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Bestselling author Mike Schmoker describes a plan for radically improving student learning that is built on three core elements: a focused and coherent curriculum (what we teach); clear, prioritized lessons (how we teach); and purposeful reading and writing, or authentic literacy.
With this "less is more" philosophy, educators can help students learn content at a deeper level, develop greater critical thinking skills, and discover more clearly how content-area concepts affect their lives and the world around them. Both a call to action and a blueprint for creating more effective classrooms, Focus: Elevating the Essentials for Radically Improved Student Learning will challenge your assumptions about schooling and show how educators who have embraced this approach quickly achieved spectacular results.
Section I First Things First: What We Teach, How We Teach-and Literacy
Chapter 1 The Importance of Simplicity, Clarity, and Priority 9
Chapter 2 What We Teach 25
Chapter 3 How We Teach 50
Section II Curriculum, Instruction, and Literacy in the Content Areas
Chapter 4 English Language Arts Made Simple 93
A Brief Note on Textbooks 128
Chapter 5 Social Studies with Reading and Writing at the Core 131
Chapter 6 Redefining Inquiry in Science 163
Chapter 7 Making Math Meaningful 194
Conclusion: This Time, Let's Do It 217
About the Author 237
Posted March 5, 2013
The author offers a simplified theory about how educators should simplify instruction by having students better understand content by articulating themselves through writing and by making connections through reading. Although there is more to engaging young learners, the author pinpoints the root symptom of learning gaps which is literacy. The book is not only a social commentary, it offers quality ideas for incorporating aspects of literacy across all curricula.
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