Great Reads on my Summer List!

One of the reasons I LOVE summer is that I finally get some time to read the great books I keep hearing about!  I know I have officially gone over the edge of teacher geek-dom as I continually push away the perfect no-brain-needed beach novel, for the research-based educational read!  My family just roll their eyes at this point!  Although, I have promised my 15 year old son (also a lover of books) that I would go back and read The Half Blood Prince before the movie comes out next month.  I had skipped it to read the concluding novel in the series cause I couldn't wait to find out how J.K. Rowling ended the journey!

Here are some of the super books I've read so far this summer (along with my grade for them!):

1. Why Don't Students Like School? by Cognitive Scientist Daniel T. Willingham.

Thanks to Scott McLeod and Castle's book club, I joined, purchased, and devoured!  It makes so much sense to tie what we plan and do in the classroom with the way our students' brains work.  This book is a fantastic down-to-earth summary of the most recent cognitive research and how it can be applied to our work with students.  I had many "wow, really?" moments while reading this book.  I'm working on creating some new posts to let you know about those moments!  A+

2. What Great Teachers Do Differently - 14 Things That Matter Most by Todd Whitaker

Assigned to be read this summer by our administration, this is a book that aims at pointing out the 14 things that the author has observed great teachers doing.  It is an easy read with some common sense reminders of what we should be doing as caring, effective educators.  Nothing Earth-shattering.  C

3.  Not Much Just Chillin' - the Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers by Linda Perlstein

This is a fantastic book written by a researcher who lived among the middle schoolers about which she writes.  It is a wonderful view of how middle school looks and feels from the students', teachers', and parents' points of view.  The thing I like most about this book is that Ms. Perlstein combines the real-life experiences of middle schoolers with current brain research to support WHY they think and act the way they do.  If you ask me, this should be the book assigned by all middle school administrators for their staff members to read!  Very eye-opening!  A+

Okay, now on to Harry Potter!  I have until July 15th!

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