Editor’s Note: For this blog post — which we expect to be the first of many to come in a series — we asked a few of our educationally focused staff members to make recommendations on a read or two worth pursuing. Here, we include the reader’s thoughts about the title selection, along with an image of each book cover and link to Amazon to purchase the book or download it to read on a tablet.
By Carol Ann Tomlinson
Recommended by Jonna Book, Eagle Rock’s World Languages Instructional Specialist
This book guides the reader in finding ways to address the diverse needs of students in a classroom. The author breaks down differentiation and demonstrates how it is feasible both in planning and in the classroom. I have found this information useful when planning and differentiating instruction in my courses.
By Samantha Bennett
Recommended by Beth Ellis, Eagle Rock’s Learning Resource Center Instructional Specialist
The workshop model for teaching and learning is useful for any educational setting — from a small Eagle Rock classroom to a large public school. This book profiles real classrooms using the workshop model with systems, structures, and rituals in place to create learner-centered experiences. The workshop model is particularly useful for managing a classroom of students of different ability levels. I use some part of the workshop model in every class I teach.
By Nancie Atwell
Recommended by Holly Takashima, Eagle Rock’s Language Arts & Literacy Instructional Specialist
This book contains a wealth of knowledge on how to teach reading and writing through the workshop model. It taught me the importance of structure, routine, and deep reflection on organization, which an effective workshop model requires. Through Atwell’s anecdotes and examples, I was pushed to think more deeply about who my students are and how they learn. Then I connected this understanding back to why I teach the way I do.
By H. Lynn Erickson
Recommended by Jon Anderson, Eagle Rock’s Human Performance Instructional Specialist
The information in this book speaks to anyone interested in constructivist and concept-based classrooms. Students get to build on what they already know while taking concepts and big ideas and looking for relationships and links. Teachers become learners — side by side with students — by investigating essential questions that allows teachers to “guide” students in their learning.
By Richard W. Strong, Harvey F. Silver & Matthew J. Perini
Recommended by Karen Ikegami, Eagle Rock’s Mathematics Instructional Specialist
This book breaks down “deep” learning on many different levels. The authors provide examples from all disciplines about what “thinking” means. I’ve found the information in this book useful when planning formal and informal assessments.
By Lorraine Monroe
Recommended by Philbert Smith, Eagle Rock’s Director of Students
I love the author’s pithy hand-me-down wisdom statements about teaching and students. I frequently refer to this book when I’m having a difficult day. It’s like having a close friend counsel you.
In this plainspoken book, Monroe describes her journey as an educator and the evolution of her understanding of leadership through pointed, memorable rules and observations. She offers spiritual and practical advice on how to create a great school or transform a troubled one — however formidable the obstacles. She also shares her own remarkable life story; one that demonstrates how the vicissitudes of life can become great opportunities for growth and achievement.
Readers: Do you have a favorite education-related title that you’d like to recommend to us or others? If so, tell us about it in the Comments section below.