New Book Embraces Grading Practices That Promote Deeper Learning

BLOOMINGTON, IN—(Marketwired – April 04, 2016) –
Solution Tree, a premier educational publisher and professional development provider, has announced the release of FAST Grading: A Guide to Implementing Best Practices. This new book by Douglas Reeves presents practical steps for implementing effective grading policies and developing constructive dialogues with parents and community members about grading.

A companion resource to Reeves's Elements of Grading: A Guide to Effective Practice (Second Edition), FAST Grading outlines effective grading procedures that have the power to reduce failure rates, encourage learning, and enhance morale. In this three–part guide, the author presents practical strategies teachers and administrators can use to ensure their grading practices center on four essential criteria: fairness, accuracy, specificity, and timeliness. The book helps K–12 teachers and school leaders discover how to gain support for grading reform and navigate implementation challenges, and it provides practical strategies that enrich grading practices and encourage deeper learning.

In his introduction to the book, Reeves writes, “When schools embrace effective grading practices and terminate toxic grading policies, student performance, motivation, and discipline improve. Not only do these solutions offer enormous advantages for students, schools, and teachers, but they also offer the promise of enduring impacts over time.”

Summarizing the scope and purpose of the book, author and consultant Cassandra Erkens states, “[In] FAST Grading, Dr. Reeves takes the conversation about improving grading practices to the next level with a hard–hitting rationale for rethinking archaic paradigms. Reeves provides the language, strategies, and best professional development practices that educators at all levels of the organization can use to support this critical shift in education.”

Robert Eaker, professor emeritus in the department of educational leadership at Middle Tennessee State University, assessing the book's impact, asks the hard–hitting question: “Want to discontinue arbitrary, even harmful, grading practices and embed practices that are fair, accurate, specific and timely? Douglas Reeves provides both the why and how to do just that. FAST Grading is more than a must–read; it is a must–read–then–act manifesto for implementing best grading practices.”

FAST Grading
is designed for interactive use, and teachers and collaborative teams will find it makes for a stimulating book study, prompting faculty discussions about schools' grading practices.

FAST Grading: A Guide to Implementing Best Practices is now available at SolutionTree.com. 

About the Author

Douglas Reeves, PhD, founder of Creative Leadership Solutions, has worked with education, business, nonprofit, and government organizations throughout the world. The author of more than 30 books and more than 80 articles on leadership and organizational effectiveness, he has twice been named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series.

About Solution Tree

Solution Tree delivers comprehensive professional development to schools and districts around the world. Solution Tree has empowered K–12 educators to raise student achievement through a wide range of services and products including educator conferences, customized district solutions for long–term professional development, books, videos, online courses, and more.

Famous Smoke Shop Debuts Remaining Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle Cigars

EASTON, PA—(Marketwired – April 04, 2016) –  Famous Smoke Shop, the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web's widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices, has released the two remaining vitolas in their exclusive Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle selection by Crowned Heads Cigars. Named “Sublime” and “Robusto,” the new sizes join the Black Belt Buckle Corona Gorda, which was released in November of 2015, and will be limited to only 500 boxes each.

Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle cigars are made using the same Nicaraguan long–filler and binder tobaccos used in the original “91–rated” Four Kicks blend, except the wrapper is a toothy, ebony–hued Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper which adds a note of sweetness to the flavor profile. The blend is medium–bodied and well–balanced as notes of honey, chocolate, hints of light peppery spice, and cedar combine for an intriguingly complex smoke.

“We're excited to bring Black Belt Buckle into a regular production brand for Famous Smoke,” said Jon Huber, Crowned Heads Cigars co–founder. “It's always been a dream of mine to work with Ernesto [Perez–Carrillo] on a project that involved a [Connecticut] Broadleaf wrapper, as I think he's one of the best in the business at working with that particular wrapper leaf. And to be able to create this blend for our friends at Famous is a bonus.”

The Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle selection will now be presented as follows in boxes of 20 cigars:


Sublime (6″ x 54 Toro)

@$8.95 msrp


Robusto (5″ x 50)

@$8.45 msrp


Corona Gorda (5 5/8″ x 46)

@$7.95 msrp

“The success of the Corona Gorda has definitely proven that Jon and Ernesto were on to something,” said Jim Charnley, Famous Smoke Shop Sr. Project manager. “I see the Black Belt Buckle Sublime and Robusto taking the brand to the next level of consumer awareness and expect sales to be even higher, now that cigar smokers will have all three sizes available to them.”

Find more information on Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle cigars here.

About Famous Smoke Shop 
Famous Smoke Shop is the nation's #1 discount retailer of premium cigars online, offering one of the largest selections of handmade cigars, machine–made cigars, cigar humidors and accessories. Famous offers the web's lowest prices on a wide selection of cigar brands including Acid, Davidoff, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, Ashton, Padron, Oliva and Perdomo cigars, and many more. Famous offers their customers the best prices on all premium cigars as well as friendly and knowledgeable customer service.

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