23 April 2017

10 Must-Read Books for Elementary Teachers

It's almost summertime, and already thinking about what professional development books I'd like to read. I don't really get to do much PD reading during the school year because I'm just so dang busy. #teacherproblems

With so many teacher books and professional development books out there, though, I'd thought it'd be helpful to share some my absolute favorites, must-haves, and books that have had the biggest impact on my classroom, students, and instruction.

Throughout this post, you’ll find Amazon Affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase something through that link, at no extra cost to you, that help keep my corner of cyber-space running and helps fund giveaways!
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
Classroom Management

Classroom management is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I always have at least one classroom management type book that I read during the summer. Here are my favorites:

----------> Conscious Discipline (Dr. Becky A. Bailey)
I was actually lucky enough to take this as a "course" through my district. This book is life changing. LIFE.CHANGING.

It's more about teacher mindset, and controlling our own feelings/emotions/actions which enables us to access our "inner brilliance" and deal with #allthethings in our classrooms.
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
----------> The First Six Weeks of School (Responsive Classroom)
I actually read this book before I read Conscious Discipline, and while they aren't really related necessarily, they both stem from a common place - positivity, and classroom community. Things I learned from The First Six Weeks of School were echoed in Conscious Discipline.

The First Six Weeks of School focuses more on the day-to-day aspect of building a respectful, productive classroom community. I love that there are actually different games, songs, examples for each grade level K-2, 3-4, and 5-6.
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
Reading and Writing

----------> The Reading Strategies Book (Jennifer Serravallo)
This book is like GOLD. Seriously. It's a little pricey, but so worth the investment. It's not a read once and done kind of book, but rather one you'll *want* refer to throughout the year. My favorite thing about the book? It doesn't matter what curriculum or model your school uses...this book will compliment and extend your teaching!
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
----------> The Writing Strategies Book (Jennifer Serravallo)
I have a love-hate relationship with writing. Which usually falls more on the side of hate when I'm teaching it. I like the concrete lessons we have when launching a writing genre, however, once we get into the meat of the lessons, I want to just give up.

Enter: The Writing Strategies Book. Again, it's just so practical. I feel like a better writing teacher when I reference and use this book. And just like with The Reading Strategies Book, it can be used with any curriculum or model of writing instruction.
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
----------> Reading With Meaning (K-2) (Debbie Miller)
When I first read this book, I was teaching 4th grade, and I was in awe of the first grade students chronicled in this book. I wanted my 4th graders to think, talk, and write about reading the way Debbie talks about in the book. If you want to teach true reading comprehension (rather than skill by skill) that teaches students to THINK...this is for you.
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
----------> Comprehension Connections (Tanny McGregor)
I read this book just before reading Reading with Meaning. I was a first year, 4th grade teacher at a Title I school, and was beyond frustrated that my students weren't thinking while reading. The concrete lessons in this book took my students' reading to another level. This book could really be used in any elementary grade, but if you're looking for something similar to Reading with Meaning...THIS is your book!
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
----------> Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading (Kylene Beers and Robert E Probst)
This book is on my list for this summer, actually! One of my best teaching friends has been telling me I need to read this book for a few years now, and this summer it's totally happening! Here's an overview from Amazon:
Notice and Note will help create attentive readers who look closely at a text, interpret it responsibly, and reflect on what it means in their lives.
In Notice and Note Kylene Beers and Bob Probst introduce 6 "signposts" that alert readers to significant moments in a work of literature and encourage students to read closely. Learning first to spot these signposts and then to question them, enables readers to explore the text, any text, finding evidence to support their interpretations. 
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
Guided Reading

----------> The Next Step in Guided Reading (Jan Richardson)
"How-To"
Last summer my sweet friends Erin from The Elementary Darling, and Mandy from Mandy's Tips for Teachers did a book study on The Next Step in Guided Reading, and I knew if they were reading it, it had to be worth it! Ya'll this book did not disappoint.

Guided reading was always something that I was like, "yeah, I'm doing it...but I don't know if I'm doing it well." I feel like I can say with confidence that guided reading is something that happens everyday, and happens well in my classroom.
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
----------> The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading (Jan Richardson)
"Now What"
This is what I like to call the "Now What" book. Maybe you know what guided reading is, and feel like it's something you do successfully, but you're ready to take it to the next level.

"All the planning and instructional tools you need to teach guided reading well, from pre-A to fluent, organized around Richardson’s proven Assess-Decide-Guide framework." The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading helps me plan quickly, and effectively.
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
Reading + Writing + Math + Management
Ummm, seriously, does a book that covers all of this even exist? YES!

----------> Daily 5 (Gail Boushey and Joan Moser)
Daily 5 is a book that I keep close by at the beginning of the year. Every.Year. It's that helpful, and that good. I've been implementing Daily 5 to some extent and/or variation for the last 6 years. I read the first edition, and when the 2nd edition came out a couple of years ago, I grabbed it! And it was sooooo worth it!

Daily 5 is helpful because it's not a curriculum, and it's not rigid. It's a flexible (I have NEVER gotten to all 5 rotations in a single day) model for instructional delivery, and management of students.

If you've asked yourself any of these things you NEED Daily 5.
"What do I do with the students who are meeting with me during a guided group?"
"How do I teach students to be independent?"
"How do I teach students to build their stamina?"
"How do I manage work for my ENTIRE class?"
"I want to start math rotations but don't know where to start..."
"I'm tired of having to prep centers for different groups of students every week."
List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers

List of 10 must-read professional development books for elementary teachers
Have you read any of these books? Do you have a recommendation? I'd to hear about them in the comments!
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1 comment

  1. wonderful blog.Thank you so much for sharing these resources.

    ReplyDelete

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