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Fanatically Formative

Fanatically Formative
Successful Learning During the Crucial K–3 Years

June 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, MI

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

Fanatically Formative is a compelling masterpiece that can save education as we know it. In a day and age where we are pushing students through standards at a rapid rate, yet have more students coming to us "at risk" than ever, something has to give! Sornson offers a model for quality teaching and early intervention that can lead us to school reform that will actually make a difference.

Shannon Samulski, Educational Consultant and Founder
Strategic Intervention Solutions, Inc.

Fanatically Formative is fantastically informative! Sornson’s book 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, include parents, and make schools filled with joy. This book makes me believe we can!

Derek Wheaton, Early Elementary Principal
Mattawan Consolidated School District, Mattawan, MI

Fanatically Formative is another example of Bob Sornson’s contributions to all educators who want to reach all students! The ideas are clear and compelling and if implemented, will positively affect young children everywhere!

Kathy Donagrandi, Administrator
Department of Student Services, Livonia Public Schools, Livonia, MI

With passionate conviction, Bob Sornson addresses a question we should all keep at the forefront of our discussions: How can we create schools that are responsive to students rather than driven by outside forces? Using an easy-to-read format of real life examples, Bob challenges us to slow down and assume personal responsibility for ensuring that our students become “good readers for life” from the earliest grades. It is my fervent hope that educators will heed Bob’s call to focus on what really matters.

Mary Howard, Author
Author, "RTI from All Sides" and "Moving Forward with RTI"

In an era of reform, Fanatically Formative teaches, reminds, and stretches what is right about education. Sornson, intricately, marries research with reality to make assessment and accountability relevant for all. His model is filled with heart and reminds us to not outsmart our common sense when it comes to educating, growing, and developing lifelong learners.

Jennifer Jennings, Founder
Is It Summer Yet, Inc.

Fanatically Formative is an excellent guide for both teachers and administrators who can no longer bear to see more children falling behind in the rigid “rush to cover” climate that characterizes the era of high-stakes testing. Do you want to change that climate and rediscover the craft of teaching in your school district? Sornson promises no magic tricks, but offers an inspiring model for meaningful instruction and early intervention that can actually make a difference.”

Suzanne Klein
Founder and CEO, WriteSteps

“The research in Fanatically Formative is sound and validates, to anyone who asks, why I do what I do and whether it has a best practice design. I believe meeting students at their level of understanding is the only way we will see a change in student success. Set all the standards and stipulations you want, developmentally appropriate, viewing the whole child, and offering support in all areas of development is the only recipe for success.”

Gail Kuhl, Teacher
Grass Lake Community Schools, Grass Lake, MI

“Bob Sornson has not only successfully addressed a challenging topic in the world of educating young children, but has done so in a way that shows he understands! He understands early childhood curriculum. He understands formative assessment. He understands how to best help anyone reading this book make a difference by using a very simple, yet thorough, easily-managed process.”

Lynne Ecenbarger, Education Consultant
Fort Wayne, IN

"This is it! Teachers have known for a long time the standardized testing and content expectation train is taking our students in the wrong direction. This book is the roundhouse needed to help us turn the engine and take our students through essential skills heading straight for success."

Catherine Hernandez, Teacher
Detroit Public Schools, Detroit, MI

"Fanatically Formative offers not only a rich base of research into current policies and best practices, but portrays caring teachers trying to marry the two within a voluntary PLC."

Sharon Jefferies, Retired Teacher
Orange County Public Schools, Orlando, FL
Key features
This book will include a variety of tools to support implementation of a district early learning success initiative including: surveys, reflections, concise lists of essential skills in each critical area of development, study questions for PLC groups, and highlighted summaries of key points. It is possible to consider adding a CD with reproducible forms, or to make these available on-line from Corwin or from the Early Learning Foundation. We should also consider developing on-line course material from this book. It would also be possible to offer an extended training to educators who wish to become a certified trainer with the skills to develop an effective early learning model.

Purchasing options

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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ISBN: 9781452225180
CAD$ 42.95

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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