Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ninja's Recommended Summer Reading List for Teachers

It's hard to believe that there is only one more month of school left.  The summer season for teachers is a time to kick back and relax a bit as well as reflect and plan for the next school year.  If you're like me and planning to pack a few education-related books in your suitcase this summer, here are some recommendations.  Many of these are oldies, but goodies:

  • Zero Prep (Pollard, 1997):  This book offers ideas for language activities that involve, you guessed it, zero (or very little) prep on your part.  This book is geared towards those that teach intermediate and advanced ESOL students.  There is also a beginner version available.
  • There Are No Shortcuts (Esquith, 2004): I teach in an urban school system and it doesn't get any more real than inner-city Los Angeles. In our current test-obsessed culture, award-winning teacher Esquith shares tips for keeping the passion in a challenging environment.
  • The Essential 55 (Clark, 2004): If you're like me, you're probably not going to have 55 rules in your classroom next year.  However, this book does remind us that teaching students to sweat some of the small things such as being a gracious loser and using polite language can go a long way towards making your classroom a pleasant and positive environment.
  • Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains (Johnson, 2011): Lou Anne Johnson of Dangerous Minds fame offers tips on motivating students as well as a section called Shakespeare for Reluctant Readers.  Fans that feel that the movie left them hanging will be happy to find that Johnson provides updates on the Dangerous Minds characters towards the back of the book.
  • Common Core for the Not So Common Learner (Honingsfeld & Dove, 2013): The name pretty much says it all.  This book offers tips on tackling the Common Core with your academically and linguistically challenged students.
  • Common Core Curriculum Maps (Jossey-Bass, 2011): If you still have questions about what a Common Core unit looks like, this is the book for you.  This book explains the standards and includes suggested thematic units and literature/informational text titles.


  1. These are great! I'd recommend using an additional text that includes motivation theories. The problem is, though, they tend to be expensive (!)
    Also, something about the online environment -- perhaps a Best Practices book? Best Practices for Moodle Course Design

  2. Wonderful list. Some of my favorite resources are included here. Like Good Deeds Society, I have something on motivation on my list too.