Book reviews - Routledge Books (page 3)

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"Routledge is the world's leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences. We publish thousands of books and journals each year, serving scholars, instructors, and professional communities worldwide. Routledge is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business. We publish a wide range of books for pre- and in-service teachers, teacher educators, and educational researchers. On this site, you can explore our key textbooks by leading experts in the field, browse through useful resources for professional development, and read about our cutting-edge research monographs and handbooks. You will also find all the latest news about our authors, new and bestselling books, and conferences and events."

Making It As a Teacher by Victoria Hewett

Subtitled 'How to survive and thrive in the first five years', this is an apposite and timely book. We know that so many aspiring teachers, full of enthusiasm for their chosen profession, struggle to come to terms with the reality and those first years can be hard. This highly readable and very supportive book offers a variety of tips, anecdotes, real-life examples and practical advice to help new teachers survive and thrive through the first 5 years of teaching, from the first-hand experiences of a teacher and middle leader, ensuring they feel supported and not alone in their feelings. The three sections are Making It, Surviving and Thriving. Issues covered include lesson planning, marking and feedback; behaviour and classroom management; work-life balance and progression, CPD and networking. Based on practical experience, the value of which shines through, this is essential reading for new teachers and those who support them in those vital early years of teaching, when disillusion with the profession can take hold. A very valuable resource and one which should be readily available in staffrooms for reassurance and guidance.

Teaching Science and Technology in the Early Years (3–7)​ by Dan Davies and others

This is the third edition of this valuable book, and it's good to see it kept up to date as it's a subject where change happens very quickly. It celebrates and raises awareness of young children’s amazing capabilities as scientists, designers and technologists and demonstrates how scientific designing and making activities are natural to young children, and have the potential for contributing to all aspects of their learning. Recognising this, and building on it, the book enhances teachers' observations and planning. The book gives fresh insights into young children’s learning and offers a UK-wide perspective on Early Years curricula and how they support the inclusion of science and technology as an entitlement for young children. Case studies show how to put the princilpes into practice. With a wide range of authors, each area is handled by a specialist, ensuring the advice and guidance is as relevant, topical and experience-based as possible. Despite the number of authors, there is still an unity of approach which makes the book easy to refer to. Chapters include a huge amount of information, but good use of headings and references, as well as a comprehensive index, make reference easy.

The Science of Learning: 77 Studies That Every Teacher Needs to Know​ by Bradley Busch and Edward Watson

This significant book gives an overview of 77 key topics in the study of education. The presentation encourages teachers to turn research into practical advice to be applied in the classroom, with the aim of helping students improve how they think, feel and behave in school - fundamental to effective teaching and learning but not always easy to achieve. A range of studies are covered, large and small-scale studies, from the quirky to the iconic, explaining clearly how to put the findings into practice Each overview combines graphics and text, asks key questions, describes related research and considers implications for practice, each in one of seven key categories. The presentation of the topics in 77 succinct sections make this a really accessible, easy to use book. It's not daunting to just tackle one topic at a time, and in total the articles add up to really practical and useful knowledge, presented clearly.

Exploring Maths through Stories and Rhymes: Active Learning in the Early Years​ by Janet Rees

There are so many ways to incorporate maths into early learning - sometimes they seem obvious, but more often that not, it's really valuable to have prompts and learn from the experience of others; they are the opportunities this highly accessible book offers to teachers of all levels of experience. Stories and rhymes are fundamental to early years education, and this book uses well-tested activities based on popular stories and rhymes. Resourced by everyday materials and objects which are accessible and inexpensive, this book is packed with innovative ideas to help young children develop their understanding and enjoyment of mathematical concepts. Plenty of resource sheets are provided for classroom use, and these will be very welcome to busy teachers. The book is well illustrated and the presentation is easy to follow with plenty of enticing ideas that teachers will be really keen to try out. Linking ideas of number, shape, size and pattern to everyday contexts, stories and experiences engances children's enjoyment and understanding and helps them see the relevance of learning. An excellent practical book for teachers at all career stages.

Inspiring Learning Through Cooking by Suzie Strutt

It's amazing, when you stop to think about it, just how many learning opportunities cooking offers (an understanding of science, following instructions, planning ahead, nutritional information, social skills are just a few) - and with the benefit of an enjoyable end result. Incorporating cooking and associated activities into the curriculum really is a win-win situation. This highly practical book is really easy to use; it starts by highlighting the ways cooking can be used as a tool for learning. This is followed by recipes and guidance. Teachers will find the case studies and first-hand advice from teachers and practitioners to be really useful, and the accompanying photos are excellent for communicating techniques. I was pleased to see extensive advice on gardening, which is becoming increasingly popular in schools and which, in itself, offers huge benefits. With over 600 colour images and 50 step-by-step, photocopiable recipes, suggested cooking activities are suitable for independent use by children. Following the recipes will help develop key skills and the activities in the book support learning objectives. Colourful, practical and accessible, teachers in Early Years and KS1 will turn to this book for inspiration throughout the school year.

Learning and Connecting in School Playgrounds​ edited by Llyween Couper and Dean Sutherland

Playtimes - breaktime and lunchtime - are far more than just a chance for pupils (and teachers) to escape from the classroom. They are vital parts of the school day, for socialising, exercising and for the continuation of learning. This book encourages parents, teachers, school leaders and education administrators to take another look at their school playgrounds as spaces crucial to learning, well-being and development. Drawing on the experience of these educationalists, this book combines research findings, commentary, views of all stakeholderrs and the authors’ personal experiences and observations. Key content includes consideration of the role of adults in the school playground, the influence of technology on play, the challenges experienced by children transitioning to new school environments and consideration of strategies to support students’ access and participation in the playground; primary and secondary schools are included. Cases are presented to illustrate the use of an audit tool to enhance school playgrounds - this is an important element of the book, encouraging school management to really bring these areas to the fore. Outdoor spaces have become of much more significance in schools in recent years and thsi book will help to develop that even further. It includes important and challenging insights to inform and guide decision-making and will be an essential resource for all stakeholders who share responsibility for children’s participation and learning during school break-times.

Listening to Children's Advice about Starting School and School Age Care (Towards an Ethical Praxis in Early Childhood)​ edited by Sue Dockett and others

This book offers a nuanced approach to understanding the aims, implications and practicalities of accessing and incorporating children’s perspectives in pedagogial practices relating to transitions. It puts children at the heart of any decision making; emphasises the importance of listening to and respecting children’s perspectives at the time of their transitions to school and school age care; shares children’s perspectives of the transition to school and school age care in ways that are both authentic and provocative; explores implications for practice as a consequence of children’s input; provokes a deep level of critical reflection and practice/policy development that is informed by a dialogue between research and practice. Experiences are drawn from seven countries to give a rounded approach, with a view to improving the children’s transition experiences. Using examples of practice and offering practical and theoretical insights, the book illustrates the multiplicity of children’s perspectives, and prompts educators to reflect on and critique practice.

Essential Truths for Teachers​ by Danny Steele and Todd Whitaker

It can seem to teachers that, no sooner have they taken one new idea on board, that the next new thing comes along. This can be just one more pressure to add to the challenges teachers face. This practical book aims to show teachers what really matters; the principles at the core of teaching that remain constant and that have the biggest impact on student achievement. The authors, who are widely experienced, reveal essential truths that will make more effective educators in areas such as student relationships, classroom management and classroom culture - the fundamentals that are so essential to get right. The strategies are presented in digestible chunks, often just a single page, perfect in-service training, mentoring, peer review and more. aIt's an approachable read, with inspiring anecdotes and insights that show how well the authors relate to classroom life. A book with the pupil at its heart.

Meet the Parents by Dorothy Lepkowska and Julie Nightingale

It can be hard to engage parents with their children's learning but we all know the importance of building strong and effective home-school partnerships, and that's the aim of this timely and practical book. The busier all our lives get, the harder it is for parents and teachers to build those relationships but this book uses more than 40 years of experience to explain techniques for uniting families with a range of backgrounds and a variety of circumstances. Through enlightening case studies, it demonstrates proven approaches to develop this partnership and shows the valuable impact this has on learning. By unpicking the issues that cause parents to be demotivated from engaging with schools, the authors show how to overcome barriers. It's a wide-ranging approach which includes making the most of parents' evening, SEND, bereavement, divorce and loss, raising aspirations and the influence of the media and online safety. The book is practically presented with relevant information easily located and case studies highlighted.

Stimulating Non-fiction Writing by Emma Hughes-Evans and Simon Brownhill

Just as some children prefer to read non-fiction, some prefer to write it. Whether or not that's the case, non-fiction writing requires a different approach, as this book clearly shows. It can be an excellent way to build fluency in writing, especially for the less imaginative child. The book is a treasure trove of interesting ideas, resource suggestions and practical activities, clearly presented to support lesson planning and delivery. Tried-and-tested resources, ‘Gold star!’ tips and practical suggestions are underpinned by research-informed teaching strategies and academic information to strengthen professional practice associated with the teaching of non-fiction writing. The book offers differentiated advice for working with children in Lower and Upper Key stage 2. The book includes a variety of text types, including instructions, persuasive texts, non-chronological reports, correspondence texts and discussion texts It's a valuable range of text types that will have a useful impact across the curriculum, making the book excellent for use in training and support. To enthuse children, teachers themselves need to be enthusiastic and this valuable book will give them the confidence they need to impart that enthusiasm to their pupils.

The Big Book of Primary Club Resources: Science and Outdoor Learning by F E Luton and Lian Jacobs

There is an expectation that all teachers will 'volunteer' to run lunchtime and after school clubs and this can seem a heavy burden on top of a busy timetable. However, this book encourages teachers to see this as a real positive, with its multitude of ideas to extend learning beyond the classroom, free from the constraints of the curriculum whilst enriching it. The book provides a simple and clear week-by-week outline for science and outdoor learning clubs over a two-year cycle, simplifying planning and delivery. It's a really easy to use book, clearly laid out and well illustrated with photos to show the ideas in action. The learning purpose is established, and instructions and resources clearly written. Activities include the human body, weather, chemistry and special effects science, the environment, mathematics of the natural world and outdoor survival skills. All the activities are adapted for three age groups (4–7 years; 7–9 years and 9–11 years) and offer highly satisfying outcomes for pupils - and teachers. Taking the strain out of club planning, this book is an invaluable resource for teachers and teaching assistants running clubs for children aged 4–11.

Mapping SEN: Routes through Identification to Intervention​ by Amanda Kirby

The aim of this book is to give Teachers, TAs and SENCOs the resources they need to identify and meet pupils' special educational needs. Children may well have more than one area of difficulty and the book shows how to create tailored approaches for these pupils.The book comes with a CD which is an integral part of the resource. Together, the book and CD provide an analysis tool for mapping individual needs; photocopiable record and assessment sheets; immediate access to straightforward information about a variety of special needs; plus approaches and strategies to help teachers to develop personalised support for their pupils. The program shows how children can be observed in a number of ways to understand their behaviour, and the needed support given, seeking further help if that is indicated. Facilitating inclusion in a mainstream setting, this is an excellent practical guide.

Messy Play in the Early Years: Supporting Learning Through Material Engagements by Sue Gascoyne

Messy Play is a fundamental part of early learning and it offers so many opportunities for learning and development that it really does need a central place in the classroom - and that's what this book encourages. Combining theory and practice, the book shows the problem-solving, scientific thinking, creativity, self-regulation and self-expression skills enhanced through messy play. The reflective questions found throughout the book really encourage thinking about the benefits and they are valuable to stimulate discussion and learning amongst practitioners. Messy Play can sometimes seem a lot of trouble but it's definitely worthwhile and the book highlights a variety of approaches to meeting differing time, space and budgetary needs, simplifies preparation and planning to make the most of this resource. I particularly like the layout of this book which makes it really easy to find the information you want, through the excellent use made of coloured feature boxes as well as plenty of bullet points and lots of photos - these really show the fun aspect of messy play! With its wealth of personal experience, this is a book which will encourage practitioners and parents to make good use of this superb teaching opportunity.

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