Teachers love to learn. Am I right?! That’s why we love going to educational conferences and reading professional development books for early educators. We just can’t help ourselves. Learning new strategies and the latest research excites us (and as I type that I realize how lame we must sound – ha!).
You can’t take the learner out of the teacher. So, if you are looking for some summer reads – I’ve got 9 to share with you! This are my current favorite reads. Now, to be clear- these aren’t exactly ‘read for enjoyment’ books – but I do promise that they teach you something and possibly change the way you do things in your classroom in one way or another!
Now, onto the list! 8 Summer Books for Early Educators:
- Already Ready by Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover. This book will really help you see the importance of read alouds in relation to developing readers and writers in your classroom. The strategies and ideas presented in this book will help you transform how you ‘notice aloud’ during readings and how you can help each child’s self image as a writer.
- Teach Skills and Break Habits by Dan St. Romain. If you haven’t read this book yet… you need to. Dan St. Romain does an amazing job laying out how and why we need change our old approaches to discipline in the classroom. He helps you recognize your ability to look at student behaviors as missing skills and how to teach the skills that are missing – getting down to the root of the problem. This read will change the way you look at classroom reward systems and will help you do more than manage student behavior.
- The Curious Kids Science Book by Asia Citro. Need science ideas? This book is chalked full of them! With bright pictures of experiments and easy to follow directions – this book is super easy to use. I also love that this book includes important information about the scientific process and how science doesn’t have to be complicated. The experiments are divided into categories, making them easier to navigate. A great resource for when you need more science experiment ideas!
- The Artful Parent by Jean Van’t Hul. Don’t let the title fool you- this book is great for early educators too. This book is all about process art and it even walks you through planning for art, art materials to gather and how to encourage young artists. My favorite part of this book is the photographs of different art projects to try with kids – there are over 60 of them!
- Literacy Beginnings by Fountas and Pinnell. Fountas and Pinnell are well known in the literacy instruction world. And while this book is THICK, it’s full of really important literacy information. They don’t call it a ‘handbook’ for nothin! This handbook breaks down literacy in very specific parts, making it easier to digest and implement!
- Teaching Mathematics in Early Childhood by Sally Moomaw. If you struggle with bringing math into your preschool classroom, this book will help. Not only does this book define all the big math terms used in state standards, it also provides hands-on activities to implement them! My favorite part of this book is the Long-Term Scheduling Guide for Preschool. It breaks down the math skills by category and month, giving you suggestions for the types of activities to do based on the time of year (ie: beginning skills in September and more advanced skills in May).
- Purposeful Play by Kristine Mraz, Alison Porcelli, Cheryl Tyler. On the fence about the importance of play in the classroom? This book does a fabulous job laying out why play is a necessity. There is also a whole section using play to further social emotional growth – which is one of the biggest positives that play gives. There is A LOT of information packed into this book, so this is one you can come back to again and again and implement new ideas.
- I Am Reading by Matt Glover and Kathy Collins. Another great book by Matt Glover! In this book, he and Kathy Collins approach the controversy of ‘what is reading’ – especially in the early years when reading looks like memorization. The book shares benefits, strategies and book suggestions for both ‘familiar books’ and ‘un-familiar books’. Also provided is a matrix of different ‘levels’ children may be on when reading. Starting with simple naming of objects/characters and moving towards relying on prior exposure to text to read.
Well, there you have it! Eight summer books for early educators.
Have you read any of these books? Which books would you add to the list?