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Free Chapter from These Six Things: How to Focus Your Teaching on What Matters Most

Get permission to focus with this highly practical, professionally published paperback. The full book is packed with over 200 pages of information about how we can be working smarter and saner within our classrooms across the content areas. The book is filled with examples from the classroom and strategies from experts in various fields, all focused on promoting the long-term flourishing of our students. All of my work as a writer and teacher is boiled down into this easy-to-understand guide.

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You’ll get immediate access to the guide, plus you’ll receive new articles every Tuesday and Saturday about building a better classroom, thinking more clearly, and becoming the educator you want to be.

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In this highly practical, research-rich book by a practicing classroom teacher, you'll learn the following:

  1. A timeless “Everest” exercise for cutting through overwhelm and getting clear about what you're doing — helping you to do less work but better.
  2. A simple, powerful, beliefs-based approach to analyzing and improving student motivation. You'll have a grid for getting through those “throw your hands in the air” situations and into the sweet spot of “Okay, let's try this.” And none of it's theory — I've done it all in my classroom, and I've helped teachers around the country and world do it, too.
  3. Practical interventions and strategies for reaching poorly motivated kids, ranging from those who are overly incentivized by grades, to those who are apathetic, to those who shudder at the thought of schoolwork.
  4. Why knowledge-building does matter in the age of Google, and how to make robust knowledge-building meaningful and successful for kidsacross the school day.
  5. How to facilitate simple and powerful classroom debates that teach kids how to argue earnestly and amicably rather than divisively or without listening.
  6. How to properly frame reading, writing, and speaking/listening in the content areas in ways that content area teachers can get behind, thereby making school-wide literacy pushes better and saner for everybody.
  7. Nine simple moves to pull from for helping diverse groups of kids read diverse kinds of complex, high-value texts. 
  8. No-nonsense talk about and strategies for drastically reducing the amount of time we spend grading written student work.
  9. (Go back and re-read #8 — I'm serious.)
  10. A time-tested and simple approach to getting kids who are afraid of public speaking to speak in front of their peers with growing confidence.

… and those are just the highlights.

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