From Publishers Weekly
Cushman, whose well-received Fires in the Bathroom
covered high school students, teamed up with psychologist and Tufts professor Rogers to explore how to teach middle school students more effectively. What's a teacher to do when she's trying to be so nice and they're setting fires in the bathroom, a high school student had asked in the first volume. Much of the material that Cushman gathered (from 40 students in five cities) is about basic classroom skills. Teachers should listen carefully to what's on their students' minds and put the currents in your classroom to good use, rather than work against them, the authors advise. Be strict and be nice, they say, which is hard, but walking that line is one way you show that you are on your students' side when it comes to helping them learn. Cushman and Rogers quote frequently from their student panel, helping readers grow accustomed to their ways of expressing themselves, and include several self-evaluation worksheets for teachers. While there's little new, for teachers fresh out of college and headed for inner-city classrooms, this book may be a useful resource. (May)
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"This book brings out the essence of what, and how, middle school kids think. Teachers can learn from themnot just new teachers, but those who have been in the field for a while."
—Deborah Kasak, Executive Director, National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform