Literacy Partners

Keep the Learning Going This Summer: Our Favorite Professional Texts

Summer is fast approaching and on top of all the plans to relax and rejuvenate after the school year, it is also a great opportunity to continue our growth as educators.  Add some of these titles to your vacation reads and keep the learning going! Here are our top professional texts to support your development this summer! 

Here Are Our Top 10 Professional Texts to Get You Excited for the Fall!

Texts for K-2 Educators

Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom

Authors: Jan Miller Burkins and Kari Yates

Grade Levels: K-2

Audience: Primary Teachers

Summary: This practical guide supports teachers with the integration of Science of Reading research and instructional practices for literacy. Each chapter focuses on a simple, research-based shift to strengthen your reading instruction in reading comprehension, phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, using cueing systems, and text selection. The authors discuss common misconceptions around instructional practices prevalent in many classrooms and offer ways to incorporate cognitive science and child development research into our daily classroom instruction, while still prioritizing meaningful literacy experiences.

A Teacher’s Guide to Getting Started with Beginning Writers

Authors: Katie Wood Ray and Lisa B. Cleaveland

Age Level: TK-2

Grade Levels: Primary Teachers

Summary: This text offers a study of how classroom teacher Lisa Cleaveland launched her primary writing workshop with her beginning writers. The text offers a multitude of ideas, strategies, and tips to support your first few days of writing instruction. It will help you think of ways to build the youngest students’ writing identities, establish routines and procedures for writers’ workshop, and provide developmentally appropriate tips for supporting students’ book-making. This text is perfect for setting a strong foundation for writers’ workshop right from the beginning of the school year!

A Teacher’s Guide to Vocabulary Development Across the Day

Authors: Katie Wood Ray and Tanya S. Wright

Age Level: K-3

Audience: Primary Teachers

Summary: This text offers a guide to make word learning more meaningful and engaging across the school day. By thinking of ways to tap into young students’ curiosity and excitement about word learning, we can create authentic opportunities for children to think about and use words during read-aloud, content-area learning, reading instruction, and writing instruction. The inclusion of classroom videos of teachers and children learning about words and important research will get you excited to support your students’ language development across the school day.

Texts for 3+ Educators

Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Upper Elementary Classroom

Authors: Jan Miller Burkins and Kari Yates

Grade Levels: 3-5

Audience: Upper Elementary Teachers

Summary: This text is geared towards the intermediate classroom, and it introduces six more shifts to reframe your literacy practice. Each chapter focuses on a common practice to reconsider and provides research to support a shift to make your instructional practice more effective. The topics include reconsidering how knowledge impacts comprehension, rethinking the role of strategy instruction in learning to comprehend, recommitting to vocabulary instruction, reclaiming word-reading instruction, fluency instruction, and reimagining independent practice. The high-leverage and manageable instructional routines included bridge research and classroom practice.  

The Heart of Fiction

Author: Kate Roberts

Grade Levels: 3-8 

Audience: Upper Elementary and Middle School Teachers

Summary: This soon-to-be-released book helps us think through ways to support students in developing their love of fiction by focusing on the analysis of character, theme, and craft through strategies they can repeatedly practice across texts. Each strategy is explained through an essay in which the author explains its meaningfulness and applicability to students’ lives and easy-to-implement lessons to teach the skills and strategies. The text also includes examples of student work, ideas for feedback,  templates, tools, and graphic organizers to make teaching the lessons achievable!

Texts for ALL Educators

Unearthing Joy

Author: Gholdy Muhammad

Grade Levels: All

Audience: All Educators

Summary:  This text adds joy as an educational pursuit to Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s instructional model for culturally responsive teaching. She defines joy as celebration and happiness, as well as wellness and justice. She explains how culturally responsive teaching and learning allows students to cultivate identity, skills, intellect, criticality, and joy. Dr. Muhammad also includes model lessons and assessment tools to support teachers across grade levels and content areas.

Risk. Fail. Rise. A Teacher’s Guide to Learning from Mistakes

Author: Colleen Cruz

Grade Levels:  All

Audience: All Educators

Summary: This text provides teachers with tools to address their own teaching mistakes, model their own mistake-making, and improve their responses to mistakes that occur. Including research on the value of mistake-making to learning, the author offers examples and tools that help teachers reframe mistake-making as an opportunity for growth.  As we approach our mistakes with more awareness and grace, we can create a school culture that embraces risk-taking and productive struggle and the forthcoming growth that’s made possible as a result.

Teaching Reading Across the Day: Methods and Structures for Engaging, Explicit Instruction

Author: Jennifer Serravallo 

Grade Levels: K-8

Audience: Elementary and Middle School Teachers

Summary: ​​This text offers nine effective, research-based lesson structures to help you save time and focus your teaching on content. The nine chapters each outline a different lesson structure for read-aloud, phonics, and spelling, vocabulary, focus, shared reading, close reading, guided inquiry, reader’s theater, and conversation. These structures can be used across subject areas and will help you maximize explicit teaching and simplify lesson planning and prep. The lessons are brought to life with an annotated teaching anecdote, lesson explanation, and research notes, as well as tips for planning, structuring, and timing your lessons. Jen also provides tips to help us be responsive in the moment. There are also planning templates and videos that will help you utilize your expertise and take student learning to the next level.

Texts for School Leaders

Student-Centered Coaching: The Moves

Author: Diane Sweeney and Leanna S. Harris.

Grade Levels:  All

Audience: Coaches and Administrators

Summary: This text offers tips to support instructional coaches and school leaders with student-centered coaching. It discusses an evidence-based coaching model that shifts the focus from teacher evaluation to collaboration with teachers by focusing on data-driven instruction and tangible student outcomes. The text outlines coaching moves that can be used before, during, and after lessons, and it includes helpful video clips and anecdotes from instructional coaches. 

Thanks for the Feedback

Authors: Douglas Stone + Sheila Heen

Grade Levels:  All

Audience: School Leaders

Summary: The authors explain why receiving feedback is so challenging and yet so important for growth. It offers a simple framework and powerful tools to help us understand our reaction to all kinds of feedback, from casual comments to annual evaluations. The text includes helpful insights from neuroscience and psychology with practical advice and is useful for anyone giving or receiving feedback in personal and professional contexts.

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