Developing a Learning Classroom

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
1. What Is a Learning Classroom? How to Develop Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor
2. Who Am I Who Teaches? How Knowing Oneself Impacts Practice
3. Who Are the Students We Teach? How Knowing Our Students Affects Teaching and Learning
4. How Do We Reach Our Students? How Procedures and Clear Expectations Develop a Learning Classroom
5. How Do We Teach Our Students? How to Engage Students in Their Own Learning With Rigor and Relevance
6. How Do We Know If Our Students Are Learning? How to Assess and Motivate Students
7. How Do We Stay in the Game? How to Cultivate Learning Communities for Continual Professional Growth
Appendix A. Introductory Student Survey
Appendix B. Advanced Student Survey
Apendix C. Sample Socratic Questions: Tools to Stimulate Critical Thinking
Appendix D. Flexible Lesson Design
Appendix E. Personal Education Plan

About the Author

Nic Cooper, Ed.D., LPC, LMSW, has 34 years of experience in public education as a counselor, alternative education developer, assistant principal and principal. He spent most of his career at the middle school level after beginning as a high school counselor. Prior to his retirement, his middle school was named as one of Michigan’s first Schools to Watch in 2006. He has also worked as a substance abuse counselor and a probation officer. After his retirement from public education, he became a full-time faculty member in the teacher education program at Baker College in Jackson, MI and a part-time leadership coach for the Center for Excellence in Education at Central Michigan University. A certified counselor and social worker, Nic also works part-time as a therapist at Still Waters Counseling in Saline, MI. He is the state director for the Schools to Watch program, a recognition program for exemplary middle schools presented through the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. He is the co-author with Rick McCoy of a book for parents of adolescents entitled How to Keep Being a Parent When Your Child Stops Being a Child. He is a board member for the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators and the Michigan Association of Teacher Educators and is a member of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. He presents at state and national conferences on classroom development, healing teaching staffs in conflict, and addressing the needs of at-risk students, among other topics.


“When students feel safe and respected, the time spent managing a classroom is replaced with time spent teaching. This book helps teachers refocus.”
*Leslie Standerfer, Principal*

“Finally, a book has given us information on a topic that takes years to discover by yourself in the classroom!”
*Julie Duford, Fifth-Grade Teacher*

"Implementing the wide variety of elements provided in this book will provide the learning environment teachers dream of and students thrive in."
*Alexis Ludewig, Adjunct Instructor*

"This book explores the basics of creating a learning-centered classroom founded on relationships, relevance and rigor. From creating a safe environment for questions and interactions to pairing student learning profiles with teacher approaches, this is packed with brain-based strategies considering how we teach students and who these students are."
*Midwest Book Review, October 2012*

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