As I’ve done every December for the past seven years, I invite readers to share what they think was the best education-related book they read during this calendar year. It doesn’t have to have been published in 2014 — you just have to have read it during the past twelve months.
In addition, please share no more than one or two sentences explaining why you think it was the best one. Please leave the info in the comments section.
You have until December 30th to contribute. As usual, I’ll post the final list, along with who contributed the choices, on New Year’s Day.
There are always a ton of books that get listed, and you can see the posts from previous years here:
The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2013
The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2012
The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2011
The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2010
The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2009
The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2008
I recommend Whole Novels for the Whole Class, by Ariel Sacks, published by Jossey Bass. Her approach engages students in the love of reading as if they were in a book club, while improving their literacy skills and ability to analyze and critique literature.
Mindset by Carol Deck It was recommended by a colleague. The book helps me understand many of my students.
Made to Stick by Chip Heath & Dan Heath. While not an education specific book, the way it shows how ideas are best conveyed AND received makes it very valuable to any educator and education leader. It also helps you to consider what ways to best motivate students.
Building Academic Language Second Edition by Jeff Zwiers
Zwiers broadens and the popular buzz words “academic vocabulary” to include various features of language that are important for students to understand content deeply. I found it valuable as a Literacy Coach to assist teachers across disciplines to teach the concepts in their content area as well as the language of the content.
A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger. The author takes the concept of questioning and applies is across many different areas and interests. He offers strategies for using questioning to come up with new innovations. This is and will be an essential resource for me, as a school leader and lifelong learner.
“Building a Better Teacher” by Elizabeth Green. I loved the comparisons with Japan where teachers have time to work together and share best practices and the Italian language school. I’m a social studies teachers but I found the information about elementary math teaching (Deborah Ball and others) fascinating.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, while not solely an education book, gave me pages full of ideas I could, should, and will apply in my classroom and in my own practice. It helped me see how to structure my classroom in a way that is organic to my personal style while still creating an atmosphere that is conducive to inquiry, risk-taking, and skill-building. Not only could I apply so many of these ideas to my job, but it helped me home in on why I do what I do, personally and professionally, and how to do what I do better!
What Teachers Can Learn from Sports Coaches by Nathan Barber.
This is a great book that motivates and inspires. Even though I wouldn’t claim to be a sports enthusiast, I enjoyed the quotations from all the coaches and was amazed by the similarities that exist between the playing field and the classroom: I have already implemented a couple of ideas this year. No matter how many years you have been teaching, you will find an idea in every section that can transform you into a “game-changing” teacher.
Understanding the Digital Generation: teaching and learning in the new digital landscape, by Jukes, McClain, and Crockett.
The author’s contend that, because brain cells are continually replenished via input experiences (pp.20-21), there is a need for “intensive, sustained, progressively challenging stimulation and focus…over extended periods of time.” (P.24)
Favourite education related book is:
The Dyslexic Advantage
by B.L. Eide and F.F. Eide
Love this book because of (1) the positive insights on students with dyslexia, and (2) the surprising insights I gained into how my own brain is wired, though I never considered myself dyslexic.