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Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Reading Equals Summer Learning

I love reading lists of "books to read during your summer vacation." The only problem is I don't ever take time to read for fun during the summer. I save fun reading for during the school year when I need a break from the reality of the day.

So what is on my reading list this summer?  I took this picture of many of the books I thought about reading and put it up as a Twitpic and had a couple of comments about books that I could avoid and ones I definitely should read.

And so I have settled upon  6 books that will be my primary reading/research books and another 6 books that will be books to skim and/or collect additional information from. They mostly come from the field of instructional coaching although there are a couple that relate to my passion for PBL.

This list is in no particular order and is from top to bottom in the pile on my desk.  First up is Dayna Laur's new book Authentic Learning Experiences.  I had wanted to read it ever since Dayna told me it was coming out. I've had it for a couple of weeks and have skimmed the contents. There are lots of examples of PBL projects that include opportunities to present real world work to people outside of the classroom.

Next up is a book by a whole hockey locker of individuals and it came highly recommended by some of my fellow coaches in the #educoach chat on twitter.  It is Classroom Instruction That Works. I believe, at one time, I had the 1st edition and, I think, I read it but that was a looooong time ago and it is always good to stay on top of researched classroom management techniques.

The third book in my stack is Make Just One Change by Rothstein and Santana.  I've had it for 6 months now and I've read several parts but I need to finish it up as I prepare to use it for some presentations on questioning techniques in the classroom.  This book concentrates on getting students to ask questions to drive their learning.  It goes hand-in-hand with the Knows and Need to Knows found at the start of a PBL project.

The next two books are both by Jim Knight. They are Instructional Coaching (from 2007) and Coaching (2009). These two may only get skimmed for good stuff. A lot of people like to quote these books and, as an instructional coach, I feel I should be versed in their content.

The last book in the stack is Building Teachers' Capacity for Success by Hall and Simeral.  This concentrates on both the coach and the administrator and I've heard lots of great stuff about the book.

I'll just list the other six books here. Again, they are in no particular order.  And they are supplements to the first 6 books as I pursue knowledge in being a good PBL Instructional Coach. They include The Power of Protocols, Best Practice, Focused Assessment, Reflective Practice to Improve Schools, and A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Assessment.

With a couple of Edcamps, the ISTE conference, training with BIE.Org, training of my own teachers and the annual New Tech Network conference there isn't exactly a lot of time to read these but I'll do my best to get through them while taking notes and maybe writing a blog post or two on their content. You may be one who likes to read for fun during the summer but for me, I have to keep learning new stuff. The day I stop learning is the day I die.