Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer Professional Reading Goals

Let the summer and the summer reading begin!

I just love the endless possibilities of the beginning of the summer--for the purposes of this blog, I'll confine myself to books, and for this particular blog post, I'll share the professional reading I'm thinking about doing. Later I'll share other reading lists. (If you don't want to wait that long, find me on Goodreads.) 

Since I wear several professional hats--high school English teacher, curriculum coordinator, and school improvement coordinator--I'm interested in teaching reading and writing, in pedagogy in general, and in educational leadership. So some of the books I'm hoping at this point to read are as follows: 
  1. Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, Peter C. Brown. Actually, I'm nearly done with this excellent book, requested by some other faculty during a recent professional development meeting when a blog I had people read linked to this book as a source. (Stay tuned to future blogs...)
  2. Formative Classroom Walkthroughs: How Principals and Teachers Collaborate to Raise Student Achievement, by by Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart. Recommended by a good friend and colleague at a different school--same for the next book.  I did walkthroughs of all secondary classrooms several times this year, and I'm excited to read this book to make them even more purposeful and helpful next year.
  3. The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, Carol Ann Tomlinson. Recommended by a good friend and colleague at a different school. I'm at a small school with limited support for struggling or advanced students. Looking for ways we can make a difference for those students right in our classrooms.
  4. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners, Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Recommended by a colleague at an AP seminar last summer. (Or else Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform our Schools, also by Ron Ritchhart. This is the recent book by the same author, which I've seen recommended several places. Which should I start with? Do I want to focus on classroom pedagogical strategies or on shaping school culture?)
  5. 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, Jeff Anderson. I ordered all of his books about 2 years ago, and have made a little progress on authentically integrating grammar instruction into writing, but need to make more.
  6. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, Roy Peter Clark. This got a lot of recommendations on an NCTE thread earlier this year, so I ordered it, but never got around to reading it during the year.
  7. Write Beside Them: Risk, Voice, and Clarity in High School Writing, Penny Kittle. Read and loved Kittle's Book Love 2 years ago, and ordered this one on writing and started it last summer, but never got around to finishing it.
  8. 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom, Alice Keeler and Libbi Miller. Since my new school uses Chromebooks and Google, and since I set up a Google Classroom at the beginning of this year and never used it, when I saw this somewhere, I got a free sample on Kindle. If that looks good, I'll purchase the book.
  9. Teaching in a Chromebook Classroom, Barbara Sweet (on Kindle). See above for why I was interested. Got this during the past year--I think it came up as a special recommendation on my Kindle at some point for a great special price. 
  10. The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High Quality Units, Grant Wigeons and Jay McTighe. I facilitated a book discussion this year of Understanding by Design by the same authors for a few colleagues, but it's really big and long. Looking for something shorter for more people next year. I was considering Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding (same authors), but then found this one and thinking I might check it out.
Yes, I know I'll never get through all those books. But it's fun to think about!

What professional reading are you doing this summer?

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