31 August 2007


When I was two, I taught myself how to read. I've been a book lover ever since that time. I've carried this passion with me into the classroom---not just in terms of books to share with students, but books that engage and challenge my professional thinking. As each semester of my EdD arrives, it brings a box of new reading. Not all of it has been great, but the latest batch has some potential.

  • Teaching in the Knowledge Society: Education in the Age of Insecurity by Andy Hargreaves (2003). For those of us who are looking ahead (with trepidation) to "Classroom 2.0," I think this book might provide some interesting ideas. How will we teach kids to prosper in the information age?
  • The Culturally Proficient School: An Implementation Guide for School Leaders by Lindsey, Roberts, and Campbell-Jones (2004). I find this subject very relevant and intriguing. It is certainly a focus within our district and I am looking forward to learning more.
  • Strengthening the Heartbeat: Leading and Learning Together in Schools by Sergiovanni (2004). I'm not so sure about this one. It looks a little too woo-woo for me. I'll give it a chance.
  • Teaching as Inquiry: Asking Hard Questions to Improve Practice and Student Achievement by Weinbaum, Allen, Blythe, Simon, Seidel, and Rubin (2004). This one definitely piques my interest. Maybe it's because I like to get down and dirty with hard questions. I also think that we as teachers have lots of questions about student achievement, but not very many of them are significant. For example, I recently listened to a teacher rattle off all sorts of questions that could be asked about WASL data (e.g. How does the number of Level 4 kids in Science compare to math?) that were reasonable questions---but I kept thinking "So what?" when they were asked. How will knowing the answer change what happens in the classroom for your kids?
I also have two new books I'm eyeballing. Since tomorrow is payday, perhaps I'll splurge.
  • Differentiation: From Planning to Practice by Rick Wormeli (2007). I like this guy's writing style. I have a couple of his books and they have been very helpful. This one looks like it could be a very handy resource.
  • Inside Words: Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary, Grades 6 - 12 by Janet Allen (2007). This author's "Words, Words, Words" book really helped me in the classroom, even though it was targeted for elementary students. Vocabulary acquisition is a challenge for students at all grade and ability levels. Science always has a large amount of vocab for kids to manage. Maybe this book will give me a few more tricks to add to my bag.
If you have a great new find to suggest, leave it in the comments. I'm always looking for something to help me continue to improve.

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