Listed to the right are the four books I've written for teachers. If you click on the image of a book, you'll be able to read the introduction to the book. I thought this might provide you with a bit of insight into each book's purpose.
Other than that, there are just a couple of things I should say about them.
The First Three Books
The first three books I wrote--Class Cards (1988; updated in 2001), Tools & Toys (1995; updated in 2008), and the New Management Handbook (2000; updated in 2007)--contain the ideas I share in the Student Management and Motivation seminar I've been presenting for the past twenty years. And although they work together, the information in each book is unique. You won't find the same ideas in all three books.
Case in point, the New Management Handbook uses a margin icon--a small book with a page number above it--whenever I refer to an idea from the Tools & Toys book that would work in the situation being described. Since the idea is already explained clearly in that book, I didn't think it was necessary, or appropriate, to include the same explanation in the Handbook.
Eight Great Ideas
The newest book--and most likely the last book I'll ever write--is a fun collection of ideas that I have been sharing during seminars and presentations. The eight chapters run the gamut from the pyschology of working with students to the four keys to making homework less of a hassle and more of a successful teaching tool. You'll also find ideas on discipline: ways to deal with negative behavior and ways to bring out the positive. All in all, I think you'll find ideas you'll be able to use right away. Just like the first three books.
If you have any questions about these books, feel free to email me.
Below you'll find some excerpts from a reflection journal written by a student teacher who had tried some of the ideas from the books that I share during presentations.
Student Teacher Reflection
Week of 4/14/08 - 4/18/08
This week included some of the best experiences I have had as a student teacher in the 5th grade. I've started teaching my science unit, and although it is a lot of preparation each day, the students and I are having so much fun. Many of the best classroom management experiences this week occurred on Friday, and I attribute them to the ideas of the honest and humorous presentation by Rick Morris.
On Thursday, the cohort went to a presentation by Rick Morris. His presentation has helped me to see the humor in what I once thought to be stressful situations. For example, when a student asks what page to turn to when I just announced the page to turn to, instead of getting angry, I can acknowledge that the student has the courage to ask how to stay on task and thank them. There were other things he mentioned that I tried on Friday as well, such as setting the timer. I did this on Friday during a math lesson, and it really did work. It alleviated my stress of having to remember to look at the clock, and I told students that when the timer goes off, that's my signal and their signal that we should start bringing math to a closure so we can start our science. When students interrupted my conversation with another student on Friday, I gave the student the "please wait" sign. This alleviated my stress of having to say, "Excuse me, but can't you see I'm talking with a student?" It was amazing how these small changes were making me a happier person! I must have set that timer about 8 times within the last 2 hours of school.
As a student teacher, I've felt successes along the way, but Friday was different from other days. It was the best day, because for the first time in class, everything--classroom management, timing, strategies--seemed to come together to create a glorious learning experience.
University of California, Riverside
The use of timers is explained in the New Management Handbook while the topic of sign language is covered in Tools & Toys.