Marshall Memo

Marshall Memo 949

A Weekly Round-up of Important Ideas and Research in K-12 Education

August 22, 2022



In This Issue:

1. Driving out cynicism

2. Seven ideas for dealing with a difficult colleague

3. Orchestrating first-rate classroom discussions

4. Effective writing prompts for math classes

5. A project-based chemistry and physics curriculum gets results

6. The track record of a principal preparation program

7. The mismatch between student teaching assignments and first-year placements

8. Recommended children’s books on facing scary situations


Quotes of the Week

“Demonstrating faith in people is an easy way for leaders to reduce mistrust and

paranoia in their organizations. Give people room to make their own choices. When you cultivate trust, teams excel.”

            Jamil Zaki (see item #1)


“The highest compliment from someone who disagrees with you is not, ‘You were right.’ It’s ‘You made me think.’ Good arguments help us recognize complexity where we once saw simplicity. The ultimate purpose of debate is not to produce consensus. It’s to promote critical thinking… A good debate isn’t about one person declaring victory; it’s about both people making a discovery.”

            Adam Grant in “You Can’t Say That! How to Argue, Better” in The Guardian, July 30,



“Dyslexia is not linked to intelligence; it has been described as an island of weakness surrounded by a sea of strength. It has no cure but can be overcome.”

            Belinda Luscombe in “The Great Reading Rethink” in Time, August 22/29, 2022 (Vol.

200, #7-8, pp. 63-67)


“Reading feels like riding a bike to good readers. Once you learn how to pedal and balance, you can ride nearly any bike. Reading may feel the same way; reading comprehension, however, is far more complicated. It depends on the reader and writer having in common a lot of background knowledge, vocabulary, and context. Consider the common word ‘shot.’ Phonics instruction can ensure children can read the word, but it means different things on a basketball court, in a doctor’s office, and when the repairman uses it to describe your dishwasher… For education to work as an engine of equity and upward mobility, schools must do everything in their power to expand children’s horizons, ensuring they get a well-rounded education in science, history, literature, and the arts – access to the rich knowledge and vocabulary that undergird literacy.”

            Robert Pondiscio in “‘Expert’ Idiocy on Teaching Kids to Read” in Education Gadfly,

            June 9, 2022











1. Driving Out Cynicism

            In this Harvard Business Review article, Jamil Zaki (Stanford University) says that cynicism seems to be on the rise; only 30 percent of Americans in a 2018 survey said most people can be trusted – down from 45 percent in 1972. Trust in political leaders, institutions, and corporations has also plummeted in recent years.

            “When you look at the world through a cynical lens,” says Zaki, “people appear to be out for themselves, acts of kindness hide ulterior motives, and trusting others makes you a sucker.” Cynicism builds on three psychological “bugs” in the way we think and feel:

  • Badness attunement – An old proverb says that “a drop of tar spoils a barrel of honey.” Studies show that many people protect themselves with a psychological armadillo shell, making them vigilant for people who might cheat or do them wrong.
  • Pre-emptive strikes – “Cynics often act as though the best defense is a good offense,” says Zaki – but this can bring out the worst in others.
  • The cynical-genius illusion – Self-proclaimed cynics falsely believe they possess hard-earned wisdom about human nature, branding as naïve those who don’t think that way.

    Understanding these three bugs, says Zaki, can help push back cynicism in an organization.

                But beyond human psychology, some organizational practices can increase cynicism, including zero-sum leadership – the “rank and yank” sorting of employees for rewards and firing implemented by Jack Welch at General Electric – and overmanaging employees based on mistrust – which, ironically, leads people to be more likely to game the system or do the bare minimum.

                How can organizations escape these tendencies? Fortunately, says Zaki, there are two proven strategies:

                • Redirect the culture toward collaboration and trust. A good starting point is doing away with incentives that reward people for individual achievement and outshining colleagues. The stars of the organization should be those who show up for others, work well with their team, and create value together. The goal: a culture where people lower their defenses and freely share knowledge, skills, and perspectives.

                • Model trust. All leaders should be exemplars of trusting behavior and walk the talk of combatting cynicism. That means loosening the bureaucratic reins and encouraging people to take creative risks. “Demonstrating faith in people,” says Zaki, “is an easy way for leaders to reduce mistrust and paranoia in their organizations. Give people room to make their own choices. When you cultivate trust, teams excel. Research on teachers, retail workers, and army personnel finds that those who feel trusted experience greater self-esteem and connection to supervisors and ultimately perform better, too.” Nordstrom’s employee handbook has only one rule: Use good judgment in all situations.

                “Redirecting a company’s culture and modeling trust can begin to untie the knots that cynicism creates,” says Zaki. “People are shaped by their situations, and as leaders, you are an essential part of the situation for your employees. If you mistrust, micromanage, and monitor them, they will resent you, shirk responsibility, and eventually head for the exit. But if you show faith in them, they will try to live up to it. People become who we think they are, so we should be conscious of our assumptions and generous with our goodwill. It can make a bigger difference than you imagine.”


    “Don’t Let Cynicism Undermine Your Workplace” by Jamil Zaki in Harvard Business Review, September-October 2022 (Vol. 100, #5, pp. 70-78); Zaki can be reached at [email protected].

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    2. Seven Ideas for Dealing with a Difficult Colleague

                In this Harvard Business Review article, Amy Gallo remembers a time early in her career when she worked for an awful boss – unreasonably demanding, petty, micromanaging, disparaging colleagues behind their backs, the full catastrophe. “The minute she insinuated that I wasn’t working hard enough,” says Gallo, “I would clench my teeth, roll my eyes behind her back, and complain about her to my coworkers.”

                One survey found that 94 percent of people say they have worked with a “toxic” person in the last five years. Another study found that U.S. workers name on-the-job relationships as the top source of tension. And in a survey of 4,500 doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel, 71 percent linked bad relationships to medical errors, with 27 percent saying patient deaths resulted.

    “Trapped in these negative dynamics,” says Gallo, “we find it hard to be our best selves or to improve the situation. Instead we spend time worrying, react in regrettable ways that violate our values, avoid difficult colleagues, and sometimes even withdraw from work entirely.” Here are her suggestions for navigating these difficult waters:

    Remember that your perspective is just one among many. People in an organization will disagree on whether it’s okay to be five minutes late for a meeting, on acceptable ways to interrupt, and on appropriate consequences for making a mistake. But we tend to think our view is the correct one (what social psychologists call naïve realism). “It’s important to recognize and resist this gut reaction,” says Gallo. “What assumptions have I made? How would someone with different values and experiences see things?”

    Be aware of your biases. One of the biggies is the fundamental attribution error – the tendency to assume that other people’s behavior has more to do with their personality than the situation they’re in – for example, this person is late for a meeting because they are disorganized or disrespectful. But if it happens to us, it’s the traffic jam or the other meeting that ran over. Then there’s confirmation bias – the tendency to interpret things as proving the truth of our existing beliefs – including ethnic and racial stereotypes. And there’s affinity bias – the unconscious tendency to feel aligned with people of similar backgrounds and beliefs. One way to confront these tendencies, says Gallo, is Flip it to test it; if the person who’s annoying you were a different gender, race, sexual orientation, or position in the hierarchy, would you make the same assumptions?

    Don’t make it “me against them.” Where there’s disagreement or conflict, we often think in polarizing ways. “To break out of that mental model,” says Gallo, “instead imagine that there are not two but three entities in the situation: you, your colleague, and the dynamic between you.” The last might be a project, a decision, a task. “Rather than work to change your colleague,” she says, “try to make progress on the third thing.”

    Know your goal. This helps avoid drama and stay focused on the work. The goal might be something as simple as not grinding your teeth every time you think of a certain colleague, or something as ambitious as finding a way to solve a seemingly intractable personality clash. Gallo recommends writing the goal on a piece of paper; one study found that writing objectives by hand increases the chances they will be realized.

    Avoid workplace venting and gossip – mostly. Gallo cites research that gossip and venting can actually help colleagues bond over shared travails and feel validated and less isolated (Yes, he is being difficult!). But gossip can also feed confirmation bias, reinforcing a negative narrative about someone and preventing problem-solving steps. Gossip can also reflect badly on the gossiper and get them in trouble. “It is perfectly legitimate to seek help with sorting out your feelings or to check with someone else that you’re seeing things clearly,” says Gallo. “But choose whom you talk to (and what you share) carefully. Look for people who are constructive, have your best interests at heart, will challenge your perspective when they disagree, and can be discreet.”

    Experiment to find what works. There isn’t one right way to deal with an abrasive person, a know-it-all, or someone who is passive-aggressive. Gallo recommends experimenting with one approach – for example, ignoring the tone and focusing on the underlying message. “Keep trying, tweaking, and refreshing experiments or abandoning ones that don’t produce results,” she says.

    Be – and stay – curious. When dealing with a difficult colleague, it’s easy to believe that things won’t change. But in the words of Argentine therapist Salvador Minuchin, “Certainty is the enemy of change.” An open, curious mindset has a host of benefits, says Gallo: “It wards off confirmation bias, prevents stereotyping, and helps us approach tough situations not with aggression (fight) or defensiveness (flight) but with creativity. The key is to shift from drawing often unflattering conclusions to posing genuine questions.”


    “How to Navigate Conflict with a Coworker” by Amy Gallo in Harvard Business Review, September-October 2022 (Vol. 100, #5, pp. 139-143); Gallo’s 2022 book is Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People), Harvard Business Press.

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    3. Orchestrating First-Rate Classroom Discussions

                In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, Jay Howard (Butler University) says most instructors are upset when they launch a discussion and get awkward silence from the class. “Why the blank faces?” asks Howard. “Did the students fail to read the assignment? Was it the early hour? Perhaps you were the problem. Did you make interesting material seem dull? Did you misjudge what they would find engaging?”

    The benefits of discussion are well documented: more-active student engagement, higher-order thinking, empathy with other points of view, moving important information to long-term memory. In addition, says Howard, “as novice learners, students are better able than the instructor to clear up confusion and identify next steps in logic or problem-solving… Students have an easier time seeing the steps that an expert takes for granted and, as a result, can clarify them for one another.”

    Howard believes good discussions are not a matter of serendipity; they require insight and careful planning. Step one is acknowledging that there are risks on both sides. For students, there’s the fear of volunteering and being wrong – or feeling embarrassed for talking too much. “Many students will decide it’s safer to stay silent,” says Howard, “and leave the floor to the handful of classmates who are eager to talk.” For the teacher, launching a discussion means relinquishing some degree of control. What if their responses are all misleading or incorrect? Worse, what happens if a student makes a comment that is sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise offensive?

    The second step to running high-quality discussions is being aware of two classroom norms that undermine broad student participation:

  • Civil attention – Students learn that if they appear to be paying attention – nodding their heads, taking notes, briefly making eye contact, chuckling at the teacher’s jokes – they will probably not be called on. They may be daydreaming or thinking about lunch, but if they’re following the norm of civil attention, they won’t have to participate.
  • Consolidation of responsibility – Studies show that in most classrooms, a small number of students take on the role of active participants and do 75-95 percent of the talking; their classmates are intellectually passive spectators.

    “The good news,” says Howard, “is that social norms can be changed. They exist only because we implicitly comply with them.” He suggests these strategies for improving the quality of discussions:

    Set expectations up front. If the first class is spent on “teacher talk” – taking attendance, reviewing the syllabus – the norm of civil participation will be implicitly endorsed. To disrupt it, the teacher needs to explicitly address the norm in the first class, conducting a lively discussion in which almost all students participate.

    Have a discussion about discussions. “Some students,” says Howard, “because they see taking part in a class discussion as optional, may be resentful of your expectation that they participate. They may even feel you are out to ‘catch’ them being unprepared for class and embarrass them publicly. Shy students, or those for whom English is a second language, may feel that you are making them unnecessarily anxious by requiring verbal participation.” He suggests having a first-day discussion about students’ previous experiences with discussions, sharing research findings about the benefits of active verbal participation, and establishing class norms for civility – for example, it’s okay to challenge and refute ideas or positions, but not to attack someone personally or engage in name-calling.

    Use a syllabus quiz to show that you value participation. Create a multiple-choice quiz on a number of key elements of the syllabus, have groups of students collaborate to try to answer them, and call on groups for their ideas. Students in each group should also be encouraged to exchange names and contact information so they begin to form social networks.

                • Ask better questions. Obviously, good discussions are not launched by asking, “Are there any questions?” or posing questions with a single correct answer. “A good question,” says Howard, “is one that allows for multiple perspectives. It shows that the topic can be viewed from a variety of angles, even though they may not all be equally relevant or helpful.” Some examples:

  • Frame the question in a way that pushes students to get below the surface. Why did Abraham Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation in the fall of 1862 but make it effective on January 1, 1863?
  • Ask students to apply a variety of theories or perspectives to a particular example. Which of the five theories of criminal behavior we’ve discussed explains Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme?
  • Ask students to provide their own application of a concept. Give me an example of someone learning new behaviors through observing and imitating others. Where and when have you observed this?
  • Ask about process, not content. Here’s a new differential equation on the board. What is a good first step in solving this equation? Where do we begin?

       • Don’t give up on discussion in a large class. Howard recommends randomly assigning students to teams that sit together throughout the semester and are frequently asked to huddle and discuss key questions and report their ideas to the full class.

       • Use think/pair/share. Students think about a question, write their own response, and share it with an elbow partner. Then, rather than asking for volunteers to share their responses with the whole group (which may result in the “usual suspects” getting all the air time), Howard recommends asking, “Whose partner had a brilliant insight? Whose partner really hit the nail on the head and summarized an important point?” At this point, a shy student who has had time to articulate and rehearse their ideas in the pair chat might feel comfortable speaking in front of the class.

       • Take the conversation online. Continuing a lively conversation in an online discussion forum is a way to encourage students with severe anxiety to participate – and then have their contributions recognized at the beginning of the next in-person class.

    [Continued next week}


    “How to Hold a Better Class Discussion” by Jay Howard in The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 13, 2022; Howard can be reached at [email protected].

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    4. Effective Writing Prompts for Math Classes

                In this article in Mathematics Teacher, Tutita Casa (University of Connecticut/Storrs) and five colleagues say that getting students talking in math classes is essential to teachers hearing what students are thinking and effectively checking for understanding. But some students hesitate to take part in math discussions because they lack confidence or fear being wrong in front of their peers. Good mathematical writing prompts can solve those problems: written answers push all students to reason mathematically and give teachers a better sense of how a lesson is progressing.

                Another advantage of this kind of prompt is that it slows down the pace of instruction – in a good way. In too many classrooms, say the authors, “due to typical pressures from high-stakes testing and mandated curricula, teachers may rush students to the metaphorical finish line defined by correct solution pathways and answers. Doing so is akin to spoiling the best part of a movie for a good friend who has yet to watch it.” Well-framed writing prompts allow all students “to reason, problem solve, justify, conjecture, and argue.”

    Casa et al. suggest five ways teachers can improve the prompts contained in published curriculum materials or create their own. In each case the authors provide an example and a non-example:

                • Ask students to come up with their own solutions rather than implementing someone else’s. This gives the teacher insights on individual students’ ways of solving problems. Here’s an example from a fifth-grade lesson:

  • Describe an efficient way to add these two sets of fractions: ½ + ¾ and 4-5/6 + 1-1/3

    And here’s a non-example:

  • Use drawings to add the following two sets of fractions: 4-5/6 + 1-1/3

    “Beware of prompts,” say Casa et al., “that explicitly or implicitly guide and limit students to solve using a particular strategy.”

                • Ask students to address a strategy, concept, or generalization. This gives the teacher a better understanding of students’ conceptual thinking, versus having them explain the procedures they used. An example from an eighth-grade lesson on rectangular prisms:

  • Teach a friend about the meaning of each component of the formula used to calculate the volume of your box of crackers.

    A non-example:

  • Calculate the volume of your box of crackers. List steps to show how you arrived at your solution.

                • Prompt students to share their reasoning. This gives the teacher insights into the depth of students’ mathematical thinking. An example from high-school algebra:

  • Convince a friend that you will have enough money to buy your prom ticket in eight weeks if you deposit $1 into a bank account and double your account balance every week.

    A non-example:

  • Create an equation to calculate the amount of money in your bank account if you deposit $1 and your balance doubles each week.

                • Have students consider the validity of a solution. The goal is to see if students understand a particular strategy or concept. An example from a seventh-grade lesson on proportionality:

  • Kayden used the following table to compare the ingredient amounts for two different recipes and concluded they are proportional. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

    A non-example:

  • Determine if the ingredients in the two recipes are proportional.

                • Have students debate the validity of two solutions. The goal is to have students see the characteristics of correct solutions versus common misconceptions. An example from high-school statistics:

  • Jaylin thinks that the expected value of rolling a die is 3.5. Alvyn thinks that is impossible and says the expected value is 3. With whom do you agree and why?

    A non-example:

  • Calculate the expected value when rolling a die.

    Casa and her colleagues report that teachers who used these types of prompts were impressed with the positive impact on the depth of student understanding. “Although some students initially did not write down as much as their teachers desired when they implemented these approaches,” say the researchers, teachers persisted and saw a marked improvement over the prompts they had used in the past.

    “We believe,” conclude Casa et al., “that making the effort to identify, adapt, or create writing prompts that teachers assign students each day has great promise. Doing so takes no extra instructional time, allows teachers to home in on their class’s and individual students’ needs that will inform their future instructional decision making, and has the potential to streamline instruction across time. Ultimately, providing students with the opportunity to share more about their understanding honoring their mathematical approaches presents them with more-equitable opportunities to illuminate their thinking and knowledge.”


    “Maximizing the Potential of Mathematical Writing Prompts” by Tutita Casa, Cindy Gilson, Micah Bruce-Davis, Jean Gubbins, Stacy Hayden, and Elizabeth Canavan in Mathematics Teacher: Learning & Teaching PK-12, August 2022 (Vol. 115, #8, pp. 538-550); Casa can be reached at [email protected].

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    5. A Project-Based Chemistry and Physics Curriculum Gets Results

                In this article in Educational Researcher, Barbara Schneider (Michigan State University) and 12 colleagues report on the implementation of a project-based physics and chemistry program with a diverse group of over 4,000 high-school students in Michigan and California. The program – Crafting Engaging Science Environments – was developed by researchers in Finland and the U.S. and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. The goal of the curriculum was to increase high-school students’ engagement and achievement.

    Here is the researchers’ theory of action for improving science learning: “Students need to work on relevant, meaningful problems and participate in scientific practices similar to the actual work of scientists – such as ‘figuring out’ phenomena, building and testing models that explain those phenomena, searching for patterns and connections in data, and uncovering cause and effect relationships.”

    What were the results? Students in the CESE program did better than a control group on an independent science assessment, and also had higher aspirations to attend college. “Overall,” conclude the researchers, “results show that improving secondary science learning is achievable with a coherent system comprising teacher and student learning experiences, professional learning, and formative unit assessments that support students in ‘doing’ science.”

    One feature of Crafting Engaging Science Environments is a series of “driving questions” for major science topics. Some examples:

  • Evaporation – Why do I feel colder when I am wet than when I am dry?
  • Periodic table – Why is table salt safe to eat, but the substances that form it are explosive or toxic when separated?
  • Conservation of matter – Why does it seem like I can make a substance appear or disappear – for example, burning a piece of paper?
  • Forces and motion – How can I design a vehicle to be safer for passengers during a collision?
  • Magnetism – What makes a Maglev train function without touching the track?
  • Electricity – How can I make the most efficient electric motor?


    “Improving Science Achievement – Is It Possible? Evaluating the Efficacy of a High-School Chemistry and Physics Project-Based Learning Intervention” by Barbara Schneider, Joseph Krajcik, Jari Lavonen, Katariina Salmela-Aro, Christopher Klager, Lydia Bradford, I-Chien Chen, Quinton Baker, Israel Touitou, Deborah Peek-Brown, Rachel Marias Dezendorf, Sarah Maestrales, and Kayla Bartz in Educational Researcher, March 2022 (Vol. 51, #2, pp. 109-121); Schneider can be reached at [email protected].

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    6. The Track Record of a Principal Preparation Program

                In this article in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Christopher Doss, Melanie Zaber, Benjamin Master, and Susan Gates (RAND Corporation) and Laura Hamilton (Educational Testing Service) report on their study of how well the success criteria developed by New Leaders (a New York City-based principal preparation program) aligned with its graduates’ success on the job – and the academic success of their students.

    Aspiring principals in New Leaders take part in a one-year residency that involves mentoring by a successful principal, academic coursework, simulations, role-playing, and lots of feedback. To graduate and be “endorsed” for a principalship, participants must demonstrate proficiency through a series of performance tasks. Here is how New Leaders defines the competencies of school leadership; each bullet point under the five standards has one or more specific targets, for a total of 31:

    Personal leadership – Ability to reflect on their own practice and articulate and manage a vision for the school:

  • Reflective practice and continuous improvement;
  • Communication and interpersonal relationships;
  • Vision and mission;
  • Managing change.

    Instructional leadership – Ability to guide instructional practice in the school and ensure the staff are working to provide students with high-quality, standards-aligned instruction:

  • Pedagogy and instructional strategies;
  • Data-driven instruction;
  • Observation and supervision of instruction.

    Cultural leadership – Ability to foster a culture focused on equity and a productive working and learning environment:

  • Urgency and building schoolwide efficacy;
  • Equity and cultural competence;
  • Systems, routines, behaviors, and code of conduct;
  • Family engagement.

    Adult and team leadership – Ability to manage professional development and leadership development in the school:

  • Performance management;
  • Leadership development;
  • Professional development.

    Operational leadership – Ability to leverage the physical capital and resources in the building in a strategic manner:

  • Diagnostic and strategic planning.

    Here’s what the researchers found as they looked at the downstream performance of graduates of the program, and of their students. Overall, the New Leaders competencies aligned quite well with graduates being hired and getting good student results. “In particular,” say Doss, Zaber, Master, Gates, and Hamilton, “the Human Capital construct and its constituent standards of Instructional Leadership and Adult and Team Leadership are most predictive of improvements in student outcomes. Student outcomes seem to be more sensitive to a principal’s ability to set high expectations for students and teachers, to implement systems such as data-driven instruction and observation and supervision of instruction, to ensure those goals are being met, and to develop the school staff through professional and leadership development activities.”

    “These results,” the authors continue, “also suggest principal skills in other domains such as the building operations, the school and community culture, or the general setting of the mission and vision of the school, are less relevant to student outcomes if they are further away from the mechanics of teaching and learning.”

    Interestingly, the competencies under Personal Leadership were most closely associated with New Leaders graduates getting placed in a school, and those under Cultural Capital were most closely related to longevity on the job. “These results,” conclude the authors, “suggest that districts take a holistic view of a principal’s skillset in making hiring decisions, and that principals look at a variety of dynamics in making career decisions.”


    “The Relationship Between Measures of Preservice Principal Practice and Future Principal Job Performance” by Christopher Doss, Melanie Zaber, Benjamin Master, Susan Gates, and Laura Hamilton in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, March 2022 (Vol. 44, #1, pp. 3-28); Doss can be reached at [email protected].

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    7. The Mismatch Between Student Teaching and First-Year Placements

                In this article in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, John Krieg (Western Washington University), Dan Goldhaber (University of Washington), and Roddy Theobald (American Institutes for Research) report on their study of newly minted teachers across Washington State and how well their students did on ELA and math tests in the teachers’ first year on the job. “We find first-year teachers are more effective,” conclude the researchers, “when they teach in the same or an adjacent grade, in the same school type, or in a classroom with student demographics similar to their student teaching classroom.”

    The problem is that only about one in four first-year teachers gets a placement like that; many graduates of teacher preparation programs are assigned to high-poverty schools quite dissimilar to student teaching assignments. “This suggests,” conclude Krieg, Goldhaber, and Theobald, “that better aligning student teacher placement with first-year teacher hiring could be a policy lever for improving early-career teacher effectiveness.”


    “Disconnected Development? The Importance of Specific Human Capital in the Transition from Student Teaching to the Classroom” by John Krieg, Dan Goldhaber, and Roddy Theobald in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, March 2022 (Vol. 44, #1, pp. 29-49); Krieg can be reached at [email protected].

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    8. Recommended Children’s Books on Facing Scary Situations

                In this School Library Journal article, Shazia Naderi recommends books to help children deal with challenging events in their lives. The books feature characters who deal with their feelings of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety:

  • I’m Not Small by Nina Crews, grades K-1
  • Friends Are Friends, Forever by Dane Liu, illustrated by Lynn Scurfield, K-2
  • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman, K-2
  • When We Were Alone by David Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett, 1-3
  • Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna, Preschool-2
  • The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen, K-2
  • Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa’ Tarnowska, illustrated by Vali Mintzi, 1-3
  • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López, 1-3
  • I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell, 1-3
  • Maxine’s Critters Get the Vaccine Jitters by Jan Zauamer, illustrated by Corlette Douglas, K-1

    Four additional books were recommended by the School Library Journal staff:

  • See You Soon by Marianne Kaba, illustrated by Bianca Diaz, K-2
  • The Paper Boat: A Refugee Story by Thao Lam, 1-4
  • Night on the Sand by Monica Mayper, illustrated by Jaime Kim, K-2
  • The Waiting Place: When Home Is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found by Dina Nayeri, photos by Anna Bosch, grade 6 and up


“A Little Courage” by Shazia Naderi in School Library Journal, August 2022 (Vol. 68, #8, pp. 44-46)

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About the Marshall Memo


Mission and focus:

This weekly memo is designed to keep principals, teachers, superintendents, and other educators very well-informed on current research and effective practices in K-12 education. Kim Marshall, drawing on 52 years’ experience as a teacher, principal, central office administrator, writer, and consultant, lightens the load of busy educators by serving as their “designated reader.”


To produce the Marshall Memo, Kim subscribes to 60 carefully-chosen publications (see list to the right), sifts through more than 150 articles each week, and selects 8-10 that have the greatest potential to improve teaching, leadership, and learning. He then writes a brief summary of each article, pulls out several striking quotes, provides e-links to full articles when available, and e-mails the Memo to subscribers every Monday evening (with occasional breaks; there are 50 issues a year). Every week there’s a podcast and HTML version as well.



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Core list of publications covered

Those read this week are underlined.

All Things PLC

American Educational Research Journal

American Educator

American Journal of Education

American School Board Journal

AMLE Magazine

ASCA School Counselor

ASCD Express

Cult of Pedagogy

District Management Journal

Ed. Magazine

Education Digest

Education Gadfly

Education Next

Education Week

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

Educational Horizons

Educational Leadership

Educational Researcher

Elementary School Journal

English Journal

Exceptional Children

Harvard Business Review

Harvard Educational Review

Independent School

Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy

Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk (JESPAR)

Kappa Delta Pi Record

Knowledge Quest

Language Arts

Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance)

Literacy Today (formerly Reading Today)

Mathematics Teacher: Learning & Teaching PK-12

Middle School Journal

Peabody Journal of Education

Phi Delta Kappan


Principal Leadership

Psychology Today

Reading Research Quarterly

Rethinking Schools

Review of Educational Research

School Administrator

School Library Journal

Social Education

Social Studies and the Young Learner

Teachers College Record

Teaching Exceptional Children

The Atlantic

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Journal of the Learning Sciences

The Language Educator

The Learning Professional (formerly Journal of Staff Development)

The New York Times

The New Yorker

The Reading Teacher

Theory Into Practice


Urban Education