choice, of text and assignments. For a lot of us working in education, that simply isn’t the reality.
My biggest takeaways were:

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Book Review: Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley

grace-not-perfection-by-emily-ley

Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley
Rating: 3/5

In the interest of full discloser, I was fully primed to love this book. I have used and reviewed Emily Ley’s planners for the past two years and have followed her business journey after hearing about her through Lara Casey. Let me just say this book did not disappoint.

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-cursed-child-final-cover

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany

Rating: 4/5

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Warning: this review contains mild spoilers! The plot is very broadly outlined below but I have tried to keep what I believe to be the major reveals a secret. 

While certainly a different medium, Rowling’s latest work retains the magic of the original series.

Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy serve as our teenage guides to Hogwarts this time around. Just like their fathers before them, they have more passion than sense. When they hear of an injustice, the two unlikely friends use any means necessary to right the wrong.

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Book Review: Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

by Shauna Niequist

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: August 9, 2016

It’s no secret that I have adored Niequist’s other books. I have given out numerous copies of Bread and Wine to friends, both for the recipes and the wise words. I am using Savor as my devotional for the year and I am daily reminded of Niequist’s amazing insights into every day life. All of that is to say that I was primed to love Present Over Perfect.

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