As we get ready to start our Summer Book Blog Study tomorrow, I thought I’d share a few other professional books I’m devouring this summer.  Yes, I read multiple books at a time.  It works well with my personality and when I’m reading all day long for days on end, it helps to rotate books.  Don’t worry, I have a few fun books I’m reading too – also multiple titles at once.

Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations by Lester L. Laminack and Reba M. Wadsworth – The amazing Roxanne over at Books That Heal Kids got me fired up over the book. Wow – I’m about halfway though it and am already planning on using this during my first six weeks of school.  When I began this book, I kept thinking to myself, ‘this is very akin to what I do during January around Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday’ – except there are a multitude of resources – both book titles and activities, that are new to me.  It’s also a quick easy read, which I always appreciate in summer!

Teaching the Critical Vocabulary of the Common Core by Marilee Sprenger – To be honest, I can’t remember where I stumbled upon this one, but it’s wonderful.  Often in the lower primary grades, vocabulary falls to the wayside.  We have so many foundation skills to teach, we can easily overlook the importance of critical vocabulary concepts.  As Jim Trealease writes about in the Read Aloud Handbook, a child’s exposure to a plethora of rich vocabulary is critical to reading, and ultimately school success.  The book breaks down the words into Critical Verbs (Analyze, Demonstrate, Describe, Evaluate, Infer, Retell, etc.) and Critical Nouns (Argument, Conclusions, Details, Illustrations, Theme, etc.) and then, as if she knew kindergarten teachers would be reading, offers a short jingle to help students remember each one!  Surely, some of the words here aren’t necessary for our youngest learners, but many are, and exposure to higher level thinking concepts can never begin too early!

The last book in my rotation is How to Teach So Students Remember which is also by Marilee Sprenger.  In this fascinating book, Sprenger breaks down what can sometimes be (at least for me) a complicated topic – the brain.  She explains how teachers can use eight simple steps (Reach, Reflect, Recode, Reinforce, Rehearse, Review, Retrieve, and Realization) to help children actually remember what is taught.  Again, the text isn’t outrageously difficult for my summer mind to grasp and I’m finding some wonderful ideas to help me in the classroom.


So, if you’re as big of a nerd as me (you know you are), think about picking up one, two, or all three of these book!  If you do, I’d love to hear what you think of them.  Tomorrow, we’ll begin discussing and reflecting on The Read Aloud Handbook.