Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Differentiating Instruction with Menus: Science

51ngmwuarelScience….is hands-on and can be as fun as you can make it. Science teachers work real hard to teach complicated ideas in science to you children. This book is a great resource that many of those teachers need to get. Differentiating Instruction with Menus (Science) covers Physical, Biological, and Earth Science. Laurie took some of the most important topics of each and created some great menus for them.

These menus will help to deepen student engagement, and interest in science. Everyone of us have had students who has a desire to learn everything, and wants to learn it now. Well, this book and the series, will help you with those students. By creating a choice board, a menu or tic-tac-toe board you allow students the freedom to learn multiple topics over a selective period of time. Students love the fact they can pick and choose what they will learn, and what products they will do to share their learning.

I would encourage all teachers and home school parents to check this book out along with the whole series. These books contain so much information to help you not only use the menu, but you can use the information to make your own menus.


Book Review: Differentiating Instruction with Menus: Social Studies

e5383Social Studies is one of my favorite subjects to teach in every grade that I have been assigned to. I feel that this subject area is one of the most versatile subject areas because it is so diverse. This book, Differentiating Instruction with Menus: Social Studies, is a great resource you teachers and home school families to have. It aligns with the State curriculum, and is chalked full of ideas to use in the classroom.

What i really like about this series is the fact that each of Laurie’s books is written the same way. She includes a lot of different menus based on history, geography, U.S. documents, and people. All of these are major aspects of Social Studies. She has included several different menus to help bring out the creativity of your students, and to help deepen their knowledge of Social Studies.

I would recommend this book and the whole series to every teacher, and home school parent. I have used this series often in my gifted classroom, and I will continue to do so. They are written so well, and they have so many ideas you can use, or you can use as a starting off points.

Book Review: Differentiating Instruction with Menus: Language Arts

258_fcvAs I have stated before, Differentiating Instruction with Menus is one of my favorite book series. I have found that my students really enjoy the opportunity to have some choice in their work. Giving students ownership in their learning is a great aspect of Education.

What I love about this book, is the fact that it has menus for different types of literature including fiction and nonfiction. Each section has a treasure trove of ideas teachers can use to enhance their language arts classes for their gifted students, and their regular education students. Each section has discusses ways to use menus for genres of literature, and different types of books.

One aspect of this book that I really enjoy is the fact Laurie includes some rubrics. There are all purpose rubrics for students to use, along with rubrics for student taught lessons. I love rubrics just for the fact it gives students the expectations starting off. It allows teachers to quickly grade projects and presentations. There are also scales that can be used by both teachers and students to help rate their performance on projects and presentations.

Overall, this is book that I recommend to teachers, and home school parents to help their students to succeed in language arts. Using this book you can use the ideas in it just as they are written, or you can take the idea and change it to fit your own situation.


Book Review: Educating Your Gifted Child

Today I finished reading Educating your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling, and I have to be totally honest… I loved it. As a public school teacher, as an advocate for gifted children it resonated with me. Sometimes as parents you have to take your child’s education into your own hands, and forge your own path. This book is inspiring, motivating, and one that filled with advise, and resources.

One passage late into the book,in particular hit me:

You may look at these children and see that their family lives are hopeless. You may feel that, as hard as you try, these kids may never utilize the education you work so hard to deliver to them. But you know what? These kids, education or not, will grow up to being voting citizens in our society. When they have the opportunity to vote and change my world, your world, our world, we will need them to vote intelligently. We need them to be productive members of society, or our society will not stand. That is why their education is important. (pg. 73)

If you have read anything on this blog, you know that advocating for children is what drives me. After reading this book, and visiting her website (Crushing Tall Poppies) I got a clearer picture of why a family would delve into homeschooling. The education your child gets is one of the most important aspects of their life. They will carry “the good, the bad, and the ungly” educational memories with themselves for their lifetime. Making sure you get that right is important. For some families public education works. For others public education isn’t doing enough to meet the needs of the family, and the children they are servicing. Each family has to make that choice.

What I like about this book is the fact Celi, discusses her life in the classroom, as a parent whose child’s needs aren’t being met, and finally their awesome journey into homeschooling. Each section she shares the ups and downs. The only conclusion that worked for her and her family was homeschooling. Her story isn’t that much different from many other people across the country advocating for their gifted children. I would count her story as a successful one. I hope that after reading this book you also will count your story as a success story.

In her book Celi, go into detail about places to go to get resources, ideas to where to go in your location to help you and your family be better prepared for homeschooling. I strongly recommend your read this book and take many of her suggestions if you are interested in taking your family “off the rollercoaster”, and onto a path that will make sense, and fit your family’s needs then this book is the perfect resource.