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Learn more about NCTE's Principle in Practice K-12 imprint series.

Principles in Practice Books

Books in the Principles in Practice imprint offer teachers concrete illustrations of effective classroom practices based in NCTE research briefs and policy statements.

Each book discusses the research on a specific topic, links the research to an NCTE brief or policy statement, and then demonstrates how those principles come alive in practice: by showcasing actual classroom practices that demonstrate the policies in action; by talking about research in practical, teacher-friendly language; and by offering teachers possibilities for rethinking their own practices in light of the ideas presented in the books.

Books within the imprint are grouped in strands, with each strand focused on a significant topic of interest.

View, download, and share the Principles in Practice book flier

Series Editor: Cathy Fleischer 

Adolescent Literacy Strand

Writing in Today's Classrooms Strand

Literacy Assessment Strand

Literacies of the Disciplines Strand


Adolescent Literacy Strand

Books in this strand are based on Adolescent Literacy: A Policy Research Brief

Adolescent Literacy at Risk? The Impact of Standards

Rebecca Bowers Sipe

Contents and Sample Chapter (PDF)

Sipe helps teachers and others "understand the journey that we've all taken in the name of standards over the past three decades." She explores what standards should be and aren't, the crucial distinction between standards and standardization, and strategies for working with standards.

Listen to Sipe discuss her book with Principles in Practice imprint editor Cathy Fleischer (10:50):



Adolescents and Digital Literacies: Learning Alongside Our Students

Sara Kajder

Contents and Sample Chapter

Kajder explores "what technology means for English classrooms." She stresses the importance of understanding the varieties of literacies that students bring to the classroom, and she helps teachers understand their role in helping students learn with digital technologies.

Listen to Kajder discuss her book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (15:40):



Adolescent Literacy and the Teaching of Reading: Lessons for Teachers of Literature

Deborah Appleman

Contents and Sample Chapter

Appleman discusses how her experiences as a high school English teacher, teacher educator, and teacher in a men's prison convinced her that "our job is to really diagnose where every student is in terms of their reading ability and to think about how our classrooms, increasingly diverse, can be better constructed to serve all of our students' needs."

Listen to Appleman discuss her book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (7:57):



Writing in Today's Classrooms Strand

Books in this strand are based on NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing 


Writing in the Dialogical Classroom: Students and Teachers Responding to the Texts of Their Lives

Bob Fecho

Contents and Sample Chapter

Fecho stresses the value of reading and writing as tools for learning and making meaning, not just things to be tested on. The book, with its inquiry-based focus, offers dialogical writing projects of various lengths, for different purposes, with students of varying ability levels.

Listen to Fecho discuss his book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (6:27):



Becoming Writers in the Elementary Classroom: Visions and Decisions

Katie Van Sluys

Contents and Sample Chapter

Van Sluys explores teachers "navigating the contemporary challenges and context that we're teaching in, to create classrooms where writing is alive, where writers yearn to write and . . . are part of an ongoing dialogue about what's 'best,' what 'best practices' look like."

Listen to Van Sluys discuss her book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (11:34):


Writing Instruction in the Culturally Relevant Classroom

Maisha T. Winn and Latrise Johnson

Contents and Sample Chapter

Winn and Johnson discuss how culturally relevant pedagogy is important for all students, across all content areas, as they share the work of four classroom teachers.

Listen to Winn and Johnson discuss their book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (9:33):



Literacy Assessment Strand

Books in this strand are based on the IRA-NCTE Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing, Revised Edition (2009).

Our Better Judgment: Teacher Leadership for Writing Assessment

Chris W. Gallagher and Eric D. Turley

Contents and Sample Chapter

Gallagher and Turley argue for moving assessment to the center of our professional practice, especially if we approach writing assessment through an inquiry framework that allows us to collaborate with students, other teachers, and community members to build our own assessment literacy, expertise, and leadership.

Listen to Gallagher and Turley discuss their book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (10:15):

Gallagher and Turley also talked with Larry Jacobs of Education Talk Radio. Listen to their conversation, "Taking the Reins of Writing Assessment." (42:48)

Beyond Standardized Truth: Improving Teaching and Learning through Inquiry-Based Reading Assessment

Scott Filkins

Contents and Sample Chapter

Filkins discusses his work with formative reading assessment in his own classes as well as with colleagues across the content areas.

Listen to Scott Filkins discuss his book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (10:48):



Reading Assessment: Artful Teachers, Successful Students

Diane Stephens, editor

Contents and Sample Chapter

Editor Diane Stephens and colleagues explore how artful pre-K–5 teachers come to know their students through assessment and use that knowledge to customize reading instruction.

Listen to Diane Stephens discuss her book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (9:49):



 Literacies of the Disciplines Strand

Books in this strand are based on Literacies of Disciplines: A Policy Research Brief

Entering the Conversations: Practicing Literacy in the Disciplines

Patricia Lambert Stock, Trace Schillinger, and Andrew Stock

Contents and Sample Chapter

The authors show how students at all levels of instruction can learn both subject matter and the discipline-specific practices for reading and writing about that subject matter.

Listen to Patti Stock, Trace Schillinger, and Andrew Stock discuss their book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (19:12).


Real-World Literacies: Disciplinary Teaching in the High School Classroom

Heather Lattimer

Contents and Sample Chapter

Heather Lattimer draws on Literacies of Disciplines: An NCTE Policy Research Brief and stories from high school classrooms to illustrate how we can learn to recognize the unique languages and literacy structures represented by various disciplines and then help our students both navigate within individual disciplines and travel among them.

Listen to Heather Lattimer discuss her book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (6:31).



Doing and Making Authentic Literacies

Linda Denstaedt, Laura Jane Roop, and Stephen Best

Contents and Sample Chapter

This book features educators in construction trades, English, math, and multidisciplinary teams who have created empowering disciplinary classrooms and projects that allow students, particularly those who are sometimes disenfranchised by the larger culture and current institutional structures, to gain new identities as makers and doers.

Listen to Linda Denstaedt and Laura Jane Roop discuss their book with Principles in Practice editor Cathy Fleischer (8:21).

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