Friday, May 6, 2016

What’s in your stash (book stash, that is)?

The stash of books I want to read keeps growing and growing. In fact, I probably have enough in my pile to last several months past summer—which is a good thing.
Some of the books I want to read are just for my own pleasure-reading. They help me “rest” and escape from the flurry of everyday work. The others are to develop my own personal skills in being a better educator. So which do I start with—professional or personal? Maybe mix it up a bit.

Why read at all? What does reading do for you? What are the benefits of reading everyday?

For one, it keeps your brain active. It provides mental stimulation. Studies have shown that staying mentally active can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s and Dementia—and it may possibly help prevent them. The brain, just like any other muscle in your body, needs regular exercise to keep it strong and healthy.

Reading also provides some stress relief and may even lower your blood pressure.  A novel can transport you to a different “world”, distract you from the present, and allow you to relax. Reading also gives you new knowledge and that is always handy. The more you read the more you will expand your vocabulary. Reading to stay current with local and global issues will help you to be a better communicator when talking with colleagues and friends–.

In the last Friday Feature(April 29) I started a list of books on my “To read in the summer”. 

Here are five more I have added to that list:

Visible Learning for Teachers: maximizing impact on learning by John Hattie

“Recognizing what makes a difference enables reflection on how to do more that makes a positive difference. Reading this book should make obvious the swathes of time-consuming tasks that make no (or worse, negative) impact, making them easy to remove. It is fabulously well-researched.”
        Mary Bousted, general secretary, Association of Teachers and Lecturers

The Smartest Kids in the World: and how they got that way by Amanda Ripley

“Amanda Ripley follows three American teenagers who each chose to spend one school year living and learning in a different country: Finland, South Korea and Poland. Through their adventures, Ripley discovers startling truths about how attitudes, parenting and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries’ education results. Ripley’s astonishing insights reveal how kids learn to think for themselves, and that persistence and resilience matter more to our children’s life chances than self-esteem or sports.”
Andreas Schleicher, director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD

Outliers: the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell

“This is a must-read for teaching staff. Gladwell explores why some people achieve so much more than others, and puts forward the theory that none of us is naturally talented. Rather, we become good at things by working away, for 10,000 hours, at whatever it is we want to excel in.”

Helen Fraser, chief executive of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST)

Reading Without Nonsense by Frank Smith

“As a literacy teacher for 40 years, Frank Smith continues to be the theorist who most informs my work with children. In this refreshing book, Smith rightly characterizes much reading instruction as ‘ritual and nonsense’, starting with an overreliance on systematic phonics in both the UK and US. Instead, he urges teachers to understand what skilled readers actually do and what the beginning reader is trying to do.”

Nancie Atwell, author, teacher, winner of the inaugural Global Teacher Prize and founder of the Center for Teaching and Learning

I Am Malala: the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

“I suggest keeping a copy to hand and letting it inspire you on the days when the disadvantage that follows some children to school seems impossible to overcome, and when it all seems too hard. A book to remind us that education is precious, sought-after and fought for.”

Julia Gillard, chair of the board of directors, Global Partnership for Education

 Here is a link to another list of books for professional development that you may want to consider putting on your own summer reading list: Summer Reading List for Educators

Try this for fun:  

Go to the website: What should I read next 

Type in the title or author of a book you like.
The site will analyze their huge database of real readers' favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.

You may find some great choices to add to your own reading list.


Have fun composing your own summer reading list--and reading from it.

Now--back to one of my books.

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

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