Solving Academic and Behavior Problems: A Strengths-Based Guide for Teachers and Teams - Available Now


“If you are a teacher looking for a proven way to help and inspire more students, a coach searching for more effective practices to support teachers, or a school leader working to create positive, systemwide change, then this book is for you. It is a book of wish craft—a way to craft, or to make real, our most important wishes for our students.”

— From the foreword by Harvey F. Silver

How many times have you been stumped by a student’s failure to learn? You tried everything in your tool kit, but nothing worked. Now what if there were a process that would help you pinpoint the student’s specific need and design an action plan to swiftly remedy the problem? In Solving Academic and Behavior Problems, Margaret Searle and Marilyn Swartz offer just that.


This process, based on the positive psychology of appreciative inquiry, builds on what is working with students to address what is not working. It’s a system of support that helps general education teachers partner with specialists and parents to learn new ways to enrich academic, social-emotional, and behavioral growth through structured conversations and a series of productive meetings of 30 minutes or less.


Using more than 25 video clips, Searle and Swartz walk you through the six basic steps of the appreciative inquiry problem-solving process:

  1. Connect with team members and stakeholders.

  2. Review the meeting focus/concern.

  3. Share a story that details when you successfully addressed the concern.

  4. Establish a goal using a concise “DATA” framework.

  5. Design an action plan.

  6. Commit to an action.


The authors also outline how to use five whys to uncover hidden barriers to student achievement when learning isn’t improving.


Each chapter contains links to online video examples, activities, reflection questions, scenarios, handy tools, and tips from practitioners. A great resource to strengthen RTI and MTSS plans and invaluable to teachers, support staff, and administrators alike, Solving Academic and Behavior Problems provides the kind of insights and guidance that expand and sharpen educators’ capacity to help all students learn.


(ASCD book, 2020) 8" x 10", 184 pages

Causes & Cures in the Classroom

Whether students leave the classroom confident and goal-directed or frustrated and aimless depends on our ability to do two things: diagnose their needs and deliver support. This challenge can be daunting when students come to school with weak vocabulary, poor planning and organization skills, and problems with memory, impulse control, and attention span. 


Causes & Cures reveals new neurological research about the root causes of these obstacles and lays out a comprehensive five-step protocol designed to help all educators identify and address common student academic and behavior issues.


This essential guide provides:


* Illuminating case studies that walk you through the protocol in a variety      


* Strategies and tools to help you diagnose root causes and develop              


* Guidance for extending individualized interventions to large groups.


Most of us went into teaching with the dream of helping all our students succeed. We can't let students who struggle wear us down or wait us out. No matter which subject or grade level you teach, this indispensable resource will show how you can help students overcome difficulties and experience real success in the classroom.


(ASCD Premium, Select, and Institutional Plus Member book, November 2013) 7" x 9", 180 pages.

of content areas and grade levels.


targeted, effective interventions for your students.

What Every School Leader Needs To Know About RTI

These days, Response to Intervention (RTI) is everywhere, and there are lots of claims about what RTI is and how to do it. At last, here's a book that helps you cut through the quackery and ensure that your approach to RTI represents the very best of what is known about assessment, instruction, and intervention. Author Margaret Searle provides you with a school-proven RTI framework and puts you on a foundation of sound advice, including:

* Why RTI doesn't mean starting over from scratch on your school improvement effort.

* How to ensure your approach to RTI is student-centered.

* What RTI looks like when done well.

* How to minimize the overuse of costly Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions.


As Searle guides you through the steps of setting up multiple assessments, analyzing performance data, and responding to learning problems with a three-tier intervention, she imparts countless tips along the way, including:


* Six steps to take when you don't know why students aren't learning.

* Four coordinator roles that are required for successful RTI implementation.

* Three types of assessment tools you need in a quality RTI approach.

* Six areas of prevention every RTI approach should include.


(ASCD book, 2010) 7" x 9", 200 pages.


Also Avalilabe in E-book! Click here to purchase.

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

Based upon practices of experts and scientifically-based research, this book offers more than 250 practical strategies for assisting educators as they meet the challenge of tackling difficult academic and behavioral problems. You will be taken through a step-by-step process for diagnosing root causes and prescribing powerful interventions based on using a specific problem-solving procedure.


The purpose of this book is to provide ... 

 1.    Ways to organize a problem-solving team

 2.    Ideas for including parents as true partners in the problem-solving process

 3.   Suggestions for helping students assume responsibility for solving their own problems

 4.   A strategy for unraveling symptoms to identify the root causes

 5.   Practice exercises for diagnosing and goal setting

 6.   Practical ideas for universal interventions that can benefit every type of learner in the classroom

 7.   Case studies tracking progress for individual students through the problem-solving system --            from diagnosis of the cause to data collection which provides evidence of their success


This book is a rich resource that bridges the gap between research and practice to help you maximize the use of time and personnel. This proven problem-solving method unites students, faculty and parents in a partnership that enables each person to solve tough problems.


Teacher Teamwork: How do we make it work?

Packed with strategies, tips, and activities you can quickly put into practice, this book shows how to build productive teams and intentionally create an environment of professional engagement in your school.


Authors Margaret Searle and Marilyn Swartz organize the work into four key steps:


1.   Establishing guidelines and protocols, including drafting agendas and timelines;

2.  Managing and resolving conflicts, including giving honest feedback and building team

3.  Refining decision-making skills, including creating win-win situations and improving

4.  Building team capacity, including evaluating and sustaining teamwork.


With the guidance in this book, you'll soon see the benefits that come from highly effective teams of teachers who powerfully focus on student results.



flexibility and efficiency; and


Short videos where the authors discuss the book.

Treasure Chest

Standards-Based Instruction for All Learners

This easy-to-read book written by Margaret Searle and published by the Ohio Department of Education is rich with practical ideas on how to improve student achievement by putting four key systemic concepts into place:


1.   Assessment mapping

2.   Differentiated unit designs

3.   Collaborative scheduling and delivery systems to help general

4.   Developing an Intervention Assistance Team that does more than



The book can be downloaded at no charge from our Downloads page or from the Ohio Department of Education Website:

(Once on this site, type the words "Treasure Chest" into the search box and download the PDF file.)

education and special education teachers work together smoothly


test, label and dispatch kids

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