As I prepare to start my new job this fall, my summer reading list, usually filled mostly with pleasure books, has quite a few professional books as well. So, in the interest of sharing, over the next few days, I’m going to post both what I’m reading for school and for pleasure. Up first, my professional book list.
First on my list is Jennifer Seravallo’s The Reading Strategies Book. Unlike many other ‘how to’ strategy books, this one is truly set up like a cookbook. It’s meant to be thumbed through, not read cover to cover. That being said, I’m doing just that – reading it cover to cover. I’ve joined a Voxer group with over seven-hundred other teachers and coaches discussing the book – talk about your professional learning community! There’s also a facebook group dedicated to the book. Introduced to the book by my friend (and the new strategist I’ll be working with this fall), Susan (if you haven’t checked out her blog, it’s a must read), Seravallo is part of the Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and the book is broken down by Goals – with strategies falling under each goal. It’s quite comprehensive, makes planning a breeze, is filled with anchor charts and visuals, and is the type of book any teacher who teaches reading should have on their bookshelf.
Next, I’m revisiting Kathy Collins’ Growing Readers. I’ve read Collins’ book before and used it heavily in modeling the Reading Workshop in my own kindergarten classroom. As I prepare to collaborate with other teachers on literacy instruction, I find myself revisiting this book often. Besides setting up a Reading Workshop model that works, Collins writing style is light and (dare I say) fun – something you don’t often find in professional books. She uses many examples from her own classroom to illustrate lesson scenarios and highlights classroom management aspects of the workshop as well. Her book dovetails well with Seravallo’s – Collins sets up wth framework and flow and Seravallo gives very specific strategies. If you haven’t read Growing Readers and you teach reading at the primary level, it’s a must.
Finally, I’m reading Katherine Casey’s Literacy Coaching: The Essentials. Working with adults is not the same as working with five-year-olds. I know this because I’ve coached and run professional development for adults, but thankfully this book covers it all, from coaching cycles, meeting with staff, running professional development to time management. It’s quite extensive, but not a quick read. I’m finding myself picking it up, reading a chapter and then moving away to one of my other reads, only coming back a week or so later. Yes, my ADD translates to reading! I’m currently reading these three professional books and a few fiction titles simultaneously. Somehow it works… back to Literacy Coaching – I’ve already gotten a good idea of how my new job is going to look and feel from this title and I know it will continue to be a resource for me.
Finally, even though it’s a website and not a book, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic instructional coach Ms. Houser’s blog – which has proven invaluable to me from the moment I decided to apply for my new job. I find myself going back and reading many of her posts – besides forms and other resources, she actually has videos of the coaching process.
Phew – thank goodness for summer time to read! In my next post I’ll share some of the pleasure titles I’m reading. Are you reading any professional books this summer? If so, which ones?