10 Critical Components for Success in the Special Education Classroom

Discover a variety of research-based instructional strategies to support all students, including those with autism and severe learning disabilities; organize your classroom, materials, and schedules for optimal teaching and learning; execute well-planned standards-based lessons, annual IEPs, PLAALPs, behavioral interventions, and visual supports; develop communication and social skills; and foster parent communication and staff collaboration.

10 Steps for Hiring Effective Teachers

In this book, readers will learn: ten best practices that address every stage of the hiring process, techniques and sample questions for Behavior-Based Interviewing, interview questions to avoid, and how to involve teacher peers in interviewing and mentoring new hires.

15 Positive Behavior Strategies to Increase Academic Success

This guide provides essential strategies to improve student learning by supporting good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior.

A Culturally Proficient Response to the Common Core

This book shows how central Common Core tenets—rigor, meaningful curricula and assessment, and higher order thinking—can become educational realities for every child in your school or district.

A Teacher's Guide to Special Education

This practical reference clarifies what general education teachers need to know about special education law and processes and provides a guide to instructional best practices for the inclusive classroom.

Achieving Next Generation Literacy

This book presents a lesson planning approach for the secondary classroom that generates test success as a byproduct of comprehensive literacy learning.

An RTI Guide to Improving the Performance of African American Students

This book shows educators how to create culturally relevant RTI models that help diverse students thrive!

Better Writing Breakthrough

The book explores the three interrelated sequences of the field-tested Discourse and Writing Cycle—the Discourse Sequence, the Transition to Writing Sequence, and the Writing Sequence—and includes classroom examples and sample lesson plans from across the content areas of English, social studies, math, and science as a means to focus student thinking, fuel deeper learning, and build complex understanding.

Blended Learning in Grades 4–12

This book explains how to use the online environment to increase engagement and drive higher-order thinking; prepare students for high-stakes exams without sacrificing class time; assess online work; personalize learning and differentiate lessons; and move toward flipped instruction, which shifts the focus of class time from teacher to student.

Brain Matters, ed. 2

Explores brain development from birth through adolescence, the effect of exercise, sleep, nutrition, and technology on the brain, and the importance of neuroplasticity. Provides information in clear, everyday language that any teacher can immediately incorporate into classroom practice.

Brain-Based Teaching in the Digital Age

Covers how digital technology is actually changing students' brains. Learn why this creates new obstacles for teachers, but also opens up potential new pathways for learning.

Breaking Free from Myths About Teaching and Learning

Covers changing curriculum from teacher-directed and routine programs to practices that engage students in thinking, working, and interacting with others.

Bringing Math Students Into the Formative Assessment Equation

This book offers a collection of classroom-friendly strategies, resources, tools, instructional routines, and sample lessons, to help teachers learn about and implement formative assessment practices in the mathematics classroom.

Building a Math-Positive Culture

This book explores the path by which administrative leaders may improve their math programs, offering an overview of what an effective program looks like and examples of actions to take to achieve that goal. It addresses the three components necessary for a successful math program: how to recognize, support, and evaluate effective teachers; the steps to take to move from grand ideas to concrete results; and how to approach obstacles to achieving your goal.

Charting a Course to Standards-Based Grading

This book offers a continuum of options, with four "destinations" on the road to improved grading and assessment.

Co-Planning for Co-Teaching

This book provides time-saving routines for general and special education teachers that will increase the active roles of co-teacher partners and intensify instruction for students. Co-planning strategies for meeting IEP goals, and tips for eliminating the frustrations and barriers often associated with co-planning, are also presented.

Common Core Mathematics Standards

This book describes the “habits of mind” that teachers should develop in their students without which the content standards cannot be successfully implemented. It is designed to help principals and math leaders grapple with the changes that must be addressed so that teachers can implement the practices required by the CCSS.

Community-Based Learning

This book shows how the implementation of a community-based learning program makes the curriculum more meaningful and relevant to students while creating a vibrant program that promotes academic achievement and future career skills. It allows for the students to become more engaged, with both the community and the school district benefitting through forged local partnerships ranging from major employers to small businesses and community groups.

Connecting Teachers, Students, and Standards

Features a field-tested framework for teaching to ensure inclusion and differentiated instruction are in harmony with standards-based education.

Counseling Students in Levels 2 and 3

In this guide, K-12 mental health professionals will discover three proven counseling approaches that are both efficient and effective, and that allow for data-based decision making. By focusing on levels 2 and 3 of the PBIS and RTI frameworks, counselors can deliver responsive counseling services to students most in need of support.

Creating Passionate Learners

This book offers a comprehensive system for defining engagement and optimizing it in any student cohort. It explores how to improve teacher feedback methods for maximum engagement and the power of mindset (for both educators and students) as well as aiding in the definition of and understanding how to maximize engagement.

Creating Standards-Based Integrated Curriculum, ed. 3

This book applies the essential principles of standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment to today's unique challenges. It focuses on multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches.

Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms

This book describes how teachers can create a structured, student-centered environment that allows for openness and surprise, and where inquiry guides authentic learning. Strategies for fostering student curiosity through exploration, novelty, and play; questioning and critical thinking; and experimenting and problem solving are also provided.

Culturally Proficient Practice

This guide introduces the principles of Cultural Proficiency and how they can help improve educators’ ability to effectively teach English language learners.

Curriculum 21

Covers why and how schools must overhaul, update, and breathe new life into the K-12 curriculum to reflect new technologies in a globalized world.

Deeper Learning Through Technology

This book provides strategies for leveraging the cloud to create a self-paced, learner-centered classroom; explains how to take advantage of tech tools to facilitate learning; and real-life case studies and activities to ensure an enjoyable implementation experience.

Designing Schools for Meaningful Professional Learning

This book shows how to promote your faculty’s professional growth and accountability through job-embedded learning.

Designing a Concept-Based Curriculum for English Language Arts

This book shows you how to design a curriculum that functions as a framework for lesson plans, unites the efforts of ELA teachers district-wide, addresses core standards while focusing on student understanding, and creates a ripple effect helping to align curriculum, assessments, and instruction.


This book incorporates new cognitive science that shows how influencing students’ mental habits is their key to finding meaning in classroom content. Topics include making dispositions come alive in the minds of students, shifting the thinking of educational leaders, parents, politicians and the public, and how to align day-to-day classroom practices with larger dispositional outcomes.

ELL Shadowing as a Catalyst for Change

ELL shadowing helps teachers better understand the classroom experience from an English language learner's point of view. The author describes how to implement this easily accessible form of professional development, outlines specific strategies for adapting instruction to engage ELLs, and provides supporting videos on the companion website.

Education Unbound

Provides and introduction to the concept of "Greenfield Schooling" and its potential to free-up schools to be more responsive to communities and kids.

Enhancing Adolescents' Motivation for Science

This book offers research-proven strategies on how best to motivate students in science and promote scientific literacy. The authors detail key motivational constructs specific to science with illustrative vignettes, address gender differences that influence how girls and boys are motivated, describe how to make science learning relevant, accessible, and enjoyable, and offer motivational strategies that are consistent with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Enhancing RTI

Provides a strengthened model of RTI (Response to Intervention) that emphasizes formative assessment and refining core instructions rather than relying only on multiple layers of intervention.

Evaluating America's Teachers

This book presents a discussion of common evaluation systems, including testing, value-added models, and observations. Analysis of federal guidelines and state responses, action steps teachers and school leaders can take to influence policy, and a clear rationale and strategies for implementing a teacher evaluation model based on human judgment are also discussed.

Excellence Through Equity

This book provides an inspiring look at how real-world educators are creating schools where all students are able to thrive. In these schools, educators understand that equity is not about treating all children the same. They are deeply committed to ensuring that each student receives what he or she individually needs to develop their full potential—and succeed.


This book is designed to assist teachers, administrators, and coaches by prescribing strategies for creating a culture of feedback. Instructional tools and clear explanations provided by the author create a blueprint for developing independent thinkers, engaged students, and high achievers in every classroom.

Fostering Resilient Learners

This book explores an urgent and growing issue—childhood trauma—and its profound effect on learning and teaching. It can help educators cultivate a trauma-sensitive learning environment for students across all content areas, grade levels, and educational settings.

Getting to the Core of Literacy for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, Grades 6–12

This book is designed to help teachers become more familiar with the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) and serves as a guide to align lesson plans with the standards to uncover their benefits for the teaching of reading and writing.

Guided Instruction

Covers how to use a combination of questions, prompts, cues, direct explanations, and modeling to guide students' learning and build their understanding.

Guiding Professional Learning Communities

This book provides a guide for increasing and enhancing teaching quality through the power of educators learning together.

How to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom

Covers how to develop and use test questions and other assessments that reveal how well students can analyze, reason, solve problems, and think creatively.

How to Reach the Hard to Teach

This book presents a thoughtful and practical approach to achieving breakthrough success with linguistically and culturally diverse students who struggle in school. Strategies for setting high expectations, providing access to the core curriculum, using assessment to inform instruction, attending to language development—both English and academic, and creating a supportive classroom climate are also discussed.

How to Support Struggling Students

Provides proactive learning support to enable teachers to give students the right kind of assistance and get those who are struggling back on track. Covers the steps of building a plan and provides all the strategies needed to support students before, during, and after instruction.

Inclusion Coaching for Collaborative Schools

This book is an essential resource for the newly minted inclusion coach, including timelines, planning sheets, surveys, frameworks, curriculum examples, and other practical tools.


This book offers extensive case studies to explore how expert principals manage crises, navigate tough choices, and support school environments.

Inspiring the Best in Students

Presents concepts on how to inspire students to learn, behave responsibly, and improve their relationships with themselves, other students, and teachers.

Intentional and Targeted Teaching

This book introduces the powerful FIT Teaching Tool, which harnesses the FIT Teaching approach and presents a detailed continuum of growth and leadership.

Inviting Students to Learn

Explains how to have more influence in the classroom to get more power from what you say to your students every day and provides can't-fail strategies and 100 tips for talking to students more effectively.

Keeping the Whole Child Healthy and Safe

Explores what it means to foster health and safety for students by offering a look at the issues from many angles, addressing both physical and mental health and safety.

Leadership Coaching for Educators, ed. 2

This book provides a common core of knowledge and understanding about coaching to help educators design and develop effective coaching programs.

Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom

A guide that covers everything needed to deal with time, space, materials, groups, and strategies in ways that balance content requirements with multiple pathways for learning. Explains how to lead a class that is differentiated to individual students' needs.

Leading with Focus

This book shows school administrators, principals, and other education leaders how to apply the author's model to the work of running schools and districts. It offers an overview of the case for simple, focused school and district leadership; examples of real schools and districts that have embraced focused leadership; and a practical implementation guide for ensuring focused leadership in schools and districts.

Learning for Keeps

What is the explicit instructional strategy that supports the higher-level skills students need to meet the demands of the Common Core Standards? Here’s a book that answers that question and provides you with the vision needed to help students perform cognitive behaviors necessary for college or career-readiness.

Learning from Lincoln

Explores how Lincoln's ability to persevere and lead despite adversity provides an inspirational model for educators struggling with today's challenges of accountability, diversity, political conflict, and economic hardship.

Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn

This teacher-friendly guide offers everything needed to help students who are bored, frustrated, or under performing come alive to learning through the fundamental power of choice. It provides examples of choice in action, ideas to try with different students, and a step-by-step process to help plan and incorporate choice into your classroom.

Learning to Love Math

Explains how negative attitudes toward math get established in the brain and what teachers can do to turn those attitudes around.

Level Up Your Classroom

This book shines a spotlight on gamification, an instructional approach that’s revolutionizing K–12 education. Students build knowledge through experimentation and then apply what they’ve learned to fuel further exploration at higher levels of understanding.

Literacy Unleashed

This book explains why ensuring high-quality reading instruction is one of school leaders’ most important jobs and introduce their Literacy Classroom Visit (LCV) Model. Meticulously researched and refined through years of application in the field, the LCV Model enables administrators to evaluate and improve literacy instruction in their school or district.

Making Friends, PreK-3, ed. 2

This hands-on guidebook gives teachers, counselors, behavior therapists, and caregivers a wealth of easily implemented and fun-filled ways to enhance children's skills in all areas of social interaction.

Making Sense of Math

This book explores how to turn students into flexible mathematical thinkers and problem solvers. It focuses on the following areas: making sense of math by fostering habits of mind that help students analyze, understand, and adapt to problems; addressing the mathematical building blocks necessary to include in effective math instruction; and turning teaching "upside down" by shifting how we teach, focusing on discussion and analysis as much as we focus on correct answers.

Making Teachers Better Not Bitter

This book provides a compelling vision for teacher growth that encourages and supports instructional expertise, along with nearly three dozen step-by-step protocols for working with teachers. These protocols present a powerful rationale for re-conceptualizing teacher evaluation by creating a balanced system of three equally important components: Reliable and valid evaluation, empowering and focused supervision, and meaningful and purposeful reflection.

Mastering Academic Language

This book offers a step-by-step, research-based approach to scaffolding K-12 instruction for students who do not have the language and literacy skills that are needed in school. Readers will find practical teaching strategies based on the four key facets of academic language fluency, case studies about students’ experiences with academic language across the content areas, guidance on family involvement, study questions, and performance assessment tools.

Meeting Students Where They Live

Explains what problems are unique to the urban environment, why urban youth is more difficult to motivate, and how to replace ineffective approaches with methods that relate to these students' everyday experiences.

Now That's a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning

This book explores how one of the most fundamental instructional strategies—questioning—can provide the proper scaffolding to deepen student thinking, understanding, and application of knowledge.

On Being a Teacher

This collection of articles includes tips and strategies, reflections on the profession as a whole, and descriptions of practices that can make the teaching experience more effective and more rewarding.

On Developing Readers

This collection of articles covers what research says about the teaching of both reading and reading comprehension—from teaching phonics to improving fluency to tackling complex texts. It offers strategies for teaching informational texts as well as fiction. Most important, it also addresses how to inspire the love of reading.

On Formative Assessment

This collection of articles pulls together some of the best pieces on formative assessment and feedback that will help educators understand how to best use the data they have at their fingertips.

On Poverty and Learning

This collection of articles brings together fifteen insightful and passionate pieces that will help you better understand how poverty affects learning and what educators can do to make a positive difference for each learner every day.

Optimize Your School

This guide shows how to unite and energize your team as never before, while helping your students to love learning and crave achievement.

Other Duties as Assigned

Provides ongoing advice and counsel on how to master the entire spectrum of duties that teacher leaders are expected to accomplish.

Partnering With Students

This step-by-step guide will help you build learner capacity and create a classroom culture where students take the lead.

Partnering with Parents to Ask the Right Questions

This book presents a strategy for how educators can build effective partnerships with parents—especially those who typically have not been actively involved in their children’s schooling. It includes case studies spanning the K–12 spectrum, and it explores ways to assist struggling students, collaborate on IEPs, use school-based events to engage parents in problem solving, and tap into community resources to work effectively with families of English language learners.

Planting the Seeds of Algebra, 3-5

This book empowers teachers with theoretical and practical ways to introduce Algebra to 3-5 grade students, making vital connections to concepts they will encounter in middle school and beyond.

Proactive School Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning

This book provides readers with an overview of school security and the politics surrounding it, then provides nuts-and-bolts strategies for preventing violence and preparing for crises.

Professional Development That Sticks

This book provides a framework for developing professional learning experiences that spark and maintain teacher motivation and lead to real changes in practice. It makes the case for a better approach—one that melds traditional PD structures with personalized learning. The author's three-stage professional development for learning (PDL) process covers critical aspects of planning, providing, and following up.

RTI for Diverse Learners

This research-based resource provides more than 200 instructional interventions for teaching the growing population of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds within an Response to Intervention (RTI) framework.

Raising Black Students' Achievement Through Culturally Responsive Teaching

Covers the instructional, management, and assessment strategies to help teachers be more effective at educating black students.

Reach the Highest Standard in Professional Learning: Implementation

This book provides guidance on "implementing the implementation standard" and will help you discover what it takes to implement lasting, high-impact professional learning and practice.

Response to Intervention in Math

This book leads the way in applying Response to Intervention (RTI) to mathematics instruction by offering guidelines for improving learning for all students, especially those who have learning disabilities or are struggling with mathematics content.

Responsible Classroom Management, Grades K–5

Written for principals and teachers, this nationally tested discipline plan for Grades K–5 emphasizes a team approach to managing student behavior.

Starting School Right

This book is packed with ideas for both new and veteran teachers of K-8 students, covering a variety of topics that are especially relevant to the first week of school. It provides critical information that includes arranging and navigating the classroom, setting basic expectations, communicating routines, and understanding your students' needs. You'll gain new insights for the first week of school and for a successful year for students, parents, and teachers.

Strengthening and Enriching Your Professional Learning Community

Explains how to use the Process Learning Circle method to ensure your PLC advances the type of teacher learning that is essential to improving student achievement.

Supporting the Dream

This guide to building and sustaining effective, cross-system partnerships between high schools, colleges, and regional and local communities is designed to help educators support students’ college and career readiness.

Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning

This book presents the groundbreaking results of the Institute's half-decade of research, development, and practice: a simple but powerful model for personalizing students' learning experiences by building their levels of commitment, ownership, and independence.

Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Areas

Provides help to teachers, in every subject area, become expert teachers of English language learners (ELL).

Teaching Outside the Lines

This book addresses the difficulties that educators experience when trying to integrate creativity into their curriculum, and presents strategies for equipping learners across all grades and subjects with the motivation and critical thinking skills to thrive in a high-tech future.

Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains

In this book, the authors explain metacognition and how it equips students to meet today’s rigorous education standards. They present a unique blend of useful metaphors, learning strategies, and instructional tips you can use to teach your students to be the boss of their brains.

Teaching the Male Brain, ed. 2

This guide helps teachers discover how to reach male students. Updated with recent research in neuroscience and developmental psychology, it translates theory into practical strategy,

The Active Classroom, ed. 2

If you want the classroom experience to result in deeper understanding and new knowledge, then students must become active participants in the learning process. With new chapters on writing and the first two weeks of school, this book references the CCSS as it relates to communication and collaboration and structuring the classroom environment and offers brain-based teaching strategies.

The Artisan Teaching Model for Instructional Leadership

This book merges the idea of teamwork with the concept of an artisan-apprentice relationship; when newer members of the profession work alongside experts ("artisans"). Over time, the apprentices become artisans themselves and in turn share the art and craft of teaching with newer teachers.

The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st-Century Schools

This book serves as a bridge between research and practice by providing a cohesive, proven, and usable model of effective instruction, showing how to apply relevant research from educational and cognitive neuroscience to classroom settings through a pedagogical framework. It presents this model with the educator in mind and offers practical steps for using it to inform instruction and teach 21st-century skills.

The First-Year Teacher, ed. 4

This book is designed to assist first-year teachers, and teachers transitioning to new positions, to navigate the changes and challenges that they may encounter. Chapters addressing issues such as classroom management, special education, inclusive classrooms, and building planning and time management skills, are provided.

The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners

This book provides hundreds of easy, stand-alone activities, resources, and projects to help busy educators to seamlessly integrate global awareness themes into existing K-5 Common Core curriculum, recruit parent and community volunteers and organizations, use social media for student global collaboration projects, and plan international events, after-school clubs, and cross-curricular activities.

The Highly Effective Teacher

In this book, the author introduces the Teacher Intentionality Practice Scale (TIPS), a framework for both supporting and measuring effective teaching. Taken together, the framework's seven TIPs provide a research-based, classroom-tested guide to help teachers create coherent, connected lessons.

The Multigenerational Workplace

This book demonstrates how educators can look past their own generational filters to reap the benefits of seeing through a new lens. It focuses on the major contexts in which generational differences play out—including recruitment, coaching, professional learning, and succession planning.

The Power of Teacher Rounds

This book dives into the details of implementing a successful teacher rounds program, and provides a complete and practical step-by-step plan.

The Power of the Adolescent Brain

This book looks at the power and promise of the teenage brain from an empathetic, strength-based perspective, and describes what middle and high school educators can do to make the most of their students' potential.

The Principal Influence

This book explores the definition of leadership and including clear targets that support the ongoing growth and development of leaders. It enables principals to learn to capitalize on their leadership roles as visionary, instructional leader, engager, and learner and collaborator. It also offers 17 criteria of effective practice that allow leaders to focus on behaviors that have the greatest direct effect on the culture and status of learning and teaching.

The School Improvement Specialist Field Guide

This guide shows new and transitioning School Improvement Specialist (SIS) professionals in applying high-leverage practices that result in systemic, sustainable, school-wide improvement.

The Teacher 50

This book takes readers on a reflective journey designed to reignite their passion for teaching. It provides teachers with ideas for strengthening student success in the classroom at all times and under all circumstances.

The Well-Balanced Teacher

Takes into account how a teacher's heavy workload and busy lifestyle can lead to stress; features how to deal with that stress and how to take care of health issues.

Transforming Professional Development into Student Results

Provides a blueprint for how to ensure professional development can improve student learning by focusing on, evidence of student learning, feedback on teacher and principal decisions, and depth of implementation.

Uncommon Core

This book puts us on high-alert about some outright dangerous misunderstandings looming around so-called “standards-aligned” instruction, then shows us how to steer past them—all in service of meeting the real intent of the Common Core.

Uncovering Student Thinking in Mathematics

This book provides tools and examples that allow middle and high school teachers to gauge students’ knowledge of core mathematics concepts and strengthen their ability to teach effectively.

What Every School Leader Needs to Know About RTI

Covers the Response to Intervention (RTI) approach to help teachers through the steps of setting up multiple assessments, analyzing performance data, and responding to learning problems.

What Teachers Really Need to Know About Formative Assessment

Explains how to make formative assessments a seamless and natural part of the teaching process and provides assessment strategies that can be used before, during, and after instruction to learning.

When Treating All the Kids the Same Is the Real Problem

This book discusses practical implementation strategies and tools that help educators to more effectively and methodically teach children of color, children from low-income families, and other marginalized student groups. Reflective-discussion questions and case studies are also provided.

You Can't Teach Until Everyone Is Listening

This book provides educators with six easy, proactive steps to establishing a classroom environment free of disruption and conducive to learning.

You're the Principal! Now What? Strategies and Solutions for New School Leaders

This book provides a mentor’s guidance to steer new principals through the period of adjustment and set the foundation for a long and rewarding career. The topics you wish your graduate program had covered are covered here—directly, practically, and without the jargon.