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Top 12 Teacher Books for Summer Reading

Kim Haynes


Teacher BooksLet’s face it – by the time "Back to School" rolls around, you're already out of time to make adjustments and improvements for the new year.


Here are 12 books for summer reading that will ensure you bring your A game in August!


What Learning Leaves

by Taylor Mali

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Taylor Mali, poet and former teacher, has been called the “Poet Laureate of the Classroom.” Taylor writes with real heart and understanding about the magic – and challenge – of teaching. If you need a jumpstart to your day, read “What Teachers Make.” It will make you cheer!


Both Art and Craft: Teaching Ideas that Spark Learning

by Diana Mitchell, Leila Christenbury


A book for anyone who teaches reading or writing – it helps you find ways to integrate the fun, crafty activities students love in a way that really helps them learn. Don’t miss the “50 Alternatives to the Book Report” section – guaranteed to make those stacks of papers easier to face!


Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement

by Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, Jane E. Pollock


The title sounds ponderous, but this book is a fairly easy read, offering ideas to implement in your classroom right away. From assigning homework and giving praise to using cooperative learning techniques and graphic organizers, teachers of all levels and subjects can benefit from this book.


Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom

by Chris Bowen


Bowen’s memoir will be difficult to put down and, sometimes, difficult to keep reading. You’ll meet some students and think, “I taught that kid!” and some who make you think, “I’m glad I never got that kid.” But overall, it is an insightful, emotional reminder of why many people choose to teach.


Literature Circles

by Harvey Daniels


This book offers ways to implement student-led discussions and “book clubs” in the classroom. Daniels uses examples and ideas from real teachers at all grade levels. He also demonstrates how literary circles offer an alternative method for meeting national standards and preparing students for standardized tests.


The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher

by Harry K. Wong, Rosemary T. Wong


This classic guide to classroom management is often called “required reading” for new teachers, but veterans can benefit from a read – or a re-read – before the new school year.


Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students by their Brains

by LouAnne Johnson


This book covers a little bit of everything, from discipline to student portfolios, but with a unique approach that allows experienced teachers to implement these ideas without feeling like they have to abandon their own teaching style.


Up the Down Staircase

by Bel Kaufman


If you’ve never read this classic novel about teaching, do yourself a favor and read it – if possible, before this school year starts! It will make you eager to get back in the classroom.


I Read It, but I Don’t Get It: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers

by Cris Tovani


Don’t let the “adolescent reader” part fool you: this book works for all ages. Tovani identifies common problems of struggling readers and offers tools to help those students finally make a connection between the words they stare at and the content they need to know.


Active Learning: 101 Strategies to Teach Any Subject

by Mel Silberman


Designed in an easy-to-read format that lets you grasp each activity in moments, this book is the perfect solution for those times when you think, “I have to find a new way to do this content before it puts the kids to sleep!” The activities are best for middle school and older, though teachers of younger grades should be able to adapt many of them.


If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand

by Kalli Dakos


This is a great collection of poetry to share with your elementary or middle school students. From the student who has a hard time concentrating on a beautiful day to the student who brings a memorable show and tell item, these are fun, relatable poems that celebrate school. A great addition to your classroom library for the new year!


The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life (Parker J. Palmer)


This book is a beautiful, inspirational reminder that teaching comes from the inside – from the teacher’s heart, soul, spirit, and brain. A must-read for all teachers.


What are your must-reads for back to school? Share in the comments section!