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These 6 Things

These 6 Things
How to Focus Your Teaching on What Matters Most

November 2018 | 272 pages | Corwin

Streamline literacy instruction while increasing student achievement

Dave R. Stuart Jr.’s work is centered on a simple belief: all students and teachers can flourish. Yet that seemingly simple goal can feel unattainable when teachers are expected to teach core content within the disciplines and improve literacy in their classrooms. How can teachers and students flourish under so much pressure?

Stuart’s advice: Take a deep breath and refocus on six known best practices— establish and strengthen key beliefs, then build knowledge and increase reading, writing, speaking and listening, and argumentation in every content area, every day. These 6 Things is all about streamlining your practice so that you’re teaching smarter, not harder, and kids are learning, doing, and flourishing in ELA and content-area classrooms. In this essential new resource, teachers will receive

  • Proven, classroom-tested advice delivered in an approachable, teacher-to-teacher style that builds confidence
  • Practical strategies for streamlining instruction in order to focus on key beliefs and literacy-building activities
  • Solutions and suggestions for the most common teacher and student “hang-ups”
  • Numerous recommendations for deeper reading on key topics

In addition to teaching English and world history for more than a decade, Stuart is well-known for his blog, which has over 35,000 visitors each month. This popular resource has been a beacon of light for more than 10,000 subscribers who refuse to freak out about the everyday challenges of teaching in a high-stakes era. He presents professional development workshops and institutes for schools around the United States and offers a number of online learning tools and experiences on his website.

CHAPTER 1. Teaching Toward Everest
Long-Term Flourishing: The Peak of Peaks

Permission to Simplify

Let’s Focus on What We Already Know

The Gist

CHAPTER 2. Cultivate Key Beliefs
Why Beliefs?

The Five Research-Based Beliefs That Drive Student Learning Behaviors (and How to Cultivate Them)

What I’ve Learned to Be True About These Beliefs

The Gist

CHAPTER 3. Build Knowledge Purposefully and Often
The Criticality of Knowledge

Promising Practices Toward Meaningful Knowledge Building

The Gist

CHAPTER 4. Argue Purposefully and Often
The Argument for Argument

Cultivate an Earnest and Amicable Argument Culture

Increase the Quantity of Argumentation in Your Classroom

Improve the Quality of Argumentation in Your Classroom

The Gist

CHAPTER 5. Read Purposefully and Often
The Case for Reading Throughout the School Day

A Focused, Sensible Approach to Reading Throughout the School Day for the Long-Term Flourishing of Our Students

The Gist

CHAPTER 6. Write Purposefully and Often
The Case for Writing Throughout the School Day

A Focused, Sensible Approach to Writing Throughout the School Day for the Long-Term Flourishing of Our Students

Sanity Check: Mentally Disentangling Grading From Feedback and Better, Saner Tips for Tackling Both

The Gist

CHAPTER 7. Speak and Listen Purposefully and Often
The Case for Speaking and Listening Throughout the School Day

A Focused, Sensible Approach to Speaking and Listening Throughout the School Day for the Long-Term Flourishing of Our Students

The Gist

CHAPTER 8. Onward and Upward
Pick a Project

Commit to This, and Nothing Else, for a Long Time

A Gift for You
References and Recommended Readings

Dave Stuart’s These 6 Things is among the most helpful, passionate, practical, and insightful teaching resources I have ever come across. It is brimming with simple, practical—and exceedingly realistic—suggestions and strategies for immediately improving the quality of schooling and student work—starting tomorrow. These 6 Things is an impressive and arrestingly written book by a working teacher. I hope it gets a wide reading.

Mike Schmoker

Dave Stuart has an important insight: that a skill kids already know how to do, which is argue, also happens to be a central one in the new standards for college readiness. In Stuart’s wonderful book, These 6 Things, he draws extensively on his own classroom experience to show teachers how to help students use their everyday argument skills to energize the classroom, meet these standards, and achieve success. An extra treat is that Stuart himself writes in a down to earth language refreshingly devoid of Educationese. If you’re a teacher or school administrator interested in turning your students onto argument, Dave Stuart is your man!

Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein

What I appreciate most about Dave Stuart’s book These 6 Things: How to Focus Your Teaching on What Matters Most is that he is one of us: a classroom teacher sharing with us what works for him in ways that will work for us in our own classrooms with our own students. When I read about the poster on his class wall that says “[In this class] we are all about becoming better thinkers, readers, writers, speakers, and people,” I think of the years of hard work I have watched Dave Stuart put into his craft and this book, and how the same statement applies to Dave Stuart himself: He is all about becoming a better thinker, reader, writer, speaker, person—and teacher, and showing us how we can do the same.

Jim Burke

If you’re searching for balance as a teacher of literacy, search no further. Dave Stuart Jr.
offers a calming voice for a frenzied profession and provides practical classroom strategies that will help you teach adolescents in the rich and meaningful ways they deserve without becoming overwhelmed. This book is packed with ideas that are research-based, student-centered, and most of all, workable.
This is a book written for classroom teachers by a classroom teacher, one who understands the struggle of teachers to navigate the demands of standards and content and offers an accessible, sensible formula for classroom success. Dave is a guide, a mentor, an advocate, and a fellow traveler on the road to nurturing and educating students through positive, focused instruction.

Barry Gilmore

In These 6 Things, Dave Stuart provides a framework and road map that is of value to educators at all stages of their careers, from novices to veterans. He reminds us all to focus in on the things that are most important and to do them well. Much of the book creates opportunities for the kinds of reflection and self-analysis in which most teachers do not have the opportunity to engage. A great tool for new teachers and seasoned teachers alike to find their “Everest” and pursue it.

David T. Conley
University of Oregon

These 6 Things is a joyful shot in the arm for experienced teachers as well as for novices. Is it possible to consolidate the most important aspects of teaching into one book—complete with relevant, engaging examples that have been tried and proven by teachers in various content areas? I wouldn’t have thought so, but Dave has managed to do it, all while affirming, encouraging, and acting as a “guide on the side” for those who may feel unsure about trying out new activities with their students. You’ll want to carve out some reading time for this book. The journey will yield wonderful rewards for both teachers and students.

ReLeah Cosset Lent

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506391038

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