Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Book Talk: Books for Teachers

Usually I use my book talks to talk about books which you can use in your reader's workshop with your students. But because the teachers are going back to school this week in Queensland, and the kids don't begin until next week, well I thought it was a good time to book talk some educational books teachers might like to read. I've been so lucky to find a lot of good ones in the last six months, and I'm really excited to share them with you.

  • The Reading Zone: How to Help Kids become Skilled, Passionate, Habitual, Critical Readers by Nancie Atwell
    If Beth Newingham's website gave me the confidence to start Reader's Workshop, Nancie Atwell's book gave me the tools and the ideas to make it work. Her passion for reading and for getting children to read is evident throughout the whole book, and it made me so excited to get back into the classroom. You may not want to do everything the way she does, or your school environment may not allow for it, but you can take her ideas and roll them around to make them your own.

  • The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller
    I had been eyeing this book off for a while and finally ordered it before Christmas. When it arrived, I picked it up just intending to read a little bit. Suddenly I was at the end of the book, having read the whole thing through in one go! I loved this book, the passion behind it and the ideas in it. Donalyn Miller talks about how reading works in her classroom, and you can feel her enthusiasm for teaching and her students in every word. I'm doing that teacher thing and stealing a few of her ideas for the beginning of school next week.

  • Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It by Kelly Gallagher
    This was a longer read, mostly because I had to stop and reflect and think about it, but completely worth sticking with. It deals heavily with research and statistics, and is written in a knowledgable, authoritative manner. Although this book deals with what has been happening in the USA, it is possible to apply some of the findings, and a lot of the solutions into an Australian context.

  • Test Talk: Integrating Test Preparation into Reading Workshop by Amy H. Greene and Glennon Doyle Melton
    I only got this book yesterday and I've only read half of it, but it was recommended to me by someone in my PLN on Twitter, and it is amazing. I like the way they approached improving standardised testing with two questions: why is standardised testing important and how can we prepare the students without sacrificing authentic teaching and learning. They teach standardised testing as a genre, and it is the best way to prepare I have seen yet. I'm actually looking forward to preparing for NAPLAN for the first time!

Still to read: Conferring by Patrick A. Allen and a couple of books on teaching maths in the workshop style.

Find more books talks here


RdingCountess said...

In regards to TEST TALK, when we approach the standardized test as a separate genre-the kids benefit two-fold. First, good and authentic teaching is not sacrificed in the name of "preparing for standardized testing" (for months and months). And second, the kids see that test taking IS a separate monster. When they apply all the great teaching done the entire year to the genre of test taking, it all comes together.

A Reader's Community said...

It's so exciting to see test-prep approached in this way. And the lessons are enough that you can use them straight, but flexible enough to change for your own needs -brilliant! (Thank you so much again for the rec!)

Mister Teacher said...

May I humbly suggest (for a quick chuckle, rather than test tips or lesson ideas), my book Learn Me Good? Sure, it was written by an oafish American bloke (me), but it transcends all international borders...

A Reader's Community said...

I think after a day of professional development and staff meetings (my day) we need a chuckle!

A Reader's Community

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Queensland, Australia
A Reader's Community is a place to find ideas, information, resources and recommendations about Reader's Workshop.

This Blog has five main types of posts.

About Reader's Workshop - information about Reader's Workshop in my classroom and how it works

Reader's Workshop Tools - resources you can access and use to help you with reader's workshop

Book talks - Book recommendations of two or three books centred around a particular theme

Book letters - in-depth reviews of one particular book

Reader's Workshop Links - Short links lists to help you find more information
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