Summertime and the reading is easy – well, at least a little easier than it is during the jam-packed school year when reading even a grocery list can seem too time-consuming. With at least a few weeks of lazy, hazy days ahead, we’ve got educator-approved picks for your summer reading lists. Some are fun, others functional, and we encourage you to also leave your top picks in the comments section.
NEA Today Facebook fans’ beach-reading picks:
Alicia Outen Hammock doesn’t usually read nonfiction but is inspired by the story The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks about a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more.
Lori Heller is picking up suspense thriller Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King this summer.
Elizabeth Carroll Nahom recommends the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.
Janet Lovell Phillips is taking one of the recommendations of her gifted eighth graders — The Book Thief.
NEA Today Facebook fans’ professional development picks:
Adam Scott is reading The Underground History of American Education: A School Teacher’s Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling by John Taylor Gatto.
Tamara Cooley recommends Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids.
James Six recommends the reading workshop guides by Lucy Calkins and The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literary Assessment and Instruction.
Bridget Seery will be reading about the corporate reform movement in Reign of Error by Diane Ravitch.
Preventing Failure in Primary Grades by Siefried Engleman is Mel Palmer’s pick.
Want more ideas? Check out education program and advocacy organization ASCD’s summer reading list.
“ASCD’s list of summer reads is packed with tools, strategies, and best practices that will help every educator improve classroom instruction,” said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Dr. Gene R. Carter. “We hope educators around the world take advantage of these summer months to grow professionally in their career and reinvigorate their practice.”
Align to the Common Core State Standards
- Teaching the Core Skills of Listening and Speaking – Aligning his approach with the Common Core standards, education consultant Erik Palmer provides guidance for teaching and assessing collaborative discussion, listening and media literacy, questioning and reasoning, adapting speech to different content and tasks, and more.
- Teaching the Critical Vocabulary of the Common Core: 55 Words That Make or Break Student Understanding – ASCD author Marilee Sprenger explains the compelling reasons to teach these 55 crucial words and provides fun, memorable strategies for making these words stick in students’ minds.
- Assignments Matter: Making the Connections That Help Students Meet Standards – Seasoned teacher coach and curriculum design expert Eleanor Dougherty guides educators in crafting assignments that matter when preparing for the Common Core standards.
- West Meets East: Best Practices from Expert Teachers in the U.S. and China— Education researchers Leslie Grant, James Stronge, Xianxuan Xu, Patricia Popp, Yaling Sun, and Catherine Little explain key cultural differences and similarities among successful educators from both nations and highlight practical solutions from the two sides of the world.
- Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility, 2nd Edition – In this updated edition, teacher leaders Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey dig deeper into how teachers can equip students with what they need to develop content understanding and be self-directed learners.
- Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put ALL Students on the Road to Academic Success—Veteran classroom teacher and education consultant Suzy Pepper Rollins identifies eight high-impact, overarching practices to foster academic achievement, including increasing students’ vocabulary, building students’ motivation, and addressing gaps within the context of new learning.
- How to Plan Rigorous Instruction – Dynamic educator Robyn R. Jackson provides a step-by-step process of planning rigorous instruction that helps students master content and become engaged learners, effective problem solvers, and critical thinkers.
Get Organized and Energized for a New School Year
- The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day – Experienced educators Bryan Goodwin and Elizabeth Ross Hubbell provide educators with a daily checklist to reference in order to ensure they are doing what matters most to help every student succeed each day. The 12 universals of teaching presented in this book apply across grade levels and subject areas.
- The 5-Minute Teacher: How Do I Maximize Time for Learning in My Classroom? – Veteran teacher Mark Barnes helps educators deliver quick, thought-provoking lessons that transform any classroom into a student-centered learning environment.
- When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim Your Game – Veteran educator Allen Mendler explores practical strategies that help educators rejuvenate their enthusiasm for teaching and provides tips on how to address challenging students, gain parents’ support, and create a positive, healthy environment.
In addition to the summer reading list, ASCD is offering a sales promotion on more than 200 professional development publications and DVDs. To learn more, visit the ASCD store.
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