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Monday / September 18

Brain-Compatible Learning Reading List

Understanding child development and – most importantly – how children learn, is undoubtedly one of the fundamental necessities of good teaching. The field of neuroscience is constantly expanding; we learn more about our students everyday. It’s important that teachers keep up with the latest discoveries and how to apply them in the classroom. Below we’ve compiled a list of several must read new books about Brain-Compatible Learning.


The Education Revolution: How to Apply Brain Science to Improve Instruction and School Climate by Horacio Sanchez

In The Teaching Revolution Horacio Sanchez, a leader in the fields of education and resiliency, synthesizes the current and most relevant findings in neuroscience and psychology and explains not only how those findings impact education but also how they can be applied within the classroom and school-wide.

The first half of the book is dedicated to identifying specific teaching strategies applying brain research. For example, incorporating physical movement into a lesson helps the brain understand abstract concepts. Later chapters look at how the most recent research on neurobiology can guide teachers to better utilize any curriculum to meet desired outcomes. Later parts of the book focus on how to apply the latest findings in neurobiology to address the range of negative behaviors plaguing schools today, such as bullying, poor eating habits, and cheating. What educators want most are solutions that help them improve student achievement, restore students’ desire to learn, and manage student behavior. This book provides them all.

“Horacio Sanchez combines expertise in education, psychology, and neuroscience with extensive teaching experience and extraordinary insight into what makes us all behave the way we do. If we follow his expert advice in this book, a genuine Education Revolution is truly possible–one that reveals the greatest learner each of us can be. Our best hope for the future is having each youth learn and live up to his full potential. This is a revolution we all need.”

Dr. David L. Katz, President, American College of Lifestyle Medicine; Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center

STEAM Makers: Fostering Creativity and Innovation in the Elementary Classroom by Jacie Maslyk

Go beyond theory and find out how to systematically integrate STEAM and Makerspaces that prepare students for real-world experiences. This engaging resource outlines step-by-step processes to help anyone start their STEAM and Maker journey. Charts, checklists, web links, student stories and teacher challenges help you make meaningful subject area connections and tap your students’ natural curiosity.

This book will make you want to be better for kids.  With compelling examples, provocative questions, and a pragmatic roadmap, STEAM Makers cuts through the jargon and offers readers a vision of the future of education.  Jacie Maslyk masterfully empowers readers to be dreamers and change-makers.”
Dr. Brad Gustafson
Elementary Principal, Digital Innovation in Learning Award (DILA) winner

From Seatwork to Feetwork: Engaging Students in Their Own Learning, 2nd ed. by Ron Nash

Learning is not a spectator sport. That’s the guiding principle behind Ron Nash’s bestseller, which has helped thousands of teachers transform their classroom environments by energizing and engaging their students.

In the newly revised edition, Nash offers proven strategies that involve students as active participants in their own learning.

“Mr. Nash understands learners, particularly today’s learners, and he effectively advises how to embrace their need for a more participatory role in their own learning. I recommend this book to all teachers those who are new and those who need to be “re-newed.” Buy a copy, buy a new highlighter, and prepare to be inspired to make sure it is the students who are tired at the end of the school day, not the teacher.”
Debbie Silver, Ed.D.
Retired teacher, author, consultant, speaker

Teaching the Male Brain: How Boys Think, Feel, and Learn in School, 2nd ed. by Abigail Norfleet James

No, you’re not imagining it: boys really do learn differently from girls. When you discover how to reach them, you can help them succeed beyond anyone’s expectations—even their own. Updated with the latest research in neuroscience and developmental psychology, this bestselling guide translates theory into tested and refined strategies that are practical and ready to be put to work immediately.

“This book is a practical resource for the classroom teacher. It provides teachers with a plethora of engaging and promising practices and tools to motivate and encourage students to perform at or above their potentiality level.”
Shelia Gorham, Principal
Allen Middle School, Greensboro, NC

What if Everybody Understood Child Development: Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children’s Lives by Rae Pica

Rae Pica knows what she’s talking about. With over 35 years in the field of education, she’s realized that what’s missing from our approach to schooling is an understanding of the connection between how children develop and how they learn. In this collection, Pica keeps children front and center as she provides thought-provoking commentary and actionable insights on topics such as the Common Core, the self-esteem movement, and standardized testing.

“What a pleasure to read common sense wisdom about what young children need!”
Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education
New York University

“This amazing book does far more than chase down the myths about how to ensure that children are successful. If offers real, research-backed practical strategies every teacher and parent can use. It belongs on every desk for quick and handy use!”
Eric Jensen, Director
Jensen Learning, Maunaloa, HI

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Written by

Ariel is the Acquisitions Editor for Technology and General Methods at Corwin, and editor of Corwin Connect. When not working, you can usually find Ariel doing yoga at the beach, reading with a glass of wine, or writing a book review on her blog, One Little Library.

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