As if I am not crazy busy enough this year, I refuse to sacrifice one of my guilty pleasures, which is reading. I’m at 90 books for 2015, my goal was 100…I’m so close! I track what I read through Goodreads, should you be interested in following along. It’s quite handy to not only keep me accountable. but also helps me remember what I want to read. If I am out in a classroom or a bookstore, I can scan in what I see that interests me. I then pull up my app in the library and voila! I know exactly what to get.
My “stack” right now is a hot mess of leadership, curriculum, inspiration and fun fiction. I take notes via twitter of what I’m reading, or on my phone. This ensures I can get back to the sentences or “tweetable” moments that mattered as I was reading.
Book 1: Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children My campus is a BIG proponent of guided reading. As a former fourth grade teacher, this was a whole new concept for me. Guided reading is an instructional approach that involves a teacher working with a small group of students who are at the same instructional reading level and ability . Meeting daily and supporting each level of each learner is where the magic happens. This book will not only convince of the merits, but help you understand what best practices you can help support and should be seeing. It has changed how I look at reading instruction!
Book 2: The Differentiated Classsroom ASCD alway has great books and the newest Carol Ann Tomlinson one is no different. The best part of this book are the instructional examples that she shares…it’s all about being to read something and take away gems of greatness that I can share with my staff. The premise here is that you want to convey that the content in your classroom doesn’t change,but that students have multiple options for taking in information,making sense of ideas, and expressing what they learn. Differentiation, when done well, serves a classroom and individual students in a way that whole group instruction just can’t.
Book 3: The Innovator’s Mindset I had the honor of pre-reading George Couros’s first book and writing a recommendation. Here is what I shared with his publisher:
“George Couros has the ability to challenge what you didn’t even realize needed to be challenged. He does it deliberately, thoughtfully, and instinctively. These challenges result in a perceptive and practical book–one that will change how you “do” education. More importantly, he inspires you to WANT to be better than you are. If you’ve seen George present, then you know there is no better story teller than he, and this book is no different. He can make you cry in one sentence, and laugh out loud in the next. From that emotion comes the impetus for change…real change, that will impact educators & students around the globe. If you are looking for a book to help initiate conversations on innovation, challenging the status quo, and are unsure where to turn, “The Innovator’s Mindset” is the answer. From the “why” to the more applicable “what” he talks you through, step by step, a way to make change happen, and I for one, am a better leader for it. You can’t help but be motivated by the simple truths and examples shared. These are REAL examples, from teachers and leaders in classrooms today, that are accomplishing the basics and so much more. In a system that measures through standardized lines, these suggestions will take you far beyond what you think you could accomplish….and more importantly, show how to take your students with you.”
I can’t recommend this book enough.
Book 4: Carry on, Warrior
I love sassy girls, and books BY sassy girls. Funny, honest, brave…and literally made me cry laughing. Asking me to tell you about my favorite par would involve laughter/tears again, so I will refrain. You will not regret the time spent reading this book. Mommas, leaders, anyone who has ever felt they couldn’t get it “all” in will feel a connection. And that just about all of us?
So that’s what is on my nightstand. What have you read/want to read that I should add to my list?? I have ten more to read, so give me some good ideas!