Educator Book Club discussion

What are your favorite books for the education profession?

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message 1: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:10AM) (new)

Alex (alexambrose) | 3 comments Mod
Every August during professional development I ask educators at my school this question to find an inspiring read to get me mentally ready for the kids' return. I have added some of my favorites to the shelf for this group below. So what are the most influential books you have read that have impacted you in education?

message 2: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:18AM) (new)

Laura Williamson | 1 comments _Other People's Children_ by Lisa Delpit changed my whole outlook on American education and the role race plays in the classroom.

message 3: by Malbadeen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:19AM) (new)

Malbadeen I love anything by jeffery wilhelm (reading) and/or Reggie Routman.

message 4: by Julie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:19AM) (new)

Julie | 1 comments There Are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlowitz, is a great book to read if you teach in an urban area. It gives insight to what a child living in poverty must overcome.

message 5: by Tereza (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Tereza | 1 comments This summer I came across a new one that is amazing.

I Read It But I Don't Get It. (I forget the author already)

Simple but very perceptive about teaching literature skills beyond the basics. Many students are not trained to "see" the book while they are reading it and get bogged down by teachers thinking they simply don't understand the words. Students also lack ways of expressing what they don't get about the book to help teachers focus in on the problem. The book focuses on how to train students to "see" with thier imagination and "get" the book beyond basic plot elements. I teach highschool and the strategies in the book are adaptable to 9-12, and I'm encorporating them into my lessons "as we speak."

message 6: by Linda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Linda My favorites are:
Other People's Children,Lisa Delpit

The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease: Funny, opinionated, and very useful guide to successful read-alouds.

Marva Collins' Way, Collins and Civia Tamarkin

I Won't Learn From You, Herbert Kohl: He gives insight into why some students are resistant to school learning, and what educators might do about it.

Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol

True Notebooks, Mark Salzman: He writes honestly, movingly, and sometimes humorously about his experience teaching writing in a facility that holds juveniles who are being tried as adults.

Linking Up, Sarah Pirtle: This is a musical social skills curriculum, and it's really great, even if you're not particularly musical.

message 7: by jacky (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

jacky I'm still a relatively new teacher. So far Tovani's I Read It But I Don't Get It and Wong's First Days of School have been most useful for me.

message 8: by Ashley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) I have two favorite books. One is"The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them". Another one is "One Teacher in 10(second edition)" edited by Kevin Jennings. Its a collection of stories by GLBT teachers.It's a great book for GLBT teachers who are struggling to come out or dealing with intolerance.

message 9: by Kathleen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Kathleen (standardreading) | 13 comments STRATEGIES THAT WORK and
THE NO-NONSENSE GUIDE TO TEACHING WRITING have both been really helpful for me getting my literacy curriculum going.

I kick myself repeatedly for not reading it yet (don't tell my mentor), but so many of my colleagues have recommended to me, i cringe when I think of how much this would have helped me my first year.

Oh, and I agree that Delpit's OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN is amazing. Since I grew up in the South and now teach in NYC, Delpit really made me stretch my brain and think outside my sheltered liberal mindset.

message 10: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

Melissa | 2 comments Educating Esme was required reading at my college. It is is a great book. Quick, important read.

message 11: by Karetchko (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Karetchko | 2 comments I love Educating Esme. It's really funny in parts. I was rather disappointed that the author stopped teaching, though...

message 12: by Gea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:21PM) (new)

Gea | 2 comments What are Schools for: Holstic Education in American Culture (by Ron Miller): A history of the creation of the school system, public schooling, and the 'visions' behind public schooling; an excellent book on an obvious, yet too often overlooked area of education (the creation of schools). Another favorite: White Privilege (by Paula S. Rothenberg): This book is the research behind a lot of what Delpit (Other People's Children) talks about; this book is excellent AND easy to read because it is broken up in several sections, each of which contain essays on issues such as: the matter of whiteness, failing to see (whiteness), how white people 'became' white, white privilege, breaking the silence, etc.

message 13: by Kelly Rueda (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:44PM) (new)

Kelly Rueda | 1 comments All good reads for teaching in terms of practice and/or theory
Frank Smith's The Book of Learning and Forgetting (A MUST)
Gregory Michie's Holler if you Hear Me (teaching social justice in Chicago)
Lucy Calkins and Nancy Atwell for reading/writing workshop
The Truth about Testing by Popham
Hinchey's Teaching Freedom in the Classroom ( deals with critical pedagogy)
Any publications by Rethinking Schools.

message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:54PM) (new)

I have noticed a lot of the books mentioned are based around the US, I am in the UK, could we have some recommendations for UK based educators please.

My own list in terms of Development rather than literacy would include:

Toxic childhood By S Palmer
The ALPS approach, Accelerated Learning in Primary Schools By Alistair Smith
One Step Ahead: Raising 3 to 12 Year Olds By Grose

message 15: by Nora (last edited Dec 22, 2007 06:09PM) (new)

Nora (noraflanagan) I'm a fan of anything written/edited by Bill Ayers, but I think either City Kids, City Teachers or Teaching for Social Justice is my favorite.

Fires in the Bathroom (Kathleen Cushman) is a great one for beginning teachers -- it's a collection of words of advice for teachers from students themselves.

And someone separated a title or two as 'urban' in nature; I can't help but point out that the problems of urban schools are in every school -- just in different concentrations and visibilities.

message 16: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 2 comments I am a first year teacher but want to find a book that actually explains what to do with the advice they give you.

For instance: Make sure you acknowledge each student individually.

Ok, I get that now I want suggestions on how to do it. I wouldn't be very good at my job if I didn't already recognize most of the advice I have been getting.

So fellow reader people, do you have any suggestions of education related books that also give suggestions on practice?


message 17: by Jaclyn (new)

Jaclyn | 3 comments hey lindsey i suggest:
Middle and Secondary Classroom Management: Lessons from Research and Practice
by Carol Simon Weinstein


Teaching from the Deep End
by Dominic V. Belmonte

message 18: by Rebecca (last edited Feb 06, 2008 07:15AM) (new)

Rebecca (rebeccabird) | 2 comments I teach kinder and right now it's all about writing. My district has finally caught on to Lucy Calkins and her "Units of Study" is a fantastic guide for all grade levels. Next year they're buying the whole set for every teacher. FINALLY! I love her because she truly believes that there is a strong link between good readers and writing. I have found that my students just blossom in so many areas when I begin mini-writers workshops.

I also love "About the Authors" by Lisa Cleaveland,"Primary Pizazz" by Melissa Forney and anything by Regie Routman is fantastic. I'll be teaching a kindergarten poetry unit soon with her "guidance".

I am also a huuge fan of "Reading with Meaning". With the standards being raised so high for kinder, I'm finding more of my kids reading at a higher level at this time of year and it is so helpful.

Other "education" books that I love are "Educating Esme" and "How To Get Your Child to Love Reading" by Esme Codell.

Anything by Jonathan Kozol as well. I used to be a paralegal for a nonprofit legal organization and he spoke at our annual meeting. He was unbelievable. My favorite books are "Amazing Grace", "On Being a Teacher" and "Savage Inequalities".

message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy (cookiebrains) | 2 comments HI Lindsey-
What grade do you teach? I'm in my sixth year of teaching upper elementary grades. I recommend Guiding Readers and Writers for lots of practical ways to implement strong reading instruction. Reading journals are a great way to connect with and recognize kids individually, and to foster their identities as readers.

message 20: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey | 2 comments I teach English for freshman and seniors. My school doesn't have any specific guidelines as to what it requires students learn. Thus I am trying to figure out what would be useful for them and myself. My department head is not .....up with the times and does not like change. Plus I am the only person in my department that teaches these classes. I am reaching out to anyone who can help!

Right now we do bellwork on blogs, video book reports and a variety of other things.

message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy (ldtchr) | 8 comments Lindsey,
Two books that are great and easy reads for reading comprehension are 7 Keys to Comprehension by Susan Zimmerman (follow up from Mosaic of Thought - though Mosaic is geared more toward early el I think) and I Read It But I Don't Get It by Cris Tovani. I find these helpful when I am looking for good novels for my students. I can also find activities and use questions to guide growth in these areas.

Another suggestion is to check with the content area classes if you can and maybe incorporate novels that tie in topics they are studying. My biology students are reading sci-fi novels right now and will be presenting the biological connections in them and what is the science and what is the fiction. They are working with research/term papers in English are are focusing on comp/contrast forms of government or religion - they have a semi-blended class of English and World History and many are able to use one novel to cover both (some are being allowed a bit of leeway - particularly since we work with students with LD who are often reluctant readers or writers).

Sorry to go on so long, but hope that helps some!

message 22: by Kim (new)

Kim | 8 comments I love Possible Lives by Mike Rose, anything by Ted Sizer (but especially The Students are Watching) and my parents (both educators) raised me on The Open Classroom by Herbert Kohl and The Sabertooth Curriculum (which is really hard to find now). In my Masters program I read Revolutionizing America's Schools by Carl Glickman, which I still find myself referring back to from time to time and I revisit Dewey often (especially around inquiry-based education). Hooray for the Jonathan Kozol referral from Rebecca above - he rocks.

message 23: by Marika (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:38AM) (new)

Marika (marikaism) | 3 comments A book that I recommend teachers read is "Three Cups of Tea." It puts education into a more global perspective, helps to show that we are part of a larger movement or energy...

On a more practical note, a book I recommend for students, and Lindsey this is in response to your posting, is the graphic novel "Persepolis" (I taught both one and two). My seniors LOVED this book and it enabled me to teach history, genre, memoir, current events, and a whole bunch of stuff. We also took a fieldtrip to see the movie. My students love graphic novels, and next year I think I'm going to teach "Barefoot Gen" instead of "Hiroshima" and "Maus" alongside "Night." Those are some ideas -- I teach in an inner-city school in Oakland and those are books that move my students... maybe they'll work with yours.

message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris | 1 comments This is in response to the Persepolis comment. Another useful, engaging, beautiful graphic novel that combines history, literary craft, and cultural fluency is The Four Immigrant Manga, by Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama. Amazingly, it was published in 1931.

message 25: by Ken (new)

Ken My current favorite is Engaging Readers and Writers with Inquiry. Good stuff, and one meaty (read: useful) book.

message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim | 8 comments I love to see anything with INQUIRY in the title - I'll sure check that one out!

message 27: by Marika (new)

Marika (marikaism) | 3 comments oooo, i'll check it out!

message 28: by Marika (new)

Marika (marikaism) | 3 comments (that last comment was about the Kiyama graphic novel)

message 29: by Angela (new)

Angela Avery | 4 comments I believe every middle school educator should read "Not Much, Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers" by Linda Perlstein. A very interesting read about those tricky to figure out adolescents!

I think EVERY educator should read "Give A Boy A Gun" by Todd Strasser. It's about a high school shooting. It's a fictious novel for teenagers, but every written word in it rings true. It's told from the points of view of everyone involved in such a tragedy- the victims, the victims' parents, letters from the shooters, the shooters' parents, the school teachers and administrators, community members, etc. It's a very powerful book.

message 30: by Karen (new)

Karen (serakwaz) | 3 comments I really enjoyed Jonathan Kozol's "Letters to a Young Teacher" and Sonia Nieto's "What Keeps Teachers Going". Both are very hopeful and useful for teachers whether they are just beginning or have been teaching for years.

message 31: by Jaclyn (new)

Jaclyn | 3 comments Karen, I agree with you. I love those books. Kozol is amazing! I'm actually going to hear him speak next week. I'm so excited.

message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy (ldtchr) | 8 comments Angela, my 15-year old niece just recommended "Give a Boy a Gun" as well. And Marika, I just picked up Three Cups and am looking forward to reading it even more now. Thanks!

message 33: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacy_g_k) My favorites include The First Days of School by Harry Wong, In the Middle by Nancie Atwell, and A Mosaic of Thought by Zimmerman and Keene. How to Talk So Kids Can Learn-At Home and in School along with the other books by Mazlish and Faber are excellent.

The Outsiders. It rocks.

message 34: by Karen (new)

Karen (serakwaz) | 3 comments Oh! I'm jealous! I hope he you get to hear about Mr. Rogers.

message 35: by Karen (new)

Karen (serakwaz) | 3 comments (I was commenting on Jaclyn's response to my book recommendation)

message 36: by Jaclyn (new)

Jaclyn | 3 comments He spoke mostly about his new book, Letters to a Young Teacher. He discussed segregation, testing, NCLB, standards, etc. Kozol was amazing and I could have listened to him the whole night. He was extremely funny! He was like the perfect grandfather.

message 37: by Emily (new)

Emily As an early childhood educator, I have to agree that Vivian Gussian Paley's books are amazing. I particularly like "Mollie is Three: Growing up in School."


My favorite book for the education profession is not directly about early childhood education at all. It is

Nel Nodding's "Educating Moral People."

I underlined and underlined throughout that book. She influenced me so profoundly that I reference specific quotes continuously. This book is appropriate for all levels of educators.

message 38: by Karen (new)

Karen | 3 comments I like "Differentiating Instruction" by Tomilson. She is a guru in this area and shows teachers how to take basic tools (menu's, tic-tac-toe,bingo, and tiered instruction) to all areas of the curriculum. Very practical for everyone K-College.

message 39: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen (standardreading) | 13 comments I just read Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf. It was amazing--fantastically readable, incredibly informative, and really helpful to me in getting a clearer picture of the development of the reading human brain. I highly recommend it to all teachers.

message 40: by Cameron (new)

Cameron | 7 comments I really love the critical pedagogues. I just finished bell hooks' Teaching to Transgress, which was amazing. I'm always cycling through Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed as well, along with Henry Giroux's writings.

In addition, The Lives of Children by George Dennison, To Teach by Bill Ayers, and Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman are all great. Patrick Shannon has some really intersting stuff, along with John Taylor Gatto and Alfie Kohn.

For more practical stuff, I like Choice words by Peter Johnston and Classrooms that Work by Patricia Cunningham.

message 41: by Clickety (new)

Clickety (clix) | 2 comments Oh my! I have a lot of favorites that haven't yet been named, so... bear with me:

A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works, Robert Marzano
The Art & Science of Teaching, Robert Marzano
Understanding by Design, Wiggins & McTighe
You Gotta BE the Book, Jeffrey Wilhelm
Write Beside Them, Penny Kittle
Teaching with Love and Logic, Fay & Funk
Deeper Reading, Kelly Gallagher
Losing My Faculties, Brendan Halpin
There Are No Shortcuts and Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire, Rafe Esquith
The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work, Linda Darling-Hammond

message 42: by Wendy (last edited Mar 13, 2009 12:56PM) (new)

Wendy I just purchased The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey (the famous author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). He basically takes those principles and applies them to the classroom. This book got fantastic reviews and I can't wait to read it!

message 43: by Jared (new)

Jared Newswanger | 6 comments I believe it is very important to think about why before how. I will echo some previous posts for guys like Sizer, Noddings, and Kozol. I would add Alfie Kohn and Bertell Ollman's "How to Take an Exam and Remake the World."

However as the top of any Educational Reading list needs to be John Dewey's Democracy and Education. I would follow that with Deborah Meier's, "In Schools we trust."

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