Ten Summer Books for Improving Your Practice
Now that the school year is over, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of these summer months and dive into some of the hottest topics in education.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 books that will help educators maintain their professional learning before the new school year. From getting organized to aligning instruction to the Common Core State Standards, each book offers tools, strategies, and best practices that will help every educator improve classroom instruction.
All books are available in paperback and e-book formats. Peruse the full list of recommended summer books below.
Align to the Common Core State Standards
- Teaching the Core Skills of Listening and Speaking—Aligning his approach with the Common Core standards, education consultant Erik Palmer provides guidance for teaching and assessing collaborative discussion, listening and media literacy, questioning and reasoning, adapting speech to different content and tasks, and more.
- Teaching the Critical Vocabulary of the Common Core: 55 Words That Make or Break Student Understanding—ASCD author Marilee Sprenger explains the compelling reasons to teach these 55 crucial words and provides fun, memorable strategies for making these words stick in students’ minds.
- Assignments Matter: Making the Connections That Help Students Meet Standards—Seasoned teacher coach and curriculum design expert Eleanor Dougherty guides educators in crafting assignments that matter when preparing for the Common Core standards.
- West Meets East: Best Practices from Expert Teachers in the U.S. and China—Education researchers Leslie Grant, James Stronge, Xianxuan Xu, Patricia Popp, Yaling Sun, and Catherine Little explain key cultural differences and similarities among successful educators from both nations and highlight practical solutions from two sides of the world.
- Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility, 2nd Edition—In this updated edition, teacher leaders Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey dig deeper into how teachers can equip students with what they need to develop content understanding and become self-directed learners.
- Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put ALL Students on the Road to Academic Success—Veteran classroom teacher and education consultant Suzy Pepper Rollins identifies eight high-impact, overarching practices to foster academic achievement, including increasing students’ vocabulary, building students’ motivation, and addressing gaps within the context of new learning.
- How to Plan Rigorous Instruction—Dynamic educator Robyn R. Jackson provides a step-by-step process of planning rigorous instruction that helps students master content and become engaged learners, effective problem solvers, and critical thinkers.
Get Organized and Energized for a New School Year
- The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day—Experienced educators Bryan Goodwin and Elizabeth Ross Hubbell provide educators with a daily checklist to reference to ensure they are doing what matters most to help every student succeed each day. The 12 universals of teaching presented in this book apply across grade levels and subject areas.
- The 5-Minute Teacher: How Do I Maximize Time for Learning in My Classroom?—Veteran teacher Mark Barnes helps educators deliver quick, thought-provoking lessons that transform any classroom into a student-centered learning environment.
- When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim Your Game—Veteran educator Allen Mendler explores practical strategies that help educators rejuvenate their enthusiasm for teaching and provides tips on how to address challenging students, gain parents’ support, and create a positive, healthy environment.
Can’t seem to find a book you’re looking for? Check out ASCD and Edutopia’s Summer Reading Pinterest board for more recommendations. You can also take advantage of ASCD’s summer sales promotion, featuring more than 200 professional development publications and DVDs.