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December 12, 2014

6 Books for Teachers' Stockings this Holiday!

By Erin Klein
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    As we prepare for the holiday time, many of us enjoy the opportunity to continue reading professionally. Book clubs begin to form and colleagues share the inspirational works they’ve dug into over the break. The following are six important books I recommend for all educators.

    1. Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

    I first read this picture book with my second grade students during snack one afternoon. About halfway through the story, I found myself fighting back tears — not for the sad way in which the character was treated by her peers, but for the compassion her teacher showed to elevate her student's confidence, and support her academically. As I looked into the eyes of my students as I read aloud to them, I could see the empathy in their faces and hearts. Our classroom was silent, and each child sat perfectly still, hanging onto the words that lifted from each page.

     

    2. There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith

    What I took away most from this book was the passion Esquith had for his students, and his will to get each student to believe in their abilities. He told them with blunt honesty that life wasn’t easy. Those who became successful worked hard, there were no shortcuts. Not everyone will become a Nobel Prize winner or attend Harvard. However, everyone can have the opportunity to find success and happiness, and that will look differently for each individual. It is up to me to build those relationships with my students and nurture their love for learning. You can click here to see Esquith's interview on Scholastic.

     

    3.  The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller

    The Book Whisperer gave me the permission to do what I always knew was best practice in my heart: allow children to sit comfortably, fall into a great story, and share their books with friends.

     

    4. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

    I sat to read Outliers one Saturday afternoon as my daughter was reading. Typically, I read for about an hour, and then turn to other tasks that need to be completed. After all, I am a mother of two elementary-aged children! However, on this particular weekend, I completely checked out of being social and responsible. I read until the night, slept, and finished the book Sunday afternoon. I couldn’t put it down.

     

    5.  Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

    Many are familiar with Pink's popular TED Talk that has been turned into a RSA Animate segment. This video stems from the work in the bestselling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. If you’re looking for effective ways to manage your classroom, I highly recommend this book. Lastly, for a good laugh, I encourage you to watch this brief clip taken from The Office regarding the ineffectiveness of passing out rewards.

     

    6. Leading Professional Learning: Tools to Empower Teachers by Thomas C. Murray and Jeffrey Zoul

    As teachers, we are always modeling being a life-long learner for our students. We push ourselves to take risks and learn new strategies so that we can better serve the students we care for each day. However, sometimes it's not always feasible to take time off for a workshop or connect in person. That is why I appreciate books like this so much. Murray and Zoul have collected a variety of practical resources each teacher can adopt and expand his or her professional practice.

    Remember, you can still use the Readers, Friends, and Family discount. Just click on the coupon below.



    As we prepare for the holiday time, many of us enjoy the opportunity to continue reading professionally. Book clubs begin to form and colleagues share the inspirational works they’ve dug into over the break. The following are six important books I recommend for all educators.

    1. Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

    I first read this picture book with my second grade students during snack one afternoon. About halfway through the story, I found myself fighting back tears — not for the sad way in which the character was treated by her peers, but for the compassion her teacher showed to elevate her student's confidence, and support her academically. As I looked into the eyes of my students as I read aloud to them, I could see the empathy in their faces and hearts. Our classroom was silent, and each child sat perfectly still, hanging onto the words that lifted from each page.

     

    2. There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith

    What I took away most from this book was the passion Esquith had for his students, and his will to get each student to believe in their abilities. He told them with blunt honesty that life wasn’t easy. Those who became successful worked hard, there were no shortcuts. Not everyone will become a Nobel Prize winner or attend Harvard. However, everyone can have the opportunity to find success and happiness, and that will look differently for each individual. It is up to me to build those relationships with my students and nurture their love for learning. You can click here to see Esquith's interview on Scholastic.

     

    3.  The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller

    The Book Whisperer gave me the permission to do what I always knew was best practice in my heart: allow children to sit comfortably, fall into a great story, and share their books with friends.

     

    4. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

    I sat to read Outliers one Saturday afternoon as my daughter was reading. Typically, I read for about an hour, and then turn to other tasks that need to be completed. After all, I am a mother of two elementary-aged children! However, on this particular weekend, I completely checked out of being social and responsible. I read until the night, slept, and finished the book Sunday afternoon. I couldn’t put it down.

     

    5.  Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

    Many are familiar with Pink's popular TED Talk that has been turned into a RSA Animate segment. This video stems from the work in the bestselling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. If you’re looking for effective ways to manage your classroom, I highly recommend this book. Lastly, for a good laugh, I encourage you to watch this brief clip taken from The Office regarding the ineffectiveness of passing out rewards.

     

    6. Leading Professional Learning: Tools to Empower Teachers by Thomas C. Murray and Jeffrey Zoul

    As teachers, we are always modeling being a life-long learner for our students. We push ourselves to take risks and learn new strategies so that we can better serve the students we care for each day. However, sometimes it's not always feasible to take time off for a workshop or connect in person. That is why I appreciate books like this so much. Murray and Zoul have collected a variety of practical resources each teacher can adopt and expand his or her professional practice.

    Remember, you can still use the Readers, Friends, and Family discount. Just click on the coupon below.



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