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Fanatically Formative

Fanatically Formative
Successful Learning During the Crucial K–3 Years

December 2012 | 216 pages | Corwin
'This book is a joy to read! Positive and practical are the two best words to describe it. Every early childhood educator would benefit from reading Fanatically Formative.' -Richard L. Allington, Professor of Literacy Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

'I could not put this book down. The captivating message reignited my passion for quality and joyful teaching. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter will serve as springboards for stimulating discourse.' - Kathleen A. Robbins, Principal MacGowan School, Redford, MIT

Transform your K-3 classrooms into effective centers of learning! Helping children experience early learning success and acquire essential skills by third grade is a crucial part of any school reform effort. Yet, many teachers and children are overwhelmed by the ineffective curriculum-driven education system and the 'rush to cover' climate in schools. Fanatically Formative shows how you can rediscover the joy of teaching and help children fall in love with learning again. This book traces the journey of a teacher as she works through the challenges of formative assessment and responsive instruction to discover the practices that will help her students succeed. K-3 teachers, principals, and district administrators will learn how to:

Set clear, attainable learning outcomes

Make teaching responsive to the whole child

Monitor student progress toward essential skills

Build a truly positive classroom and school culture

Collaborate to help young children succeed

With surveys, lists of essential skills, study questions for PLC groups, and highlighted summaries of key points Fanatically Formative offers a clear and powerful vision for your early learning success initiative along with the action steps to achieve your goals.

Publisher's Acknowledgments
About the Author
1. Students at Risk
2. Responsive Instruction Versus Curriculum-Driven Instruction: Why Public Education's Race to Cover More Material and Test More Students Is Failing America's Children
3. Finding Focus
4. Essential Skills and the Whole Child
5. The Challenge of Formative Assessment and Responsive Instruction
6. The Importance of Classroom and School Culture
7. Instructional Support: Responding to Teacher Requests for Help
8. The Importance of Quality Preschool
9. The Importance of Parent Engagement
10. When Good People Work Within Lousy Systems
11. Pathfinders
12. Love of Learning
13. Critical Thinking Followed by Action
14. The Lives of Children in the Balance

“This book is a significant contribution to the early learning field—and deserves to be read, and heeded.”

David Lawrence, Jr., President
The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation

“Bob Sornson makes it incredibly clear. Early learning success for our children is possible. Early learning success for our children is an essential ingredient for meaningful school reform and for the success of our nation.”

Jim Fay, Co-founder
The Love and Logic Institute

“I could not put this book down. The message was captivating and reignited my passion for quality and joyful teaching. I want to share this book with my colleagues as a part of a professional learning community. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter will serve as springboards for stimulating discourse. The authors words will give our learning community the courage to continue to do what is best for the kids despite the pressures of high stakes testing.”

Kathleen A. Robbins, Principal
MacGowan School, Redford, MI

“I smiled, I laughed, I stayed up late reading, and then my head was buzzing with excitement. Fanatically Formative turns best practice into a clear vision for action. Set clear attainable learning outcomes, teach responsively, monitor progress toward the essential skills, build a truly positive classroom and school culture, collaborate to help young children succeed, including parents, and make schools filled with joy. Sornson makes me believe we can!”

Janet Gottsleben, Principal
Beacon Elementary, Harper Woods, MI

“This book is a joy to read! Positive and practical are the two best words to describe it. Every early childhood educator would benefit from reading Fanatically Formative if only for the common sense offered for teaching in complex times.”

Richard L. Allington, Professor of Literacy Studies
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“This is the missing link we’ve been looking for. Bob Sornson defines how we can transform our instruction to meet the needs of all children—one child at a time.“

Mark Tompkins, Superintendent
Harbor Springs Public Schools, MI

Fanatically Formative describes all the pieces that must come together to give young children the quality learning experience with a commonsense approach. It is an engaging, thought-provoking, modern masterpiece! The ideas presented are essential to the success of school reform enabling every child the chance at becoming a lifelong learner.

Dawn Kemp, Special Education Teacher

Educators know that the curriculum driven instruction mandated today in our schools does not work for a very high percentage of students. How do we turn education around to be responsive to how students learn and assure student success and life-long learners who will become the leaders of tomorrow? Bob Sornson has elegantly put forth an answer that is at once both simple and profound, and takes the reader through the steps that assure every student and educator will succeed. Bob's compelling book, Fanatically Formative, is a must for all educators, especially those working with early learners. I consider it vastly important to the future of education and the success of our nation and the world to solve the multitude challenges we face today.

Carla Hannaford, Author
Author of "Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head" and "Playing in the Unified Field: Raising and Becoming Conscious, Creative Human Beings"

Fanatically Formative describes the process that closely parallels the remarkable transformations that we experienced at Simpson Central School upon implementation of the Early Learning Success Initiatives (e.g. use of essential skills inventories, instructional match time in literacy and numeracy, motor skills instruction, and development of a positive school culture). This book is the roadmap that will lead to success for young learners.

Glen Harris, Superintendent of Education and Debbie David, Principal
Simpson County School District and Simpson Central School, Pinola, MS

This may be the education book of the decade. Rarely does an academic work grip the reader so powerfully. Educators will come away inspired and appalled. It is my hope that Sornson’s book prompts leaders in education to prioritize authentic early learning success policies that can help more children become motivated learners for life.

Danny Brassell, Professor
California State University, Dominguez Hills

Robert Sornson

Bob Sornson, Ph.D. was a classroom teacher and school administrator for over 30 years, and is the founder of the Early Learning Foundation. His implementation of programs and strategies for early learning success, the Early Learning Success Initiative, serves as a model for districts around the country. He is committed to the belief that practically every child can have a successful early learning experience.The Early Learning Foundation is dedicated to helping schools and parents give every child an opportunity to achieve early learning success, which lays the foundation for success in life. Few things are so important to the future of... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781452225180

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