I have a strange Chinese Wall when it comes to the books that I read. I read fiction on my own time to de-stress and relax, and it’s usually in electronic form.
Non-fiction, however, is always a old-fashioned paper book. I read about teaching and education policy and science. I annotate and highlight and circle important quotes. This is an important part of my professional learning.
As such, I want to share what I consider to be the most transformational nonfiction books that are guaranteed* to make you a better educator:
- Elements of Grading by Doug Reeves. No matter how long you’ve been teaching, I promise you that your grading system can use some work. Reeves walks you through the what and the why so that you can use them for what they need to be… and explain it to your colleagues.
- Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchart, Mark Church, Karin Morrison. This book comes out of Harvard’s Project Zero and it clearly lays out ways that you can put student thinking (and therefore learning) center stage in your classroom.
- Kagan Cooperative Learning by Spencer Kagan. The Kagans present an amazing array of group activities that can be used to break the ice, make groups more cohesive, and report out the learning happening in your class.
- Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. This Duke professor presents real research (most of it his) in ways that help us understand the irrational nature of our minds. Really practical knowledge for teachers.
- The Canon by Natalie Angier. There is no better view of science than one that connects all of our research and knowledge, and Angier does that skillfully in this book. It inspires me to help students see the strings that connect everything in the universe.
*Guarantee is only valid if you read the entire book, put all of it into practice, and never give up.