As the kids head off for summer, I cannot tell you how many times I've reminded them how important it is for them to continue reading. I've talked about building on the progress they've made, and I've used analogies about athletes thriving because of their offseason regiments. And guess what? All this summer-reading stuff is just as important for the teachers as it is for the students.
We all know the summer is a chance to refuel our depleted reserves of energy and patience, but it's also a time to widen our teacher-knowledge and toolkits. So, here are a few suggestions on some books you might want to grab while your heading to the pool or the beach...
"Literacy with an Attitude" by Patrick J. Finn
Though Finn is a little extreme on his stance of "class-warfare," the book offers rare insights into understanding the culture of impoverished and working class schools and communities. For anyone who works with at-risk students, it is an absolute must read!
"Readicide" by Kelly Gallagher
For any teacher who has pondered why their students don't love reading and what they can do about it, this book is a must. In its pages, Gallagher gives us a great overview of the types of practices in our schools that are killing reading and what we can do to combat them.
"Milkweed" by Jerry Spinelli
Told through the eyes of an innocent and very naive boy, Milkweed gives the reader an intimate perspective on the horrors of the holocaust. Read it so you can use it to tackle one of the most troubling times in human history with your students next year, or read it for yourself. Either way, it will be a powerful experience.
The "Time Warp Trio" Series by Jon Scieszka
Using the mysterious "Book" as their magic-tree-house, the trio takes the readers through a series wacky adventure across time and space. Not only will the books be fun for you, your students will love them. One of my reluctant readers has read 10 of them so far!