Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Prompt Week 12
The Readers' Advisory Matrix for
Tools for Teaching: Discipline, Instruction, Motivation
by Fredric H. Jones

1. Where is the book on the narrative continuum?
Highly fact-based (has few or no narrative moments)

2. What is the subject of the book?
Teaching and Classroom Management

3. What type of book is it?
Highly subject-based, how-to, task-based, low narrative

4. Articulate Appeal
What is the pacing of the book?
The book is a how-to book, very subject and task-based, but I brought a great deal of knowledge about the subject to the book and had interest in the topic so that increased the pace for me. The language is down-to-earth and there are many illustrations and examples - these factors increased the pace of understanding the subject being taught and therefore the pace of reading as well.
Describe the characters of the book.
There is Dr. Jones himself as he talks about his observations, the conclusions he has drawn and the system of instruction, discipline and motivation that he is recommending based on the observations and conclusions. There are also many teacher and student examples Jones provides to illustrate his points but he does not say names or whether they are real people - he just uses them as illustrations.
How does the story feel?
The book feels authoritative, highly educational, and useful - you regard Dr. Jone's information with respect. Yet at the same time, it is written in a very down-to-earth manner so even though it feels authoritative, it also feels relaxed, friendly and approachable.
What is the intent of the author?
The author's intent is to pass on information to the reader that the reader will use. It is a how-to book. In this case, how to use the discipline, instruction and motivation techniques that he has compiled in order to have a more effective, smoothly-running classroom.
What is the focus of the story?
The focus is on highly effective instruction, discipline and motivation techniques.
Does the language matter?
Yes, the language matters. It matters because the reader needs to understand what Dr. Jones is advising to do in order to put it into practice, so the writing needs to be highly understandable and practical.
Is the setting important and well described?
The setting is a classroom. The setting is extremely important and very well-described. Dr. Jones is trying to teach the reader how to apply instruction, discipline and motivation techniques in an actual classroom. In order for the reader to understand what is meant (so that they can apply the knowledge) Dr. Jones had to describe aspects of the classroom very convincingly.
Are there details, and, if so, of what?
There is an abundance of detail about many aspects of the classroom. For example, there is a lot of detail about body language and how the teacher should use body language to express limits to the children. There is a great deal of detail about how to organize a lesson, how to arrange furniture in the classroom, how to create an incentive program, etc. The detail is extremely important since the book is a how-to book. If a teacher is going to implement the strategies in the book, then they have to know all the details for doing so.
Are there sufficient charts and other graphic materials? Are they useful and clear?
There is definitely sufficient charts and other graphic materials. They are very useful and clear. Dr. Jones provides ample examples and illustrations to enhance understanding.
Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding, or experience?
Definitely. The entire book is designed to stress learning. It is a task-based book.

5. Why would a reader enjoy this book(rank appeal)?
1. Learning/Educational/Task-Based     2. Understandable/Down-to-Earth  3. Friendly Tone


  1. Hi Jodi,

    I feel that you made a wonderful observation by stating ..."I had interest in the topic so that increased the pace for me."

    The pacing of a non-fiction book could differ from user to user based on their interest and investment in the subject. For example, I love art history. I have taken a few art history classes and have a nice collection of art history books in my personal library. However, when I worked at a college library I had many encounters with students who would say that they are suffering through their required Introduction to Art History class. When I would help them find research materials they would moan to me about how the subject so boring.

    I am thinking "art history boring? No way!" However, I love studying the subject, so to me the pacing is not boring. Now, let's talk about math....no, let's not that is my area where I doze off. Zzzzz. :)

  2. It was interesting to read an annotation for a non-fiction book that is kind of "true" non-fiction; a very information-oriented, fact-based book. You did a wonderful job communicating the contents and spirit of the book!

  3. Jodi, thanks for sharing this book. I like how you mention that language does matter because the reader needs to understand how to put the principles in action. The reader has to understand the language in order to apply the principles. If a non-fiction has too much technical jargon, I would more than likely tune-out or end up rereading the same paragraph a half dozen times to understand what they were talking about.

    I also have to agree with Robert about the pacing. If the book you are reading is a topic that interests you, you might read it faster. But, I think that also has to do with the language and if the author uses language that the reader can understand. .

  4. Great prompt response! You do a great job writing informative and concise answers for a very true "how to" non-fiction. Full points!