June 23, 2016 by

ASCD Summer Reading List: Dive into Learning

Summer FUNdamentals: Take a Deep Dive into Your Summer Learning Summer FUNdamentals: Take a Deep Dive into Learning

In this post, we’ve put together our 2016 summer reading list for educators, stocked with books and publications to provide practical, evidence-based solutions for teachers and leaders, no matter your summer learning goals or needs. We hope each featured resource provides inspiration for a summer of top-notch learning to springboard you into a successful 2016-17 school year. Without further ado, here’s the list:

How to Be a Change Agent

Each summer, we provide a free digital issue of our flagship magazine, Educational Leadership, as a bonus to its 135,000 subscribers and opportunity for all educators to learn from this industry-leading content. This summer’s issue tackles the topic of “How to Be a Change Agent” and featured contributions from educators including ASCD authors Jeffrey Benson and Michael Murphy; 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples; and Maddie Fennell, a U.S. Department of Education Teacher Leader in Residence. The contributors look at the complex situations our schools and the teaching profession face, and ask, “What must be changed?” and “How can we improve on what we do?” Read the full issue at www.ascd.org/freesummerEL.

New Books

Our latest publications will support your work in new ways and provide new ideas and strategies to add to your practice:

  • Now That’s a Good Question! by Erik M. Francis―Explore how one of the most fundamental instructional strategies—questioning—can provide the proper scaffolding to deepen student thinking, understanding, and application of knowledge.
  • Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains by Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers―Learn a practical way to teach preK–12 students how to drive their brains through metacognition by promoting practices that include adopting an optimistic outlook toward learning, setting goals, monitoring progress, and more. Register here to attend a free June 28 webinar with the authors.
  • Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms by Wendy L. Ostroff―This book, backed by relevant research from neuroscience and psychology, shows how to foster student curiosity through exploration, novelty, and play; questioning and critical thinking; and experimenting and problem solving. Register here to participate in a free July 28 webinar presented by Ostroff.
  • Literacy Unleashed by Bonnie D. Houck and Sandi Novak―Learn why ensuring high-quality reading instruction is one of the most important jobs of a school leader and get introduced to the meticulously researched and refined Literacy Classroom Visit (LCV) Model that enables you to evaluate and improve literacy instruction in your school or district.

Transformational Leadership

These titles will provide inspiration and support the development of your instructional leadership skills:

  • The Principal 50 by Baruti K. Kafele―In this best-seller, Kafele guides you through 50 self-reflection exercises designed to yield a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the work that you do. If you’re a teacher interested in critical questions to inspire classroom excellence, you can pre-order Kafele’s upcoming title, The Teacher 50.
  • Leading with Focus by Mike Schmoker―If you’re a leader ready to streamline your practice and focus your efforts on radically improving student learning, this book is an essential resource.
  • Aim High, Achieve More by Yvette Jackson and Veronica McDermott―This inspirational yet practical book will teach educators fearless leadership skills to bridge the divide that separates urban students from their birthright of a high-quality education.
  • Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning by James Rickabaugh―Get step-by-step guidance for implementing a simple but powerful model for personalizing students’ learning experiences―tried and rigorously tested in urban, suburban, and rural districts—by building their levels of commitment, ownership, and independence.
  • Balanced Leadership for Powerful Learning by Bryan Goodwin and Greg Cameron with Heather Hein―Learn the 21 responsibilities associated with effective leadership and how they relate to three overarching responsibilities: establishing focus, managing change, and developing a purposeful community. You’ll then get a step-by-step guide to navigate these areas on the way to transformational change.

Teaching and Learning

The books in this section will empower each of you, no matter your role, to make positive changes in your school and engage every learner:

  • Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn by Mike Anderson―This teacher-friendly guide offers everything you need to help students who are bored, frustrated, or underperforming come alive to learning through the fundamental power of choice.
  • The Highly Effective Teacher by Jeff Marshall―You’ll learn seven classroom-tested practices that foster student success, and get better at helping students develop deep understanding of content, attain higher-order thinking skills, and become secure, confident, and capable learners.
  • How to Create a Culture of Achievement in Your School and Classroom by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Ian Pumpian―The authors identify and describe five pillars that are critical to building a culture of achievement and provide 19 action research tools you can use to create such a culture, so that your school or classroom is the best it can be.
  • The Motivated Brain by Gayle Gregory and Martha Kaufeldt―Informed by new findings on the nature of the brain’s seeking system, the authors have identified key brain-friendly strategies for improving student motivation, knowledge acquisition, retention, and academic success. You’ll learn how to harness the power of your students’ intrinsic motivation to make learning fun, engaging, and meaningful.
  • Starting School Right by Otis Kriegel―This book will help you develop an authentic, effective, and thorough plan for the first week of school and set the stage for a successful year for students, parents, and yourself.

Redefining Student Success

 These titles offer innovative uses of data and assessment that increase student motivation:

  • Grading Smarter, Not Harder by Myron Dueck―This practical book―brimming with reproducible forms, templates, and real-life examples of effective grading solutions―provides you with assessment strategies that motivate kids and help them learn.
  • Rethinking Grading by Cathy Vatterott―This book will show you how standards-based grading can authentically reflect student progress and learning—and significantly improve both teaching and learning.
  • How to Make Decisions with Different Kinds of Student Assessment Data by Susan M. Brookhart― With easy-to-understand explanations, supplemented by examples and scenarios from actual schools, this book offers a path to better understanding, more accurate interpretation of assessment results, and more effective use of data to improve teaching and learning.
  • Teaching Students to Self-Assess by Starr Sackstein― Filled with practical tips, innovative ideas, and sample reflections from real students, this book shows you how to incorporate self-assessment and reflection in ways that encourage students to grow into mindful, receptive learners, ready to explore a fast-changing world.

Ross Romano is the Publicist on the ASCD Communications team. He helps to maintain and grow ASCD’s strong relationship with the media and is charged with distributing important news to the press and ASCD constituents. He is also a contributor to the association’s social media channels and other areas of the group communications efforts. Prior to joining ASCD in 2014, he worked in media relations within Major League Baseball, both domestically in the US and internationally in Australia.