Books that have changed my teaching life.
Carol Ann Tomlinson's The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners
This book teaches you how to differentiate appropriately and respectfully for all the learners in the classroom. Let's face it, you will have 20 or more students and none of them will be at the same place. This book teaches how to address it. My favorite way to differentiate is through tiering. This method makes it easy and efficient to adapt lesson plan and address the learners in the room
Ellin Oliver Keene's Mosaic of Thought and To Understand
These books revolutionized the desire in my heart for teaching reading and writing in the classroom. I knew I wanted something different which is why my curriculum resource instructor pointed me in the direction of Mosaic of Thought. It was exactly what I needed. To believe that reading is more than just answering questions about a passage is exactly what I wanted someone to say. And not only did she say it, but then later produced a second book after I started reader's and writer's workshop that changed the way I look at the entire model in my classroom in the her latest book To Understand.
Cris Tovani's I Read It, but I Don't Get It
This is an enjoyable read. It does address the older reader, but I have found it is easily adaptable to lower levels. However, you can also read Debbie Miller's Reading With Meaning and it will provide a great framework for reader's workshop especially for the primary classrooms.
Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis Strategies That Work
This is the book I read after Mosaic of Thought. Every teacher MUST read this if he/she plans to implement reader's workshop.
Ralph Fletcher's Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices
Being a mom of girls, it has always been my fear that I would misunderstand the boy in the classroom and not provide appropriate mentor texts and modeling. This book is a must read! I laughed out loud more than once as I read and had immediate strategies at my fingertips on how to help my boy writers succeed in writing.
Lucy Calkin's: Now she has TONS of books. Big, thick, luscious books. I will never forget sitting in a National Board meeting and a fellow scholarship recipient informing me she was going to read both editions in 7 days before school started. Without even thinking I began to laugh (I know not one of my better moments) and said, "YOU'RE kidding! That's a lot to digest." That being said her books on teaching writing and reading are powerful, but for a reader like me I digest them one chapter at a time looking for what I need information on. However, I do use her Units of Study for Writing. (She also has a primary set.) I would be lost in my writer's workshop without them. I read through the lessons and adapt, change, modify to fit my goal. I have found these to be a great starting point. I am now on my third year with the set and I notice I am not opening them as much at the beginning of the year. Hoping this is a sign that I have synthesized her work or maybe just channeling Lucy. :-)
If you are a new teacher or new to literacy workshop these are a must read! I will follow up in a few weeks with more of my favorite books, but these should get you started.