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Starting from Scratch: One Classroom Builds Its Own Curriculum Paperback – April 16, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0435072056 ISBN-10: 0435072056 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 10 years
  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann; 1 edition (April 16, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0435072056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0435072056
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“These vivid pages remind us of how much can be accomplished in a good and humane classroom.”–Howard Gardner

About the Author

Over the course of twenty-two years of teaching, Steven Levy has taught every grade level from kindergarten through college. He has been recognized as the 1992-93 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and honored as the Outstanding General Elementary Teacher by the Walt Disney Company ion 1994-95. Levy has also received the John F. Kennedy prize for the teaching of history, and his project Lexingtons, USA, was chosen by the American School Board Association as one of the hundred best curriculum ideas in the nation.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I first started writing about how to help people learn better, I wrote about a second-grade teacher who designed all of her curriculum for the year to focus on dinosaurs after she discovered that her students were crazy about the extinct reptiles. More recently, one of my doctoral candidates wrote a dissertation that described how education in Tanzania could be re-designed to help everyone learn how to start a small business. How? Instead of teaching children to count cats, they learn to count inventory. It's the same idea.

A friend who heads a prestigious business school told me that the dissertation reminded him of Steven Levy's book, Starting from Scratch, which was his favorite educational book. I immediately borrowed a copy from the Lexington, Massachusetts library and settled in for some great reading.

The book's center point describes how Mr. Levy and colleagues designed new curricula over the years to enhance learning by exposing students to things they would never learn in their environment. Like the ancient Greeks, Mr. Levy asks questions and encourages students to do the same . . . and then to find the answers. Research may include surveys, measurements, or contacting far-away experts. More than just a subject matter, students learn how to learn.

Mr. Levy's central example involves the concept of having students arrive on the first day of school in an empty classroom and then decide what to fill it with . . . and provide for themselves by raising money, making what they need, and borrowing assistance where appropriate. I loved it!

Mr. Levy is obviously a great teacher. He also displays great humility by not taking too much credit for what goes right . . . when it goes right. He describes stumbles and falls as well as close calls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Steven Levy paints a vivid picture of his magical classroom in all its glory. Wonderful stories, curriculum ideas, and a refreshing educational philosophy. This book is great reading for anyone, and a must have for teachers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
An excellent and highly entertaining book. The classroom stories are wonderful: creative and humorous. I've had great success with several of Levy's ideas in my own classroom.
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