Any teacher or administrator who has had a relatively long tenure in one school district has seen district-level initiatives come and then go. But there are no-budget, high-impact initiatives that can be undertaken every day at the classroom level, and the building of teacher-student and student-student relationships is a prime example.
Ron Nash has met and worked with many teachers over the years, but the best ones pay attention to the little things that make positive impacts on the culture of the classroom, or as he calls them, “big little things.” Attending to these things on a regular basis can lift spirits, trigger a smile, and create a climate where students want to engage in their own learning. But monkey wrenches come in all sizes, and when they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, even little things that disrupt the classroom routine become “big little things” because of their negative impact on the learning process.
In this book, Nash doesn’t deal with big-ticket or big-budget items, but rather with “big little things” that make a difference one way or another, by their use or by their absence. Every one of the concepts or ideas in these 40 chapters can be implemented and maintained at the classroom level. Each of them can be used and perfected by teachers to build better classrooms, regardless of grade level or subject area. Filled with testimonials from real teachers, animated life examples from Nash’s own experience, and reflection questions for each strategy, this book will help every teacher identify and skillfully address those “big little things” for building a better classroom.
Product Code: BPP190014
ISBN: 978-1-943920-79-2 | 12/31/19
"Big Little Things is a must read for all teachers. Whether this is your first or 31st year of teaching, you will learn many things to enhance your teaching practices. This book brings to light how making a few changes in how we interact with students and staff can create an environment that enhances a learning community and student academic growth. Each chapter has a real story of what — and what not — to do to make positive impacts in the classroom. Big Little Things made me reflect on what I was doing in the classroom. Now I am much more intentional and purposeful in what I say, how I say it, and the manner I communicate with others. Big Little Things is the field guide for what teaching needs to be!"
Mary Johnson, Math Specialist, Gayle Middle School, Stafford County, VA
"As teachers, it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day demands and labors we face inside our classrooms. Most teachers truly strive to be their best and help their students be their best. As a high school collaborative teacher, I want nothing more than for my classroom to become a place where students feel safe and successful. I want my students to be prepared for their futures and for whatever paths they choose after high school. Even though I have these goals, and give my students my best, there are times when I feel like something is missing. I look around the class and a student is not participating, or they are not able to comprehend a lesson. On those days I feel defeated. On those days I feel like I failed students and spend nights trying to figure out what went wrong.
Big Little Things has become a resource that I plan to consult regularly. My favorite thing about the book is that it is full of simple tools that can easily be implemented in any classroom. Ron provides forty tools that will help improve any classroom setting. You don't have to read the book cover-to-cover to feel rejuvenated and able to make small changes in your class. Most of these tools are things we already know but often forget to do. Ron provides us with the information and benefits and then gives ways that we can 'build a better classroom.' This book will stay on my desk. On days where I feel like I am not reaching my students all I have to do is open it and find one small thing to implement tomorrow. I truly believe that it is the small things that make my classroom an environment where students want to be and are successful. Big Little Things is a great resource that can easily help any teacher."
Jesse Lamm, Collaborative Teacher, William Monroe High School, Virginia
"Truly a must read for both new and veteran educators. We need to shift our education system from one that teaches content to one that teaches children. This book is full of practical ways to do just that. Educators will feel empowered to raise their game."
Jennifer Perilla, Principal, Tyler Elementary School, Gainesville, VA
Big Little Things details clear tools/processes that enable teachers to smoothly shift their instructional practices from a teacher centered approach to one that is student centered. Ron Nash is a masterful storyteller/teacher who clearly describes how students thrive in a classroom designed around student learning vs. a classroom centered on the teacher teaching. Big Little Things is also an excellent resource for school and district leaders because the processes are outlined so well it will enable leaders to explicitly pin-point areas to provide support as teachers make this foundational transition to engaging students in deeper learning experiences.
Dr. Rebecca Eastwood, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Roanoke County Schools, Roanoke, VA
Big Little Things: 40 Tools for Building a Better Classroom is a must have resource for teachers at any and every point in their careers. In his book, Mr. Nash reminds us all that it is often the little things we do that make the biggest impact in our classrooms. Often, we teachers forget the power these "little" things have - routines, expectations, movement, conversations, interactivity, etc. As a 10th year teacher, this book was just the refresher I needed to inspire positive change in my practice. What I loved most about this book is that not only does Mr. Nash share these tools, strategies, and research to support them (as well as some great anecdotes), but he includes ways to immediately implement them into our daily classroom routines giving us the tools AND plans to help us be better teachers and make our classrooms a place where students are excited to learn. I am excited to go into the new year equipped with these tools from Mr. Nash's book and looking forward to the positive changes I know it will have on my craft, my classroom, and ultimately my students.
Theresa Doster, 8th Grade Spanish Teacher, Edward Hand MS, Lancaster, PA