From Poverty To Assessment: A Reading List For All Teachers

by TeachThought Staff

At TeachThought, we love learning. Which means we love books. We also love books, which means we really, really love books that grow teachers so those teachers can grow the minds of students.

We’ve done reading lists for educators in the past. A few examples?

We’ve shared books that teach empathy.

We’ve shared books that help students grapple with complex ideas about race.

We’ve also shared a list of books about learning every teacher should read.

For the list below, we tried to take a broad approach to teaching in general so that, in some way, shape, or form, all teachers can benefit from having read them. Assessment, social improvement, data, differentiation, inspiration, and more–it’s all here. And not every book is a pure ‘teaching’ book in the same way a book list for painters might include books on nature or aricthecture or photography, and so on.

Take a look, let us know if you read one what you thought, or if we missed one you’ve found useful for your own teaching.

These links are affiliate links. You can read more about our affiliate policy here.

From Poverty To Neurology To Assessment: A Reading List For All Teachers

Although work is the last thing anyone wants to think about on their time off, summer is the perfect time to catch up on your personal and professional to-do list. After all, whether you’re prepared to face it or not, you’ll be back in the classroom in no time — so you might as well be prepared. The following books can help you become more powerful as a person and a teacher, and can be read poolside as easily as any other.

1. Habits of Mind Across the Curriculum: Practical and Creative Strategies for Teachers by Arthur L. Costa

Distinguished educators Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick present this collection of stories by educators around the world who have successfully implemented the habits in their day-to-day teaching in K 12 classrooms. The collective wisdom and experience of these thoughtful practitioners provide readers with insight into the transdisciplinary nature of the 16 Habits of Mind–intelligent behaviors that lead to success in school and the larger world–as well as model lessons and suggestions for weaving the habits into daily instruction in language arts, music, physical education, social studies, math, foreign language, and other content areas.

2. Teaching Controversial Issues: The Case for Critical Thinking and Moral Commitment in the Classroom by Nel Noddings and Laurie Brooks

In this book, eminent educational philosopher Nel Noddings and daughter Laurie Brooks explain how teachers can foster critical thinking through the exploration of controversial issues. The emphasis is on the use of critical thinking to understand and collaborate, not simply to win arguments. The authors describe how critical thinking that encourages dialogue across the school disciplines and across social/economic classes prepares students for participation in democracy. They offer specific, concrete strategies for addressing a variety of issues related to authority, religion, gender, race, media, sports, entertainment, class and poverty, capitalism and socialism, and equality and justice.

3. The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture by Wendell Berry

The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural development and spiritual discipline. Today’s agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land—from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it. Sadly, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits.

4. The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively by Gary D. Chapman and Ross Campbell

Discover your child’s primary language—then speak it—and you will be well on your way to a stronger relationship with your flourishing child. Discover how to speak your child’s love language in a way that he or she understands.

5. Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia B. Imbeau

While most books on classroom management focus on keeping kids in their seats and giving good directions, here, at last, is a breakthrough guide that explains how to lead a class that is differentiated to individual student needs. The top authority on differentiated instruction, Carol Ann Tomlinson, teams up with educator and consultant Marcia B. Imbeau to outfit you with everything you need to deal with time, space, materials, groups, and strategies in ways that balance content requirements with multiple pathways for learning.

6. Teaching With Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It by Eric Jensen

In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students.

7. Data Wise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching And Learning by Kathryn Parker Boudett

Data Wise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning presents a clear and carefully tested blueprint for school leaders. It shows how examining test scores and other classroom data can become a catalyst for important schoolwide conversations that will enhance schools’ abilities to capture teachers’ knowledge, foster collaboration, identify obstacles to change, and enhance school culture and climate.

8. We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by

9. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.

10. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about communicating across racial and ethnic divides and pursuing antiracism. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential listening for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race and racial inequality in America.

11. The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st-Century Schools by Mariale M. Hardiman

The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st-Century Schools serves as a bridge between research and practice by providing a cohesive, proven, and usable model of effective instruction. Compatible with other professional development programs, this model shows how to apply educational and cognitive neuroscience principles into classroom settings through a pedagogical framework.

12. Teaching with the Brain in Mind, Revised 2nd Edition by Eric Jensen S.J.

This completely revised and updated ASCD best-seller is loaded with ideas for how to improve student achievement and create a more effective classroom by applying brain research to your teaching. Renowned author and educator Eric Jensen translates the latest scientific findings into effective instructional strategies, including: Why to start every class with opening activities that put students into receptive states. How to tempt students to focus more attention on learning tasks.

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