Have you ever watched the the TED Talk, “How Schools Kill Creativity” by Sir Ken Robinson? If not, it is well worth the next 19 minutes of your life. Plus, as a teacher, you may feel the need to say the concessional “Preach” and “Amen.” Anyway, Robinson has written two books – The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything and Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative. I finished “Out of our Minds” and WOW. In love. Definitely a “stretch” book for me. I’ve never really considered how I foster creativity in my classroom (and honestly, I don’t think I’ve done a good job of it), so this book was particularly convicting for me. It’s definitely not an easy read, but it is a wonderful one.
Two classics that I’m re-reading this summer (and believe should be re-read every few months) are Daily 5, The Second Edition by the Sisters and Reading in the Wild
by Donalyn Miller. I’m hoping to implement the Daily 5 this year, and friends, I’m NERVOUS! I think I’m the only one on my team making this transition and I clinging to any blog post I can find about this -ha. 🙂 In terms of Miller’s book, I love it. I will continue to love it. Every teacher should buy it, read it, love it. End of story. You can catch our book study here for Reading in the Wild – Chapter 1: Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read, Chapter 1: Creating a Workshop Schedule that Works for You.
After reading Elizabeth’s blog post about her visit to the Ron Clark Academy, I knew I had to learn more about Ron Clark and his amazing school. Hands down, The End of Molasses Classes is the best book I’ve read this summer. (Please note – I’ll never cheat on Donalyn Miller, and since I’ve already read Reading in the Wild, it cannot compete with this book). The section on parents?? I WANTED TO COPY IT AND PLACE IT IN MY BACK TO SCHOOL PACKET. So much truth going on. The entire book was so encouraging and refreshing. It was a reminder of what teaching should be and what I thought it would be in college. Love, love, love, love it. Plus, I walked away with so many little tidbits (drums in the classroom, class encouragements, tracking) that will make a significant difference in our classroom community this year. I’m so excited! 🙂
Everyone was talking about The Fault in Our Stars, so I picked it up. I couldn’t sleep one evening. I started it at 11:30 PM and finished by 3:00 AM. I absolutely, positively don’t believe in crying but bawled like a baby. Ugly crying, I say. It was really embarrassing. Easy, excellent read.
Do you follow Todd Whitaker on Twitter? If not, you definitely should! He’s an education guru and tweets loads of interesting articles and information. He is really active in the #edchat each week, and attends all kinds of education conferences tweeting about what he is learning. The Ten-Minute Inservice is one of the books he’s written. It’s intended for school administrators but when I picked it up in Barnes and Noble, it grabbed my attention. Todd provides 40 quick and easy reflections/strategies/expectations administrators should have for teachers and basically provides a mini-lesson for teaching teachers. For you master teachers out there, you probably wouldn’t find this as helpful as I did. From “Because I Love You” to “Fake It”, I was reminded of and learned several small “real” tidbits and strategies that I can immediately implement this August.
After reading The End of Molasses Classes, I ordered Ron Clark’s other two books. Currently, I am 115 pages into The Excellent 11
. Honestly, after reading The End of Molasses Classes, it is kind of a let down. It’s still very positive and full of great ideas, BUT it was written before Molasses Classes, so there is a significant amount of overlap. Who knows, it might pick up…but right now, I’m not totally in love.
These have been my most recent reads, but my to-read list is always growing. Right now – The Cafe Book, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids, Crash Course: The Lessons My Kids Taught Me, The Essential 55, and Making Thinking Visible – are on my nightstand….you’re welcome Barnes & Noble! Well friends, what are you reading that I need to add to my list? Please let me know! 🙂
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