Over 50 Wonderful Books for Teachers and Educators

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February 1 , 2016
Reading is key to personal and professional development. It provides us with a window into the outer world and expands our insights and shapes our beliefs. It takes us from a simple state of being informed to a deeper and nuanced state of being illuminated. At a digital era where digital text reigns, it seems like we are doing a great deal of reading and in fact we really are. We are surrounded by all kinds of texts all day along and more than anytime in history we have an unrestricted access to a wide variety of reading materials. But the thing is most of what we read online is shaped by the medium through which it is communicated. Let's take the example of social media websites.

A lot of people spend a decent amount of time perusing their Facebook feeds, reading tweets, or going through short 'newsy' blog posts that are tailored specifically to attend to their short attention span. All of these social media platforms are designed in such a way to encourage short bursts of attention. Tweets can be digested in a couple of saccades, a Facebook update takes a few seconds  or so to read. The problem is when people interiorize these technologies, their reading habits change accordingly. And this is exactly what Marshal Mcluhan meant by his popular aphorism ' The medium is the message'. When you get used to reading brief and abridged digital text such as the ones populating the virtual world, it becomes hard for you to read a longish article or a lengthy essay. The reading mindset you developed through interacting with digital texts shapes your reading habits  even when you are offline. Deep and immersed reading becomes a rare currency. Some people find it hard to read past the third page of a book before succumbing to digital distractions. We become scatterbrains.

As teachers and educators we need to be critically conscious of how the technology we use in our daily lives influence our literacy practices. Reading in short burst of attention as we do on social media platforms does not help us become deep and critical readers. We need sustained focus to read deeply and unless we stop media from rewiring our minds we will definitely loose this asset once for all. For those of you keen on learning more about the impact of technology on our intellect, we highly recommend this wonderful work from Nicholas Carr entitled The Shallows What The Internet is Doing to Our Brains.

In the context of deep reading, we are sharing with you some excellent books we have reviewed in the last few years. These are works guaranteed to stretch your intellectual muscles and elevate you to a state of illumination.  We invite you to check them out and share with your colleagues.

Books on forming lasting habits
Books to enhance your thinking
2- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by  by Dan Heath, and Chip Heath.
3- Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B, Cialdini
5- Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H, Thaler and Cass R. Sustein
Self-development books for teachers
2- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning Hardcover , by Peter C. Brown  (Author), Henry L. Roediger III (Author), Mark A. McDaniel  (Author)
3- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard , by Chip Heath  (Author), Dan Heath  (Author)
4- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us , by Daniel H. Pink  (Author)
7- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living , by Dale Carnegie  (Author)
8- Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard H. Thaler  (Author), Cass R. Sunstein
Books on close reading
1- Text-Dependent Questions, Grades K-5: Pathways to Close and Critical Reading (Corwin Literacy), by Douglas B. Fisher (Author), Nancy Frey (Author), Heather L. Anderson  (Author), Marisol C. Thayre (Author)

2- A Close Look at Close Reading: Teaching Students to Analyze Complex Texts, Grades K-5,by Diane Lapp (Author), Barbara Moss (Author), Maria Grant (Author), Kelly Johnson (Author)

5- Close Reading in Elementary School: Bringing Readers and Texts Together (Eye on Education), by Diana Sisson  (Author), Betsy Sisson (Author)

by Christopher Lehman  (Author), Kathleen Roberts (Author), Tobey Antao (Editor), Donalyn Miller (Foreword)

7- Close Reading of Informational Texts: Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8, by Sunday Cummins PhD  (Author), Camille Blachowicz PhD (Foreword)

Books to help you integrate mindfulness in your teaching
1- The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students, By  Daniel Rechtschaffen  (Author), Jon Kabat-Zinn (Foreword)
2- Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents), By  Eline Snel  (Author), Myla Kabat-Zinn (Reader), Jon Kabat-Zinn (Foreword)

3- Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom, By  Patricia A. Jennings  (Author), Daniel J. Siegel (Foreword)
4- Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children, By Thich Nhat Hanh (Author), Chan Chau Nghiem (Editor), Wietske Vriezen (Illustrator)
6- The Power of Mindful Learning, By by Ellen J. Langer
7- Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness, By  Susan L. Smalley PhD (Author), Diana Winston  (Author)
9- Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything, By  Deborah Schoeberlein David MEd (Author), Suki Sheth (Author)
10- The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, By  Thich Nhat Hanh  (Author), Vo-Dihn Mai (Illustrator), Mobi Ho (Translator)
Books to help you improve your presentation skills
Books on teaching writing
1- A Writer Teaches Writing Revised , by Donald M. Murray (Author)
2- The Art of Teaching Writing , by Lucy McCormick Calkins  (Author)
3- Writing: Teachers & Children at Work, by Donald H Graves
4- One to One: The Art of Conferring with Young Writers, by Lucy Calkins (Author), Amanda Hartman (Author), Zoe Ryder White  (Author)
6- About the Authors: Writing Workshop with Our Youngest Writers, by Katie Wood Ray  (Author), Lisa B. Cleaveland (Author)
8- Content-Area Writing: Every Teacher's Guide, by Harvey "Smokey" Daniels (Author), Steven Zemelman  (Author), Nancy Steineke  (Author)
9- Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments, by National Writing Project (Author), Danielle Nicole DeVoss (Author), Elyse Eidman-Aadahl (Author), Troy Hicks  (Author)
10- The Digital Writing Workshop, by Troy Hicks  (Author)
Books on problem-based learning
1- Problem-Based Learning: An Inquiry Approach by John F. Barell (Author)
The Practice of Problem-Based Learning: A Guide to Implementing PBL in the College Classroom, by José A. Amador (Author), Libby Miles (Author), Calvin B. Peters (Author)
4- The Power of Problem-Based Learning, by Barbara J. Duch (Editor), Susan E. Groh (Editor), Deborah E. Allen (Editor)
6- The Challenge of Problem Based Learning, by David Boud (Author), Grahame Feletti
Books on project-based learning
1-  Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry by Jane I. Krauss (Author), Suzanne K. Boss (Author)
2- Project Based Learning (PBL) Starter Kit by John Larmer  (Author), David Ross (Author), John R. Mergendollar (Author)
4- Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning: A Proven Approach to Rigorous Classroom Instruction by Buck Institute for Education (Author), John Larmer (Author), John Mergendoller (Author), Suzie Boss (Author)
5- Transforming Schools Using Project-Based Learning, Performance Assessment, and Common Core Standards by Bob Lenz (Author), Justin Wells (Author), Sally Kingston (Author)
Books on the importance of video games in learning
8- Games, Learning, and Society: Learning and Meaning in the Digital Age, by Constance Steinkuehler (Editor), Kurt Squire Ph.D. (Editor), Sasha Barab Ph.D. (Editor)