The Art and Science of Teaching by Marzano
Whenever I ask for recommendations for books on teaching, Marzano is at the top of the list. I can see why an emphasis on science and research is important; however, this book does a meta-analysis on so many topics that it only serves as a brief overview for me. New teachers could use more in-depth and specific guidance.
The Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems by Boynton & Boynton
In this book, Boynton & Boynton present “a wide variety of prevention strategies that any teacher can use, including advice about their relative appropriateness in different settings and circumstances.” The Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems gave me many tools to add to my teacher’s toolbox, and I’m still evaluating which strategies work best for me.
The First Days of School by Wong & Wong
I made the mistake of not reading this highly recommended book until after my first year of teaching had started. Whenever I went to the library to check this book out (I didn’t have enough money to buy it for myself until after I started), it was always checked out and now I can see why. The First Days of School provides many guidelines for setting up an effective classroom management strategy.
Strategies for Effective Teaching by Ornstein & Lasley
This book uses teacher certification examinations as a framework and is structured into three parts: perspectives on effective teaching performance, the technical skills of teaching, and professional growth. The premise is that teachers are both “born” and “made.” I found the tips for teachers and case studies useful.
Teacher Effectiveness Training by Gordon & Burch
After reading Dr. Gordon’s Leadership Effectiveness Training, I was eager to read Teacher Effectiveness Training. The focus of this book is on how quality interpersonal relationships can improve student learning and classroom management. Skills taught in this book include how to: motivate students, conduct productive parent-teacher conferences, and earn the trust of colleagues and administrators.
Teaching Outside the Box by Johnson
I absolutely loved Teaching Outside the Box for its no-nonsense tone and practical advice. It’s written by the author of the bestselling book that inspired the movie Dangerous Minds (who just happened to be an instructor in my alternative licensing program). One of the most useful chapters (The Big Three: Preparation, Preparation, Preparation) taught me how to prepare my room, my paperwork, and myself.
Qualities of Effective Teachers by Stronge
This book shows how to: create an environment conducive to learning, get organized, present curriculum, and monitor student progress effectively. I like how Stronge presented key qualities of effective teachers and included tables of references in a matrix style that indicated which references addressed which key qualities. Explaining the qualities and then giving the references was a good way to organize the book.
Differentiation in Practice (Grades 5-9) by Tomlinson & Eidson
This book shows “how real teachers incorporate differentiation principles and strategies throughout an entire instructional unit.” It includes annotated lesson plans, samples of differentiated worksheets, an overview of differentiated instruction guidelines, an extended glossary, and recommended reading. The focus is on the middle grades; however, the concepts of Differentiation in Practice can be applied to all levels of instruction.
Increasing Student Learning Through Multimedia Projects by Simkins et al.
This book addresses increasing student learning through multimedia project-based learning. Topics include how to: organize projects, ensure projects address curriculum standards, maximize the benefits from using technology, and prevent technology problems from interfering with learning goals. I love when multimedia projects go smoothly, student learning is apparent.
Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design by Tomlinson & McTighe
In this book, Tomlinson & McTighe address how to integrate lesson planning that starts with standards/objectives with methods of instruction that tailor lessons to individual student needs. “In tandem, UbD and DI help educators meet that goal by providing structures, tools, and guidance for developing curriculum and instruction that bring to students the best of what we know about effective teaching and learning.” This task isn’t easy.
Secondary School Teaching: A Guide to Methods and Resources by Kellough & Kellough
New teachers definitely need a guide to methods and resources. This book “covers orientation to teaching and learning in today’s secondary schools; planning for instruction; strategies, aids, media, and resources for effective instruction; and assessment and continuing professional development.” Working at a school where resources are provided would make teaching easier; however, I learned how to supplement school-supplied resources with many others.
The SIOP Model for Teaching Mathematics to English Learners by Echevarria et al.
SIOP stands for Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol. This research-based protocol applies to students with Limited English Proficiency so that they can learn more while they increase their English proficiency. Mathematics can be a language unto itself, add that to mastering English at the same time and it’s no wonder that students struggle.
Because Writing Matters by Nagin
Writing definitely matters. Effective writing can improve relationships, whether they’re personal or professional because damage can be done when ideas are misinterpreted. I read this research-based book for the sections on “writing and English language learners, technology, and the writing process.” Working as a writing center tutor, I’ve seen both non-native and native speakers of English struggle with fundamental writing concepts when they’ve already made it to college!
Building Academic Vocabulary: Teacher’s Manual by Marzano & Pickering
I wish I didn’t have to turn in this manual at the end of the year. According to its description, the manual includes: (A) “How to choose which academic terms to teach,” (B) “A six-step process for teaching vocabulary terms,” and (C) “Fun and engaging activities and games.” This book provides in-depth and specific guidance for building academic vocabulary.
Teaching Reading in the Content Area by Billmeyer & Barton
Teaching Reading in the Content Area was a required textbook for a class with the same name. This book was useful and covered some practical strategies for teaching reading in the content areas but it wasn’t as fun to read or well-developed as many of the other books on teaching that I’ve read.
What Content-Area Teachers Should Know About Adolescent Literacy by Anstrom
There are a few key things I learned from this book. Many students struggle with reading. Content-area teachers can help struggling readers by using direct, explicit, and systematic instruction. However, we can’t do it alone, we need to work with reading specialists, special education teachers, and librarians. This book has many suggested strategies, based on research, for content-area teachers to help improve adolescent literacy.
Writing in Science by Fearon
Fearon wrote this book as part of the Writer’s Toolkit series. Writing in Science is a set of exercises for students written to help students develop the writing skills they need to succeed science.
E-learning 101 by Hardy
This book took me about an hour to read and contained a lot of useful information (getting comfortable with technology, making time to study, staying motivated, overcoming procrastination, dealing with deadlines, and finding a support network) and specific action steps for getting the most out of online learning. I would recommend E-learning 101 to anyone taking an online class, but this book would be especially helpful for nontraditional students.
How the Brain Learns by Sousa
I found this book fascinating. It “examines new research on brain functioning and translates this information into effective classroom strategies and activities.” Much of the analysis of my first-year of teaching was done based on How the Brain Learns.
Learn how to learn by Ohme
If we can teach our students how to learn, that would be enough to get them far in life. This book covers a collection of study skills: organization, time management, concentration, note taking, report preparation & presentation, test taking, reading, memory, critical thinking, and motivation.
A Pocket Guide to Study Tips by Armstrong et al.
Tips include how to: schedule and organize study time, take useful notes, and understand one’s own strengths and weak points. This book includes many tips for studying in general and some techniques on how to study for specific subjects. The specific study tips are for foreign languages, English, history, mathematics, and science.
Theories of Childhood by Mooney
Mooney provides an easy to read and easy to understand introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. In addition to an overview of their theories of child development, Mooney provides discussion on their applications to the teaching of young children.
Protecting the Gift by de Becker
When a fight broke out in my classroom that resulted in one of my students getting arrested, I decided to take a personal safety course. As a result of taking a personal safety course, not only did I learn how to protect myself from physical violence, but I also improved my boundary-setting skills and “teacher voice.” IMPACT Personal Safety identifies Gavin de Becker as a specialist in security issues. His book, Protecting the Gift, is about protecting children and teenagers.