Listed here are a few of my favorite professional resources. These books are indispensable to me as I wrap up one school year and begin to think about the next. If I have learned one thing over the years, it is that careful planning at the end of year makes back-to-school a breeze!
The Back-to-School Book: Everything You Need to Get Ready, Organize the Classroom, Establish Routines, and Kick Off the Best Year Yet
by Suzanne Kaback, Constance Perry, Brenda Power
The start of school is a critical time. What happens in the first month has a huge impact on the ones that follow. The Back-to-School Book shows teachers how to plan instruction, establish routines, build community, and more.
Classroom Tip: I bought this book right before school was out last year, and I read it over and over again during the summer, flagging pages and taking notes. It contains many great ideas you will put to use in the first month and throughout the year.
Classroom Management in Photographs: Full-Color Photographs with Teacher Descriptions and Insights about What Really Works
by Maria L. Chang
Twenty teachers from a premier school district open up their classrooms and share their most valuable management tips and strategies — practical and proven ideas that can be implemented in the classroom right away. Dozens of full-color photographs provide inspiration to the visual learners among us.
Classroom Tip: This may have been my absolute favorite book I discovered this year. The photographs gave me so many wonderful ideas for storage, organization, and classroom management that I could hardly wait for school to start last fall so I could implement them all. I lent my copy to a friend who used it so much she purchased me a new one because she said mine had become so worn from her using it again and again.
Get Ready for 5th Grade
Give students a head start in school with this collection of learning-packed activity pages that give them practice in math, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and lots more. Includes a bright, colorful fold-out game board to help them build vocabulary, motivating incentive pages and stickers, a certificate of achievement, and so much more!
Classroom Tip: This book contains many worthwhile activities that are perfect for summer enrichment.
Get Ready for 4th Grade
Give students a head start in school with this collection of learning-packed activity pages that give them practice in math, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and lots more.
Classroom Tip: This book contains many worthwhile activities that are perfect for summer enrichment for students headed to fourth grade.
Learning to Teach? Not Just for Beginners (3rd Ed.): The Essential Guide for All Teachers
by Linda Shalaway
This must-have resource combines the latest in education theory and best-practice instruction in an easy-to-navigate format that teachers will want to keep close at hand. Filled with helpful strategies, tips, and insights from veteran teachers across the country, the book covers essential topics of instruction, planning, management, and professional growth. Also includes updated standards and technology sections, a complete glossary of education terms, and a new index.
Classroom Tip: Whether this is your first or 30th year of teaching, I guarantee you will walk away with new ideas you are eager to try. You will revisit this book year after year.
PowerPoint Made Very Easy!: Easy Step-by-Step Lessons & Projects that Help Every Kid and Every Teacher Master the Essentials of PowerPoint
by Timothy Green
Want a super-easy way to add pizzazz to student projects and reports? Try PowerPoint, a popular presentation software that is easy to learn and use!
Classroom Tip: This is a great tool to help you and your students put together presentations throughout the year. Think about how you may want to use it on the first day of school or during Meet the Teacher/Open House events.
The Scholastic Teacher Plan Book
by Bill Singer; Tonya Ward-Singer
A teacher-created, deluxe planner with larger planning pages, sturdy storage pockets, and helpful resource pages, including a multi-year calendar, reproducible forms, student planning pages, national standards, Bloom's Taxonomy, and much more!
Classroom Tip: I have been using this plan book for the past five years and I would never want to go back to my old brown one. The spaces are large enough to plan and take notes.
Super Ways to Jumpstart the School Year
by Michael Gravois
Start your school year with a bang with the creative ideas in this jam-packed resource. You will find creative, interactive bulletin board ideas; fabulous, ready-to-go "getting acquainted" activities; classroom-proven management and organization tips; reproducible checklists, name cards, and parent letters; PLUS irresistible illustrations created to be used as clip art and borders for newsletters, bulletin boards, awards, notes, and more.
Classroom Tip: Do not let the title fool you. You will use this book throughout the entire year to bolster your teaching.
Teaching Effective Classroom Routines: Establish Structure in the Classroom to Foster Children's Learning from the First Day of School and All Through the Year
by Deborah Diffily, Charlotte Sassman
Experienced early-childhood educators share their classroom-tested tips and strategies for teaching and reinforcing routines, and for guiding children's behavior on the first day of school, the first week, the first month, and beyond. Includes vignettes from real classrooms and more!
Classroom Tip: Although written for early elementary grades, there are many useful tips in this resource that can be adapted to all elementary grade levels.