Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Win Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in Any School

I recently read Mission Possible - How the secrets of the success academies can work in any school - and I could not put it down. If you watched Waiting for Superman, you would have seen the lottery that was held for kids to gain entry into one of the Success Academies in Harlem.

The book gives the details about how a a charter school in the middle of Harlem, emerged as one of the top schools in New York City and State within three years with enrollment of neighborhood children selected at random.  The results of this school were on par with public schools for gifted students and elite private schools.

The book gives strategies that can be put into place at any school. There is also a DVD with examples of the strategies at work.

A few takeaways I got were:

* Making School Magical - Would the students go to school if they didn't have to?  Teachers at Success Academies WANT to go to school .  The curriculum is rigorous so students are never bored, but they also add joy to school with magicians and jugglers performing in classes, field trips, and more. A quote from the book I particularly liked was, "Don't doubt that kids will get it if you consistently make the instruction both challenging AND interesting."

*Reading is the starting point for all else - The school uses the THINK Literacy program which uses a balanced literacy program that includes reading and writing workshops, guided reading, read alouds, shared text, book discussions and more.

*It's all about the adults -  This was very interesting for me, as I had never heard this to be the focus in education.  Usually we say, "It is all about the students".  And while I think that focusing on the student is important in education, I agree that we must also focus on the adults who provide the education.

I also have a homeschool blog from back when I used to homeschool my older children.  Although I no longer homeschool, I have maintained the blog and was given the opportunity to review and giveaway a copy of the book for that blog.  You might want to head over to enter to win the book for yourself!

Enter here.  

Fancy Free in Fourth is also having a great giveaway celebrating 300 followers! Prizes include a variety of items from TPT stores and a Starbucks gift card.

Please stop by and check out www.fancyfreein4th.blogspot.com for her awesome giveaway promotion! 

Teach on a Limb is hosting her 100 follower giveaway with a bunch of items from various TPT stores including the product of your choice from my store!

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