166 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2001
I had been teaching 7th and 8th grade science for two years at an inner city school and was doing OK. I had my classes somewhat under control, but I was getting worn out trying to keep them under control. I read the intro to this book and couldn't wait to finish it and implement his methods. He clearly explains a whole system to deal with EVERYTHING that occurs in a classroom. He gives specific techniques, not just handy hints. I started using the techniques from this book in the middle of the school year and the change in my classroom, and my stress level has been absolutely incredible. I now have nearly perfect class control and the cooperation of my students at all times. The principle now sends new teachers to my room to observe both discipline and instruction. I reread the whole book a few months after the first read, and my classroom management just keeps getting better and better as well as easier and much less stressful. I wish they had given me a two semester course with this book in college! It has made teaching fun and relaxing for me. I'm sure I would have quit teaching by now if not for Fred Jones' book.
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2007
Simply put: This book covers all the bases. If you are a new teacher stressing out, this book is a must. If you are a veteran teacher searching for that spark you had a few years ago, this book is the answer. For whatever reason, colleges do a really poor job preparing this country's soon-to-be teachers. All I remember learning about in my EDU classes were countless theories and how to write five-page lesson plans.
Once I started teaching I quickly realized that my college professors didn't prepare me for the realities of teaching. (All of you veterans out there know exactly what I am talking about.) Anyhow, if you are looking to be more successful in the classroom, at any point in your career, pay the $20 and if this book takes away just one headache during your next month of teaching then it was worth it.
---Michael James D'Amato, Author of "The Classroom"
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2003
The crisis in America's classrooms is no joke, no punchline intended. I want to respond to "A reader from the United States' who obviously could not have read ( nor understood) the entire book before writing the review. I do not want teachers or other educators to think that he is correct in his descriptions. The "Tools For Teaching" program is a complete teacher training program
that is all about providing examples and models, and coaching for all teachers at any level or experience. It is a practical, incredibly positive, step by step training in how establish a positive classroom, how to stay calm in the face of thirty students and even the worst back talk, how to design and deliver lessons in any content area, based on how the brain learns and how to motivate and create responsible people out of all students, even the most outcast. This reviewer must have read with his brain closed. Achievement rates increase and teachers don't burn out. "Tools For Teaching" is the solution to problems in our schools, a must -read for everyone who cares about student achievement and success in life. And, there truly are many punchlines for Dr. Jones writes with great humor that helps us laugh at ourselves while we learn. I recommend it to every educator in the nation as well as to all parents.
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2000
Fred Jones Tools For Teaching is a practical teaching guide for all prospective and practicing teachers. It is the only methods text that I have used in 31 years of teacher training that is worthwhile for all teachers in today's classroom climate. The text provides classroom management and instruction technology that works in a positive way. Teachers learn how to set limits, teach responsibility and motivate students in a cooperative environment. Teaching and learning improve with explicit classroom instruction methods that help structure lesson planning, enhance partner learning, and actually encourage students to improve learning in order to engage in a preferred learning activity as a reward. Harry Wong's text, The First Days of School, inspires and provides an excellent framework for improved classroom activities. Fred Jones Tools for Teaching takes the next step to provide teachers at any level with proven techniques to improve postive classroom Discipline - Instruction - Motivation.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2007
I have been in education for over 30 years and work with teachers, as a consultant, at all grade levels. Before I start any group presentation, I begin with, " If I were ever in a fire and could take only one education book with me, it would definitely be Tools for Teaching, by Fred Jones." Teachers love this book, and I love being able to easily direct teachers to specific information in the book to help them improve their craft and maintain sanity in their classrooms. Chapter 7: Visual Instruction Plans (VIPs) is simply the best for helping teachers teach skills in an organized fashion and creating a VIP tool for the student to differentiate instruction for all the students in the class. Fred and Jo Lynne have perfected a plan for success in the classroom. Be sure to buy this for any teacher!
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2007
I own "Why Didn't I Learn This in College?" and "The First Days of School," in addition to the Fred Jones book. BY FAR, the "Tools for Teaching" is the most helpful. Jones presents tips on instruction, by way of an antecedent strategy to avoiding behaviors. Then he presents strategies to cope with behaviors that may surface anyway. His tips are a result of the author's years of observation in classrooms and described in great detail.
My only disappointments with this book are: editing (could have cut some of the build-up), weight (book weighs a lot due to paper type), and format (awkward horizontal format does not fit on my desk or my lap!), lack of broader research base (Jones could enhance this book by supporting his declaratives with research).
5 stars for Fred Jones!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2002
I stumbled upon this book last summer completely by accident, but I am glad that I did! In three weeks of student teaching I have witnessed both the typical behavior of students described in this book and the failed strategies that most teachers repeatedly use to keep the "lid" on in their classrooms. Having read "Tools for Teaching" I feel confident that I can effectively handle and eventually eliminate the behavior of disruptive students. Although as a student teacher I am not fully able to implement the threefold strategy of limit setting, preferred activity time, and responsibility training I will certainly do so when I have my own classroom. Had I not read this book I would be forced to rely on useless techniques such as "snap and snarl", pheasant posturing, silly talk, and the "sick and tired" look when dealing with classroom management problems. If you are curious to find out what makes the previously mentioned techniques useless you simply need to purchase this book!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2002
My first introduction to Fred Jones was about 8 years ago. I went to his workshop after my first year of teaching. We received his first book, "Positive Classroom Discipline" at that time. During that first year of teaching I was certainly disillusioned and ready to throw in the towel. My credentialing program hadn't sufficiently prepared me to have a well run, productive classroom with good discipline. Using his methods really gave me the tools needed to be an effective and relaxed teacher.
I've now been teaching 9 years and just attended his workshop for the 4th time. Dr. Jones included his new book, "Tools for Teaching," in his workshop. This book is so well organized. The content of the book is almost verbatim what he says in class. It is an easy read and very enjoyable. The illustrations are very purposeful and represent the major points of the book.
If you are a teacher who wants to save yourself from burn-out and actually remember why you went into teaching in the first place, then this book could be your life-line. Dr. Jones knows what he is talking about and is practical in his approach. It is one of the only programs out there that is livable for the entire career of a teacher. I most likely wouldn't be in the profession any longer if it hadn't been for the content of this book. I would highly recommend it!
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2002
Without belaboring the point, I would not be teaching today were it not for this program. In 1992, I was ready to quit the profession, not because I wasn't reasonably successful, and not because I wasn't enjoying myself, but because I was tired of working in a profession that seemed devoid of actual skills. I read reams of books on classroom management, motivational techniques, dealing with discipline problems and teaching well, but it all seemed to boil down to a mountain of handy hints and good advice, rather than systematic techniques or practical skills above and beyond what the average untrained person would be capable of. Discipline problems? Get tough! (Or, alternately, hold a class meeting so everyone can "clarify their behavioral values" or put everyone on his own "behavior plan" and point system). Motivational problems? Make your lessons more interesting! Kids failing? Tutor them after class in your office, explain things more clearly, hire a teacher's aid or lower your standards!
As you can imagine, I was less than satisfied with these answers. I wanted to work in a profession, not just a job. I wanted to have skills that, if properly implemented, would predictably result in the academic, behavioral and motivational success of my students -- especially the worst ones. I did not want fancy lesson formats, elaborate B-Mod programs, values clarification or good advice; I wanted the basics, the skills that comprise the teaching profession.
Those skills are the subject of Fred Jones' "Tools for Teaching". They are described with exceptional clarity (and not infrequently with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor as well), and the result is not an amalgam of random, unrelated ideas, but rather a system of highly interrelated and mutually-reinforcing skills which, when carefully learned and practiced together, can turn even the most oppositional, failure-prone classes into fully functional work groups that any teacher would look forward to having -- at a price in time and energy that the teacher can easily afford.
Today, I am not only using Tools for Teaching as the basis for my classes, I am training other teachers in it as well. Right now I am training ten teachers from three departments at the school where I'm teaching in Maribor, Slovenia, and the response has been so positive that the principal has decided to apply for a project grant to enable us to bring this program to other public schools in Slovenia next year.
I would advise any teacher, teacher's aid, administrator or staff development specialist to take a close and carefully-considered look at Tools for Teaching before investing time, effort and money into other programs which may be long on quick fixes and handy suggestions, but rather short on such things as slow, step-by-step practice of each skill during training, adequate background information on why techniques work as they do (and, just as important, when they might be susceptible to failure), and guidelines for implementing a simple but effective long-term staff development program at a school site, so that skills once learned are maintained over time, and can be effectively disseminated throughout the school site...
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2002
Tools for Teaching provides a framework in which teachers are able to effectively manage classroom environments by: 1)accentuating positive behavior in order to eliminate negative behavior; 2) establishing a classroom structure for success; 3) managing student behavior with the body and not the mouth; 4) developing incentive systems where students do the work willingly; and 5) remaining calm under pressure. Dr. Jones introduces the reader to these concepts and others in this practical guide to classroom discipline, instruction, and motivation. This book is perfect for preservice teachers who are in the formative stages of creating their management plans and for experienced educators who want to reduce stress, look like the "naturals," keep students on task, and have a postive classroom environment.