In this blog post I will give you my list of books that you should be adding to cart this time of year. Teachers are lifelong learners and as such we should always be looking for ways to grow and refine our practice.
At the beginning of this school year I made some book recommendations that I thought would help you launch your reading block with the two most important pillars: Your mini lesson and guided reading.
I want to come alongside you and talk about what books I generally recommend to teachers this time of year and why.
There are a couple of disclaimers that I want to note before I jump into making these recommendations.
- Please make sure that you have mastered the 15 or 20 minute mini lesson first. This is the heart of your reading block and if it is not mini or succinct then it will be hard for your students to learn and it will be hard for you to fit anything else in. If you need help with your mini lesson then read my mini lesson blog posts.
- Make sure that you feel confident in delivering guided reading lessons to your students. There is no need to embark on learning about different ways to meet with students in small groups if you haven’t mastered the basics of guided reading. If you need help getting started with guided reading go back to season one and listen to the episode titled guided reading basics.
If you still need help with the basics and want a book to support you I would recommend listening to the episode from season 2 of the podcast where I talk about my top three books for launching your reader’s workshop. Okay now we are ready to jump in and talk about my mid year PD book recommendations. They will fall into two categories: whole group instructions and small group instruction.
Whole Group Instruction:
Now that you’ve gotten your mini lesson down to 15 to 20 minutes you may be ready to add read aloud with accountable talk to your reading block. Read-Aloud with accountable talk was such a game changing addition to my reading block. It was a great way to build community, level the playing field by giving all students access to quality text, and gave me an additional opportunity to model my thinking as a reader for my students. It has a ton of benefits, but should be rolled out in a thoughtful way.
That’s where my first recommendation comes in: Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books by Sarah Collinge. This book truly breaks down practical steps for launching and incorporating read-aloud with accountable talk into your reading block.
In this book you learn why the first part of the book is the slowest and how to keep students engaged so that they are not always abandoning their chapter books. You also learn tips for how to manage read-aloud with accountable talk on a day to day basis i.e. assigning turn and talk partners, using sentence strips to display your sentence stems etc. If you want a step by step approach for how to get started grab this book.
To recap my top book pick for this time of the year for upper elementary teachers is Raising the Standards Through Chapter Books by Sarah Collinge. Now let’s talk about my top mid year book pick for small group instruction.
Now that you’ve figured out how to navigate the basics of guided reading you may have noticed that not every student actually needs guided reading, but you’re not quite sure what to do next. That is where the book teaching reading in small groups by Jen Serravallo comes in. In this book you will learn how strategy groups are your next stop on your road to getting to know your students as readers. You will learn how to know when this type of grouping is best, how to know what to work on and how to make it work in your classroom. If you are ready to branch out from guided reading groups, but want to know how and then grab this book.
If you’ve gotten your mini lesson down to 15 minutes and you are able to get guided reading groups on most days then you might be ready to add more tools to your whole group and small group instruction tool box. The books I mentioned were: Raising the standards through chapter books and Teaching Reading in Small Groups, these are amazon affiliate links.
You don’t have to do this on your own. If you are wanting support as you read and implement the learning from these books by yourself or with your staff book a discovery call so we can discuss one on one coaching options or campus wide consulting packages that meet your needs, click link the show notes or visit www.evamireles.com and click on the work with me tab.
Prefer to Listen? Listen to the episode below: