Reviews and Endorsements

Select your Topic Area:

Reviews and Endorsements

Co-Teaching & Collaboration in the Classroom

5.0 out of 5 stars
By J.Seams
This book is a very helpful resource for all teachers, whether you co-teach or not. Tips and information are provided that covers everything from classroom layout and student groupings to student involved formats for teaching various lessons, regardless of content/subject area, so students can take a more active role in their learning.
Regardless of your experience level, I think this book is an excellent resource for working with your co-teacher to construct a student centered environment that can benefit learners of all styles and ability levels. I also suggest you attend a presentation by Susan Fitzell if you have the opportunity. Her knowledge and passion for helping students and educating educators is apparent and inspiring!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Michaelle Jaeger
This book has tons of information on how to adapt in the co-teaching classroom where both teachers and all students can be successful. It also shares ideas on how to make the most of the time in the classroom, which is very beneficial with everything teachers are responsible for these days. After reading the book and attending a seminar of Susan’s, I can say that I have so many new ideas that they are about to explode from my head. Thanks for a great tool Susan!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Connie Hoeppner
This review is from: Co-Teaching and Collaboration in the Classroom 2nd Edition (Perfect Paperback)
While struggling with trying to help students in my high school co teaching classroom write better paragraphs I picked up this book. My co teacher and I used the paragraph writing strategy immediately in our English 9 classroom as an introduction writing activity for a research paper. We broke the students into small groups and introduced the strategy. ALL of the students improved their paragraph writing at the end of the lesson. It was amazing!!!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Jen K.
I loved the seminar I attended with Susan Fitzell, and also her Co-Teaching and Collaboration in the Classroom book. In her book, she shares numerous bright ideas that she has gathered from her years of experience as a teacher and coach. She shares her passion and knowledge to help other teachers design the best instruction to all students, all learning styles and abilities. This book is a must have for all co-teachers. It is a great resource for teams and individual teachers wanting to improve strategies in their classroom!!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By R Crystal Segura
I love this book. It has helped tremendously in our classroom with my Co-Teacher. We are now accomplishing more than we ever have before. It has made a strained situation much more relaxed and helpful for both us and our students. If you are in a co-teach relationship and feeling like it’s just not working, you should definitely read this book.


Free the Children

5.0 out of 5 stars
I’ve just finished reading Susan Gingras Fitzell’s new book “Free the Children” and I have to say how much I enjoyed it. I should mention that I am a father of two, (Margaret 6 & Tommy 8) so the topics were especially relevant to me. To begin, the book does a great job of providing practical solutions and suggestions on the problems that every parent faces. Some areas that I especially appreciated were the topics of: – How to deal with bullies through role playing exercises. – How to understand the effect of media violence, and what you can do about it. – Empowering your child’s sense of themselves through programs like Karate or Kung Fu. (With my own children it’s been hiking and rock climbing, but finding & developing similar activities to build emotional discipline seems extremely important.) – How to adjust your response as a parent to be age appropriate for your child. – When do children understand how to empathize with others or deal from a perspective of justice. Ms. Fitzell’s examples throughout the book were very well thought out and helpful. Other aspects of the book that I really enjoyed were her emphasis on acting with “moral empathy”. This point makes great intuitive sense and Ms. Fitzell brings it home with many examples of how it has to be reinforced. I also appreciated her ability to tie in so many other books and materials that I could explore on any one of the major topics. Speaking as a parent, I thought the book was very well written and relevant to the issues I face with my own children. I would recommend the book to others and I compliment Ms. Fitzell on a job well done.

5.0 out of 5 stars
By D.C. Dailey (Childrens Author)
After reading Susan Gingras Fitzell’s book “Free The Children Conflict Education For Strong & Peaceful Minds” I realize that this is a book that I will keep close at hand so I can refer to it often as my children grow. Susan offer wonderful insights to what our children encounter and great ideas to help them resolve many of the different conflicts that they will inevitably come up against during their lives.

Susan realizes that, in our society, children cannot be totally shielded by the violence that the media portrays as a normal part of life. While she stresses the importance of setting limitations to how much media violence our children are exposed to she knows that children are bound to be influenced by media violence. In order to counteract the desensitization to violence that happens to our children because of media Susan offers meaningful advice on ways to teach our children to think and feel emotionally, with conscience and knowing consequence.

“Free The Children”, is organized in sections by ages so it is very easy to reference specific age groups and the unique conflict challenges that children may face at that age. In each section Susan offers helpful ideas and suggestions that will help children address the special conflict concerns that they may come up against. The Appendices in “Free The Children” are wonderful, quick resource tools either for reference or for use in the classroom. Susan also offers ideas on many additional resources that are available to help parents, teachers and children learn how to work together towards a peaceful society.
Thank you Susan for writing this book! It has supported many of my own beliefs and has given me new ideas about how to help children learn to be caring and compassionate individuals.

5.0 out of 5 stars
By J. D. Sullivan
As the father of a teenage daughter just entering the “dating” stage and a son sitting on the near side of puberty, trying to test his mettle every day, I have found Ms. Fitzell’s book to be a resource that I return to again and again.

As I read the book the first time, I found her advice and insight very applicable to the challenges and stresses facing our youth today. Now, I keep it at my desk and refer to it often, finding sense and (sometimes) solace in the stories and examples as I struggle with how to best deal with my own children in today’s society.

As a parent looking for sensible advice about raising children in a violent society, this book has helped me to understand what my children are going through right now and shown me how to deal with them productively, too.


Paraprofessionals and Teachers Working Together

5.0 out of 5 stars
By PGH-Educator
I attended a seminar by Susan and was lucky enough to win this book in a raffle. In our school, each teacher has an instructional assistant (IA) in the classroom with them, and I am very excited to utilize the strategies found in this book in our classrooms. Susan provided numerous skills and tasks for paraprofessionals to use when providing support. Many of these strategies can also be used by the teachers. It seems that one of the biggest issues between teachers and paraprofessionals is communication. This was another great focus by Susan in this book. She gave information regarding ways to overcome roadblocks and conflict. Overall, this book is a great resource for paraprofessionals and teachers looking for a go-to guide of teaching strategies. If you ever have a chance to see Susan in person, it is well worth it; she provides fantastic information during her seminars. I hope she returns to Pittsburgh again soon.

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Christina
Out of all the schools in my district, I have the most and challenging issues with para’s. I did not realize there was even a book out there with suggestions I have not tried. I saw this at my training and was so excited. My co-worker said to me right-away…GET IT!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Joyce
Susan’s book provides a wonderfully supportive and extremely helpful resource not only for paraprofessionals but for anyone trying to do their best when working with students that have special needs. Her experience provides insight into what many of us face on a daily basis and her focus on successful strategies makes this book one I will refer to often.

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Melinda Samples
The book is very comprehensive. It has fantastic ideas and how-tos. It details what a paraprofessionals job is and is not. It has helped tremendously in our inclusion program. I look forward to reading more books by Susan.


Please Help Me with My Homework

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Paula Wanzer
From graphs, to strategies, to specific examples, to exercises to mandallas, Please Help Me with My Homework can help you. Discover learning strategies that can help your child and yourself, if you are still a student or a teacher. Whether you are helping a child with their homework or trying to find ways to learn or teach others new information, this clear and concise book has something for you.


RTI Strategies for Secondary Teachers

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Brandi H
I ordered this text after attending a conference with Susan Fitzell. This book is highly organized for easy use with chapters on specific areas like writing, reading, and math. Each chapter then offers interventions and strategies to meet the tiers of RTI (focused on academic). The initial chapter also explains RTI for those of us still needing a refresher from time to time. I am a special ed teacher and also co-teach in the gen ed classrooms at the high school level. The book reaffirms some strategies I already use, but is also filled with other great ideas that are EASY to implement! Our gen ed staff have been equally as excited about the contents as many strategies are ones we all know about, but have forgotten to use for a long time! It’s a must buy in my opinion!!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Nancy Chederquist
Fabulous – finally a resource that provides an essential understanding of RTI and the resources to implement tiered instruction. Filled with interventions and strategies, this book contains lesson plans that are classroom friendly and modified for each instructional tier. In addition, Susan Fitzell creates lessons for a variety of content areas including reading, writing, and math – even science and social studies. I have already used many of her ideas for QAR and Reciprocal Teaching and found that my students quickly grasped the concepts and their engagement in the reading process increased!

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a MUST read for high school teachers
By Bonnie J. Moody
Finally – some down to earth suggestions on helping students and managing your time at the various tiers! As a regular mathematics teacher (Geometry/Algebra)at the high school level, I found that the process is definitely doable — there are example plans for many other subject areas as well — definitely a good resource for all as well as the interventionist in each of the tiers — I highly recommend this book.

5.0 out of 5 stars RTI that will work, November 26, 2011
By T.Langevin
Susan Fitzell is a very talented speaker and writer. This book is very informative for planning and implementing RTI lessons for middle and high school classes. It is a must have for your school or personal collection.

5.0 out of 5 stars RTI workbook, November 22, 2011
By Sue Trap
An Excellent teacher resource! Usefull lesson plans that can be modified to suit many curriculum areas. This book is useful in that it explains how to set up an RTI program in the Secondary setting.

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, Practical Strategies!
By RTIgirl
Susan Fitzell has compiled an amazing collection of practical, easy to apply strategies for classroom teachers to use in an RTI framework. Susan, having years of experience in a range of teaching, has thoughtfully provided strategies that teachers really CAN implement in their classrooms. Though the strategies are geared toward secondary teachers, I found great tips in here for my colleagues who teach in the younger grades. This is a MUST for any educator’s bookshelf!

5.0 out of 5 stars Strategies you can use today!
By Colleen Kennedy
Susan’s book offers concrete strategies that you can begin implementing today. They are strategies that are research-based and can work with any RTI program. This book also offers tools to help you structure your RTI program, such as lesson plan formats that help teachers to think of a tiered structured classroom when planning lessons.


Special Needs in the General Classroom

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Patricia Seligman
One of my colleagues was enthusiastic about this book and was generous enough to lend it to me for the summer. This book is filled with practical, engaging, and easily implemented techniques that will benefit every student in the classroom from K-12. Most importantly, many of these strategies are crucial for the success of the most challenging learner. The ideas incorporate multiple modalities so everyone is a winner! This book will spark your enthusiasm for teaching in an inclusive environment where everyone will experience success.

5.0 out of 5 stars
By jo
Special Needs in the General Classroom: Strategies that Make it Work is an excellent resource for both general ed. and special ed. teachers. “Good for all, critical for diverse learners!” is Susan’s motto to her book and it rings true as you delve into its pages. (Susan is an excellent clinician and would be an asset to any school staff development session.) Topics discussed include brain-based learning techniques, personality preference and learning styles, tools and activities, collaboration and teamwork, classroom management techniques, creating caring inclusive communities, tools that promote success, strategies and practices that promote success, strategies that enhance memorization and recall, and assessment and grading accommodations. This book is a “must-have” for both beginner and career teachers.

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Twyman
This book is full of ideas and resources for including students of all abilities. I think the best part is that implementation seems so easy; slight alterations, not a total restructuring of a lesson plan. I would recommend this book to any teacher or parent- and I know that I will be using many of the ideas that we covered in her seminar.

4.0 out of 5 stars
By TFrankens
Mrs. Fitzell has everything covered in this wonderful book. The topics discussed are usable in almost any subject matter. She elaborates on strategies that achieve student participation in the daily lessons, discusses ideas on group projects while still maintaining control over the classroom and most importantly how to maintain rigor without sacrificing due to student modifications. This book not only covers teaching techniques for at risk or 504 but diverse and gifted learners as well. Great book!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Christina D.
This book provides valuable ideas to enhance your classroom that can be implemented not only for students with an IEP, but also for general education students. I loved her ideas for increasing student vocabulary and cannot wait to use them in my classroom. There is also valuable information on how to make lesson presentations more appealing to a student’s long term memory. I will be color-coding and using mandalas in my class next year. The supplemental websites and handouts at the back of the book are also great!!!


Transforming Anger to Personal Power

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Chappy1
This review is from: Transforming Anger to Personal Power: An Anger Management Curriculum for Grades 6-12 (Paperback)
In my class I am seeing more often the opportunity to RE-teach commonly held beliefs about “fighting back”. Sometimes it feels like a combat zone with all the negative energy flowing, so much so that all of the “ick” stops up my teaching, I know my students can’t learn when they are “stuck” in that angry place.

In Susan’s Book: Transforming Anger to Personal Power: An Anger Management Curriculum for Grades 6-12 (Paperback), Anger Management seems just that…manageable. She outlines a way to help your students and yourself get back to the business at hand…education.

I agree with Susan that these skills must be taught; she provides strategies and clear cut discussion points for every occasion. The book is an entire curriculum, and it is best taught in that format. However, if that isn’t do-able in your district, this book is a valuable resource for “pullout” lessons and serves up a heaping portion of healthy empowerment for those teachable moments.

I recommend this book for so many reasons, but mostly because it isn’t “junk psycho-babble” it is real life. The book offers practical steps to improve the growing “Anger Issues” that have saturated the everyday classroom. There is something you can do…don’t give up or give in to frustration, let your heart guide you to take back what you love…YOUR class!

I thank you Susan, and my students thank you.

5.0 out of 5 stars
By facilitator
I conduct anger management in-school groups both in high school & middle school. By far, this book is one of the best resources I have found for inclusion into my group sessions. You will not be disappointed.


Umm…Studying. What’s That?

5.0 out of 5 stars
I love that this book is written from the perspective of an actual student that struggled with studying. The fact that she has tried her own strategies as a student helps to validate her content. Her strategies are also research-based and WORK. Her strategies, phrasing (“dude”), and catchy subtitles are appealing. She lays out the groundwork and structure on how to implement each tip or strategy in a clear and concise way. This is a must-have for any student that struggles with, needs to improve in, or wants to be more effective when studying. If I had known some of the strategies in college, I would have saved myself a lot of time!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Johanna
I just read this book in one sitting; I devoured it from cover to cover, and I can’t wait to try out the strategies with all of my students. The first thing that I liked about the book was that it was written from a student’s perspective. Immediately, one of the authors, young Shivahn, told me what I was going to get out of her publication. The Fitzell team considers different types of learners, so there are so many strategies to choose from. Whatever the case, the authors point out that students learn best by teaching others, and that’s the least used technique in schools! Overall, the book offered unusual suggestions to help all types of learners succeed. The authors certainly had fresh ideas. The 3 card match is an awesome strategy that has something for visual, kinesthetic, and linguistic learners to ensure that meaningful learning will occur. You teach it, you learn it is easy to incorporate into the classroom. I plan to use the mind map when I teach about the causes of WWI. Further, I love the idea for adding check boxes to assignments, as well as the forms for problem solving, current events, and book reports. We all need more structure, and the Fitzell’s show us how to do it!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By M.E.M.
Excellent resource for teenagers and college students who want to do better in school. The book immediately focuses in on the different types of learning styles and continues from there to showcase an array of strategies in such subjects as how to study, takes test, and deal with writing and reading assignments, to name just a few. Extremely readable with lots of visuals – perfect for young adults.