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One of the first Nationally Board Certified teachers in America, Rick Wormeli brings innovation, energy, and validity to his writing, presentations, and his instructional practice, which includes 38 years teaching math, science, English, physical education, health, history, and coaching teachers and principals. Rick’s work has been reported in numerous media, including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” National Geographic and Good Housekeeping magazines, What Matters Most: Teaching for the 21st Century, and the Washington Post. He is a columnist forAMLE Magazine, and a frequent contributor to ASCD’sEducational Leadershipmagazine. He is the author of the award-winning book,Meet Me in the Middle, as well as the best-selling book,Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom, Revised Edition, andDifferentiation: From Planning to Practice,Day One and Beyond,Metaphors & Analogies: Power Tools for Teaching any Subject.
With his substantive presentations, sense of humor, and unconventional approaches, he’s been asked to present to educators in all 50 states, Canada, China, Europe, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Australia, the Middle East, and at the White House. In 1996, Rick was Disney’s American Teacher Awards Outstanding English Teacher of the Nation. In 2008, he won the James P. Garvin award from the New England League of Middle Schools for Teaching Excellence, Service, and Leadership, and in 2017, he wrote and directed, “The Declaration of Middle Level Independence” performed at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Rick has been a consultant for National Public Radio, USA Today, Court TV, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Natural Partners Program and their search for the Giant Squid. Rick and his wife, Kelly, have two, adult-aged children and they live in Herndon, Virginia. He is currently working on a new book on how to change a school and community culture for standards-based grading.
Every so often while working with educators, Rick gets philosophical about what he does. When asked by Stenhouse to describe what motivated him to be a teacher, Rick replied:
“I teach to dispel the dark and remind the universe that we are not inconsequential. I teach because it’s infinitely compelling to watch dynamic souls punch through their not so elastic cocoons of childhood, daring the community to accept their forward motion. Brushing complacency’s dust from every day ideas and objects by viewing them through children’s eyes opens our own, and it connects us to that golden, “What if…?” superhero in our earlier selves. I teach because setting a constructive example for my students generates a greater ethic in me than I can achieve without their example or provocation. I teach because I am deeply, unrepentantly grateful for life, and the most potent way I know to express that gratitude is to build a world worthy of the next generation, then give them the tools to make it their own.”
This, and breakfast burritos, strong-flavored teas, a passionate interest in science, a good sense of humor, and bike touring get him through the day.
In Differentiation: From Planning to Practice, author Rick Wormeli provides an overview of the cognitive science behind differentiation. As a teacher, you know a one-size-fits-all education doesn't work; students are more diverse than ever. In his book, Wormeli gives a step-by-step process to create a fully crafted differentiation lesson and shows the necessary planning for an effective lesson design for diverse classrooms.
Wormeli demonstrates how to weave common and novel differentiation strategies into all subjects and offers clear advice about what to do when things don't go as expected. Based on nearly thirty years of experience as a teacher and instructional coach, his thoughtful and imaginative classroom accommodations will help teachers succeed with advanced students, struggling students, English language learners, and students across the multiple intelligences spectrum.
Differentiation provides a practice guide to create lessons that will prepare students for real life success and build their critical thinking skills in the process.
Fair Isn't Always Equal, 2nd edition
Differentiated instruction is a nice idea, but what happens when it comes to assessing and grading students? How can you capture student progress, growth, and soft skill development and still provide an equitable grading environment? An internationally recognized expert on grading practices, author Rick Wormeli revisits these questions in this thoroughly updated second edition of Fair Isn't Always Equal: Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom.
Wormeli reflects on current grading and assessment practices and how they can exist with high-stakes, accountable classrooms. Important and sometimes controversial issues are tackled constructively in this book, incorporating modern pedagogy and addressing the challenges of teaching diverse groups of students across all learning levels. Middle- and high-school educators will easily recognize gray areas of grading and how important it is to have a shared school vision.
In this second edition, new sections address sports eligibility, honor roll, descriptive feedback techniques, and gifted/talented students. Previous chapters on test questions, redos/retakes, grading scales, and grading effort and behavior have been revised extensively.
This important book clearly explains the principles behind best grading practices so that you're ready for all grading questions or scenarios that you may encounter in your classrooms and schools.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion