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Uncategorized   |   Sep 29, 2011

Book Reviews: The Cornerstone

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Book Reviews: The Cornerstone

By Angela Watson

See What People Are Saying About The Cornerstone!

Classroom Management Made Easy

“I have used Ms. Powell’s website for years, as a newer teacher, to get ideas and information for making my classroom run as smoothly as possible. The book reads much like her website: she is speaking to you as if you were sitting in the same room having a conversation about management. The tone is friendly and conducive to passing along information about managing a classroom to make the most out of every second you have with your students. The ONLY thing I don’t like is that there are no “reproducibles” included in the book — you have to visit the site to get those. The upside of that, however, is that the downloads are word documents that you can customize which makes it easy to adapt the resources to your specific needs. I will definitely be recommending this book to my colleagues who are just entering the field.”
–R. Wood, Amazon.com

Practical, Very Helpful, Immediately Implemented

“I have found that I can just pull out relevant sections, apply them then return to the text when I am ready for more or when I have a specific query. I am looking forward to reading the ideas and advice on instructional strategies more carefully. I think that it fits in well with the philosophy of The Daily Five, another favourite teaching resource of mine. I always recommend this book to prac students/student teachers who visit our school and to any beginning and establishing teachers that I know (I am a third year teacher). I am sure it would contain helpful suggestions for more experienced teachers as well. I will honestly say it is the best investment in a book that I have made to date. Thank you Angela for writing this book!”
–Froggiemurr, Amazon.com

A Must For Any New or Struggling Teacher

“As an alternate route elementary teacher in a chaotic, sometimes dangerous South Bronx school, this book has been a lifesaver for me. I found Ms. Powell’s website first and started spreading the word. All the things that nobody teaches you how to do, yet are so integral in making your classroom a success, are discussed in great detail. As Ms. Powell has spent several years teaching in high poverty classrooms, her concrete strategies for implementing routines and procedures and ensuring an effective environment are dead on. Also, for anyone who struggles with organization in their classroom, Ms. Powell gives so many practical organizational strategies(with pictures). Ms. Powell’s students are very lucky and I know this book is going to be instrumental in giving me the power to have a more successful year for me and my students!”
–South Bronx Teacher, Barnes and Noble

Love These Ideas!!

“Angela has a unique way of conveying years of wisdom in practical ways. I am always refreshed and rejuvenated after reading her website and/or her book. I recommend this book to any new or seasoned teacher because when do we ever really stop learning and growing?! :)”
–Melissa Stafford, Amazon.com


“I was an avid fan of her website. For years I’ve used her ideas and enjoyed the fabulous pictures and easy explanations that accompany room set-up to management and organizational ideas. This book is the best resource you can have. The book is a foundation for any teacher of any subject. Powell doesn’t say there is one way to do something. She’ll give you some ideas she’d tried years ago, and tell you what’s working for her now. We all know that often our classroom students dictate how our systems need to be set up. This book will be as valuable in 25 years as it is now. The documentation chapter is especially important in today’s world. Thanks Thanks Thanks to Ms. Powell.”
–Kelly Payton Figueroa, Amazon.com

Best Classroom Management/Organization Book

“I have been a fan of the website for a long time and was excited to purchase the book. I can’t say enough good things about this book. It has made worlds of difference in my classroom. This book is perfect for teachers who want to maintain a respectful team environment in their classrooms. The author respects students and explains how to make them actively care for their classroom and its organization. I use almost everything I have read about in this book. Other teachers often ask me how I do it and I just hand them this book. Thank you Angela for such a wonderful resource!”
–Viv-a-liv, Amazon.com

A Must-Have for All Teachers

“This is one of the, if not the, best books I have ever read on classroom management. All of the ideas are very user friendly and easy to implement….I have personally used many of the ideas that Angela Powell describes in her book. Last year I taught a very challenging 4th grade class. I tried everything with no success and finally came across the Token System. It was easy to use and very effective. I am planning on using it again this year when school starts, instead of waiting until problems arise later in the year. In addition, Angela has managed to cover any and all questions a new teacher might have – from setting up their classroom to handling students who want to go to the water fountain all day long. But let me assure you – this book is definitely not just for new teachers. There are lots of great ideas for all teachers – newbies and seasoned veterans alike. I feel very confident that you will not be disappointed if you order this book. It would be the best investment you could make in your classroom this year.”
–Pam Axell, Amazon.com

Worth Every Penny!

“If you haven’t had the pleasure or privilege of visiting Angela Powell-Watson’s website, once you read this book you must visit her site and you’ll find you will have opened the door to a whole new world! This is the world of teaching and “The Cornerstone” takes you step-by-step through the procedures, organization, and everything you will need to be a successful teacher. As I am changing from a private tutoring position to a 2nd grade classroom this fall, I am rereading the book and nodding my head along with Angela’s pleasant conversational tone. Teach your students procedures and remain cool, calm, and collected. Place the responsiblity for discipline where it belongs. Keep things organized and your teaching will be much more effective. A valuable resource for a newbie or a mentor teacher!”
–Love2teach, Amazon.com

Great Teacher Tool

“This is one of the best books I’ve read. It gives practical tips that are easy to implement from an actual classroom teacher. The numerous classroom pictures are so useful. I would definitely recommend this book to first time teachers and veteran teachers. I’m a mentor teacher this year for an entry year teacher and I will be sharing this book with her!”
–Angie from Oklahama, Amazon.com


“I am a first year teacher teaching in an inner-city school. I was struggling with all the things that Angela has in her book and was just looking for someone to give me advice. I first found the book by googling different things on the internet and finding her website. I can honestly say that now that I have her book she is like my teaching GOD. I carry this book EVERYWHERE with me and literally feel as though it is my teaching bible, helping me and giving me advice when ever I need it. I love that I can either read the book front to back (which I already have) or just flip to a relevant section. I have literally even used it with different topics I have talked to my kids about (fighting) where her way of explaining it just seems so simple and clear. My students now know that when it is independent reading time that I will be on the carpet with this book. Teachers at school have even started to ask for the name so that they can purchase the book. Literally I can not stop raving about how AMAZING this book is. BUY IT!!!! and then go on her website and take advantage of the downloads you can get if you bought the book. You will be sooo happy you did!”
–A. Piccoli, Barnes and Noble.com

Must Have for Teacher’s Library

“I have a large collection of teaching materials, and I must say this one is one that is truly a treasure. It is down to earth and no-nonsense but at the same time filled with much wisdom. The book is well organized and truly covers all aspects of teaching. There are many ideas that can be immediately used. If it’s read before the start of the year, there are great ideas for starting the year and organizing the classroom. My favorite section was on organizing paper! The author’s love of teaching rings throughout the book. She manages to offer practical day to day advice while at the same time reminding us that we have chosen a wonderful, worthy profession.
–V. Clark, Amazon.com

Not Just for Elementary!

“I came across Angela’s website when I was looking for ideas on how to organize my classroom. Even though her ideas were given for elementary, I easily adapted her suggestions to my high school Spanish class. Because I was successful in my endeavor, I purchased her book and couldn’t have been more satisfied. Don’t hesitate if you teach middle or high school, her management ideas are for all teachers looking to make their classroom (and lives) a little more organized and less hectic.
–Kristen Thomas


“This is the most helpful and useful book I have read on classroom management. From organization to teaching routines, I have implemented so many of the ideas and strategies in my classroom. I am so organized that after the first month of school, I find that I can leave school on time. Managing my class is so much easier using the techniques in this book. It is an easy read written by a current teacher. I highly recommend it!”
–Marlene Parea, Amazon.com

Worth It

“The author talks to you like a colleague and does not talk down as if she has much more experience and is wiser than most. She admits she has tried things that she found weren’t great and has changed things over the years. She has done the experimenting for us! School starts here in two weeks and I feel I can organize my prep for the year much more effectively with tips from this book. Highly recommend for new teachers or anyone that just wants to know how the other teachers go home right on time every day!!”
–Dee Dee “3 boys’ mama”, Amazon.com

Wonderful Resource!

“The ideas in this book have been EXTREMELY useful to me over the past year, mainly because they are very practical and down-to-earth. I don’t use everything from this book, but it has been very helpful in coming up with solutions to several of the problems that have occurred over my first few years teaching. I also find it a source of inspiration for coming up with my own ideas about to how to handle certain problems. I especially like the author’s focus on using logical consequences. Several of the teachers at my school use this resource and our copies are all filled with sticky notes, highlighting, and dog-ears! We just wish this was the textbook in our classroom management class in college!
–Mo, Amazon.com

Check Out the Buzz in Discussion Forums

“Keeping Your Desk Clean” ProTeachers Message Boards

I’ve been reading The Cornerstone:Classroom Management That Makes Teaching More Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable by Angela Powell. She makes me say, “I think I can, I think I can…” when it comes to keeping my desk cleaner this year. She has great tips that I honestly had not thought of before in my almost 22 years of teaching.  I’m anxious to try them out this year. -TrexTeacher

“Helpful Books for New Teachers” Beginning Teachers Chatboard at T-Net

Even though I’ve been teaching for 15 years I just bought The Cornerstone: Classroom Management That Makes Teaching More Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable. The author is Angela Powell. She’s had her own website for a number of years and it is amazing. The book includes a lot from her website. The web address is TheCornerstoneForTeachers.com – it is everything you will ever want to know about putting together a classroom and staying organized, managing student behavior, etc. It is available from Amazon although I ordered it directly from her site. -Judy/2/CA

“New Teacher Tips”, BabyCenter Community Forum

A really awesome site that has helped me a lot is mspowell.com (which will soon be thecornerstoneforteachers.com). She just released a new book and even though this isn’t my first year teaching, it IS the first time I’ll be with my class on day 1 (long story!!). So I wanted to feel confident in how to teach my procedures the right way and set my class up for success from the minute they walk in…all of her ideas are so helpful. The information is her new book is more or less what is on her site (with a bit more detail sometimes) and 99% of the forms she references are available for free download. You may want to check it out. I feel so much more confident about starting this new school year because of what she has reminded me that I need to do with my kids the first few days. -Raye

“Ready To Quit and I Just Started!”, Upper Elementary Chatboard at T-Net

I highly recommend… a book by Angela Powell called The Cornerstone: Classroom Management That Makes Teaching More Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable. This book is basically having an experienced teacher tell you all her tricks for good classroom management. I wish I had had it when I first began teaching elementary school. I still found some helpful hints for me now. -Sam5

“Current Reads”, Snarkfest 3.0

[I’m currently reading] The Cornerstone: Classroom Management That Makes Teaching More Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable by Angela Powell. I stumbled across her website a couple of years ago, and what can I say, it had a huge impact on me as a teacher. Most of the book is taken from her website, so I’ve read it before, but it’s great to have it all together in book form where I can tag pages and highlight stuff. I have another 3 weeks of vacation, but reading this is making me look forward to starting a new school year. I really recommend it very highly–it would be most useful to elementary school teacher.

Some of it, such as the sections on Avoiding the Paper Trap, Finding and Filing Instructional Resources, Quick and Easy Assessments, Eliminating Homework Hassles, could be applicable to teachers of any grade. I also think she has some really good stuff to say about behavior management and dealing with parents/colleagues/administration (though of course it would have to be modified for different age groups). Her experience is with elementary school, though, so some parts wouldn’t be that relevant.  You might want to check out her website (used to be ms.powell.com but I think now it’s been renamed TheCornerstoneForTeachers.com) to get a better idea, since a lot of her book is taken from there.

One thing I really like about her is that she isn’t some expert who taught school fifteen years ago and has forgotten what it’s like; she is currently teaching. –Stargirl

“Ms. Powell: The Cornerstone” ProTeacher Community

I have been referencing her site for years and I love the book. I chose to order the e-book because that way I can scroll for what I want, the pictures are in color, and you can still print and highlight if you wish. When I had a question, she always answered me personally and we had a few good laughs. She is an excellent resource and author. Check it out, you won’t be sorry.  -KCJ

“Ms. Powell book!” A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums

Angela- the book is wonderful!! I am sooo excited to read it cover to cover. You did a beautiful job getting all of your great ideas into the book. Thank you for all you have done for education. You are an inspiration. Know that somewhere in Connecticut, I am using those fantastic ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  -Trayums

“Documentation”, Upper Elementary Chatboard at Teachers.Net

Angela powell’s site is great. She has an old site and has begun a new one under the website name The cornerstone which is her new book (came out in August). Its a must have. She has great ideas for documenting everything. I’v printed out her organization, management, and documenting ideas for years so its great to have it all in one resource. -Kellyppr

Buy The Book!

Click here to see purchasing options and check availability.

Book Review Exchanges

Want more exposure for your website, blog, book, cause, or organization?  Feature The Cornerstone book/site/blog in an online review, then email the link to me here, which I’ll spread the word on my blog.

Have your own book? Email me to set up a book review exchange!

Share Your Opinion!

Are YOU a fan of The Cornerstone?  Help spread the word! Amazon.com is not just a bookseller; it’s a forum for book fans to share their thoughts about whatever they’re reading.  If you’ve purchased The Cornerstone from ANY seller, would you please go to Amazon and post an honest critique?  Having multiple reviews from real readers helps build future customer’s confidence in the product and provides them with feedback about the book’s helpfulness. Thanks for your support!


Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
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  1. Lat word in the book or on then afterward page. I bought the book on amazon. Can I still get the webinar for 50% off???

    Thank you

  2. I can’t find the link for the pages to print using the last word after the afterword. The link just takes me to book review comments. Please help!

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