5 books to add to your library in 2014

So, Santa & Hanukah Harry are right around the corner.  Still don’t know what to ask for?  Why not ask for these five books for your collections:

imgres1. Game Changers by Julie Adams

Why? Simple.  Julie Adams has amassed a collection of quick tips, tidbits, and digestible information that will help those in education BE better educators. I’m a fan of quick, easy reads.  This is just that.  AND it’s informative.  Who knew?!  In Game Changers, Julie highlights 7 powerful instructional practices that boost student learning every time; this manual demystifies the art and science of effective teaching so all educators can attain the highest levels of student engagement and achievement.

Where you can get it: http://www.effectiveteachingpd.com/products/

imgres-12. The Ten-Minute In-Service by Todd Whitaker & Annette Breaux

Why? Well, to start, it’s Todd Whitaker.  Toss has a way with words and lays out the simplicity of communication and where we need to go as teachers and administrators.  Todd & Annette walk through a series of in-service activities (almost ice-breakers) to get the educational party.  While it can be followed like a script, it can easily be modified to tailor your building’s needs. Busy school leaders need an easy-to-apply resource to increase teacher effectiveness quickly and efficiently. The book covers a range of topics, from behavior challenges and parent engagement to motivating students and making lessons meaningful.

Where you can get it: http://www.amazon.com/The-Ten-Minute-Inservice-Training-Effectiveness/dp/1118470435

imgres-23. Bitopia byAri Magnusson

Why? This is a great read for a different take on how to combat bullying in your school in the middle school environment. To date, I have had three bullies (and victims of bullying)  read the book getting it and I have seen changes in behavior. I have found there’s lost of books for elementary and high schoolers, but not the middle level (where I  thought it’s needed most.)  Bitopia is a wonderland of fantastical foliage and mysterious creatures; the children of Bitopia, the only human inhabitants, are forced to live in a high-walled city for protection. Like all the other children of Bitopia, Stewart arrives there unexpectedly while fleeing from bullies. And, like all Newcomers, Stewart dreams of finding a way back home. Risking exile from the city and the protection that it offers, Stewart and Cora, his Finder, discover a clue to escaping, one that presents them with a terrible choice: face their greatest fear and risk death, or be trapped in Bitopia forever. The story that addresses a fundamental element of bullying–fear–and provides an example to readers of how to deal with bullying on their own.

Where you can get it: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bitopia-ari-magnusson/1108813615

imgres-34. Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford

Why: Yes, I am a technology man. Not everyone is, and the focus in this book is to remind all those in education that not everyone is going to be the same, and we must offer different programming to fit all needs.  The books focuses on the power of the industrial arts in schools, and how learners take enormous pride in their work when they use their hands and minds to build whatever it is.  A staple for those who are advocates for the industrial arts in schools and for those who value merits of skilled manual labor. On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a “knowledge worker,” based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.

Where can you get this: http://product.half.ebay.com/Shop-Class-as-Soulcraft-An-Inquiry-into-the-Value-of-Work-by-Fern-Michaels-and-Matthew-B-Crawford-2011-CD-Unabridged/99621562&tg=info

imgres-45. Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts–and Life by Chris Lehman & Kate Roberts

Why? We all know the impact of Common Core and PARCC will have in our schools.  Simply put: close reading is essential for learners of all ages.  Often learners know HOW to read, but they aren’t processing what they read.  Chris Lehman & Kate Roberts delve into the subject, but not in the edu-babble and rhetoric that so many use.  Chris and Kate start with a powerful three-step close-reading ritual that students can apply to any text. Then they lay out practical, engaging lessons that not only guide students to independence in reading texts closely but also help them transfer this critical, analytical skill to media and even the lives they lead. Responsive to students’ needs and field-tested in classrooms, these lessons include: strategies for close reading narratives, informational texts, and arguments suggestions for differentiation sample charts and student work from real classrooms connections to the Common Core State Standards a focus on viewing media and life in this same careful way.

Where you can get it: http://heinemann.com/products/E05084.aspx

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