Alexandria, VA (9/15/2014)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, is pleased to announce two new professional development DVDs that demonstrate expert-designed instructional techniques from ASCD authors. Vocab in Action: Critical Vocabulary Strategies for Your Classroom, based on the work of Marilee Sprenger, and Total Participation Techniques, based on Pérsida and William Himmele’s best-selling book of the same name, give educators the opportunity to witness how the authors’ strategies are implemented in a classroom.

“In each of these videos, educators can observe expert instructional techniques as they’re implemented by real teachers and explained by the very authors who designed them,” said Judy Seltz, ASCD Executive Director. “ASCD is proud to offer resources that augment professional learning by connecting Marilee Sprenger’s vocabulary strategies and Pérsida and William Himmele’s total participation techniques to real-life practice. Their strategies, when implemented correctly, have the power to transform learning for entire schools.”

These videos, meant for use in professional learning communities and schools, show teachers successfully implementing best practices that are both easy to use and effective. They can be paired with related ASCD publications and online courses to form comprehensive professional learning experiences.

Vocab in Action: Critical Vocabulary Strategies for Your Classroom

Based on Marilee Sprenger’s best-selling books, Teaching the Critical Vocabulary of the Common Core: 55 Words That Make or Break Student Achievement and Vocab Rehab: How do I teach vocabulary effectively with limited time?, this DVD puts Sprenger’s brain research–based, time-saving strategies for mastering vocabulary into action in real classrooms. In this DVD, Sprenger visits schools that use smart, fun, and engaging strategies to build students’ vocabulary and boost their knowledge of the key words they need to know for success with the Common Core State Standards. As Sprenger describes in this video, there are 55 critical words all students must learn from kindergarten through high school.

“Students will encounter these essential vocabulary terms on all standardized tests, in problem solving, and in critical thinking. It is our job as educators to help students master these words,” said Sprenger. “Mastering the vocabulary of the standards translates to mastering the standards themselves. With this DVD, teachers can work independently or in their learning communities to discuss the interviews, lessons, and strategies they observe; reflect on their own practices; and synthesize these ideas to meet the needs of their students.”

Introduces the critical words that students at every grade level need to know to achieve success on standardized tests.

Profiles instructors using easy-to-implement, 10-minute mini-lessons to teach both general and content-specific words.

Shows teachers using fun strategies like jingles, movements, and graphic organizers to teach key words.

Features in-depth interviews and one-on-one sessions between Sprenger and several teachers.

Total Participation Techniques (Available September 30)

This DVD, based on the best-selling book Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner, by Pérsida and William Himmele, shows teachers how various easy-to-use and incredibly effective alternatives to “stand-and-deliver” teaching strategies can work in their classrooms. Interviews with the authors explain how to make every student an active learner, and classroom scenes from elementary and high schools show teachers how to use total participation techniques (TPTs) to get and hold students’ attention, activate higher-order thinking, and provide formative assessment of academic progress.

“Total participation techniques are teaching techniques that require all students to demonstrate simultaneous evidence of active participation and higher-order thinking. They’re essential for creating classrooms with learning that sticks,” said Pérsida Himmele. “The techniques in this video have been teacher-tested in classrooms nationwide and effectively engage students in deeper thinking about their learning. The video will help viewers visualize the techniques in order to create collaborative, no-excuses classrooms where interactions are focused on the content and students process information in personal and relevant ways.”

Throughout the Total Participation Techniques DVD, educators will

Hear teachers and administrators explaining the steps to implementing TPTs so that they engage every kind of learner, from ESL students to gifted but disinterested students.

See field-tested techniques like think-pair-share and pause-star-rank in action.

Take a tour through an actual TPT toolkit to discover effective supplies to use with TPTs.

Witness a peer coaching session that observes and breaks down ways to maximize learning.

In addition to this new DVD, Pérsida and William Himmele recently released a new book titled Total Literacy Techniques: Tools to Help Students Analyze Literature and Informational Texts. Building on Total Participation Techniques, the authors worked with National Board–certified teacher Keely Potter to develop more than 50 teacher-tested tools and techniques that help students read independently and critically. These tools will help educators guide students as they discuss and write about literature and informational texts clearly and cogently. ($28.95 print or $27.99 e-book)

To browse through ASCD’s professional development videos or to watch excerpts, visit To learn more about ASCD’s books program or to read sample chapters, visit For more information about ASCD, visit or read the 2013 Annual Report.

Contact Information
Ross Romano, publicist, 1-703-575-5607 or
Katie Test, communications manager, 1-703-575-5608 or

About the Author:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.