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Recharging Your Mind with Professional Literature


“What would you do if you were not afraid?” I love this line from Dr. Johnson’s, Who Moved My Cheese?  Maybe that's why I have moved around so much. Tenure-smenure. And then there's the simple title of Rafe Esquith's book, There Are No Shortcuts. I have to remind myself of that one sometimes. And Smart Answers to Tough Questions. I could go on. I can't imagine who I would be without a few key authors along the way. Here are ten books/authors that will refresh and revitalize what you are doing in the classroom...great for a nice holiday read.

Allington_2 Most any book from Richard Allington is an easy choice (ex- Classrooms That Work). The former IRA President just happens to teach at my Alma Mater, U.T. Knoxville.  This book is filled with post-it note galore and highlighting throughout.

Dailyfive If you have followed my blog, then you knew this one would be on the list. If you are looking for ways to increase the time spent on literacy in your classroom, this book works. You can very much read this in one sitting.

Esquith I read this book in one sitting. Then I got back up, went to the bookstore and bought his other book, Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire. And, yes, I read that in one sitting as well. I don't know how this book is so motivating when his work ethic beats out 99.999% of teachers in the world, but it is. I highly recommend you become familiar with this self-proclaimed Atticus Finch.

Fox_2  I always read this book before my school year starts. It just affirms what you know in your heart and has some great lines and quotes. 

Fletcher  I am putting this book by Ralph Fletcher on the list because it is only 5.99. New. How great is that? This book can be read to the upper grade crowd, but is a nice read over the break. It just moves my mind into the right direction when talking about teaching writers in my classroom.

Smart_2 Love, love, love, this book. Elaine Garan successfully squishes critical research into a one stop organized book. Looking for some quick findings, saying, and quotes on independent reading, vocabulary, tests, and so on? This is the book. Worth every penny. All research used is carefully selected and recognized.

Kohn I have never enjoyed reading Alfie Kohn's work, to be honest. He is not exactly an easy read. However, even if you listen-just a little- to what he says, it resonates with you. This book will successfully make you think differently about extrinsic rewards.

Mcgregor_2  I think Tanny McGregor does a great job in providing some tangible lessons for your classroom.  When we try so hard to bring the content areas to life, why not do the same with reading? If you are interested in using a strainer and some spaghetti for a mini-lesson, this book is for you.

Ray  Okay, there are lots of other books worthy of reading by Katie Wood Ray. It's just that I feel bad for this book. It seems like no one has read it, and I want to help out. I think it's the title that scares readers away. I really enjoy this book because there is a lot of focus on looking at newspapers, articles, and magazines for instruction. You'll also become a fan of Mr. Pitts and find yourself wanting to create a collection of articles yourself.

Taberski_2 My former district launched this book as a county-wide book study. It culminated with a full-day visit with Sharon Taberski. Her work really changed my views on many things. From her laid back approach to guided reading groups, to her classroom layout (including a lack of a teacher desk, like me), I love her approach to teaching.

So, I shared my list. Can you help me out? I don't know what to read next. It's a very odd feeling. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. 

To view a longer list of books I recommend, visit my list here.

Bonus: Some literacy superstars...


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Angela Bunyi

And I just stopped by our local library and got some more on your list. Thanks so much. :)


Angela Bunyi

I must say that your list is very, very, very good. It's easy to see you are well read, and you know what you are talking about. So, I did my book review search on each book and this is what I have decided:

1. Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension
2. When Kids Can't Read
3. Mechincally Inclined (which I have in my bookshelf but never read!).

Bonus: I love Janet Allen and found a resource book by her called Read-Aloud Anthology. It includes pieces like "Eleven" which you can find in Ralph Fletcher and Lucy Calkin's books (which means it is higher quality pieces automatically). Tempting...

And, if you like Kelly Gallagher, I think Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts is really good too. Which reminds me, too bad we weren't nearby. I could just do a quick swap with you and save us some money. :)

Much respect and thanks!


Melanie K

Your blog, web site, ideas, and classroom have been an inspiration for me this year. Here are some of my favorite teacher books for you!

When Kids Can't Read by Kylene Beers (horrible title, but the best reading resource I've ever found. Read in one sitting!)

Mechanically Inclined
Everyday Editing both by Jeff Anderson (great mini lessons and ideas for writing)

Reading is Seeing
Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension
Engaging Reader and Writers with Inquiry all by Jeffery Wilhelm (great movement based comprehension strategies and more)

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv (All about play and getting kids outside )

Essential 55
The Excellent 11 both by Ron Clark (Highly motivational and great common sense ideas)

Reading Reasons by Kelly Gallagher (Book is broken up into small lessons that teach kids WHY we read. It's a great motivation tool!)

I hope some of these resources help you out as much as your site has helped me this year!

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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