The purpose of this page is to share professional texts. I always enjoy hearing what other teachers are reading. One of my goals as Maine's Teacher of the Year is to share a few favorite titles from bookshelf. My plan is to update this page regularly, so stay tuned for new titles!

Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning
One of my favorite new books is this amazing professional text by Charles Schwahn and Bea McGarvey. These authors encourage us to think about how to move our educational system from the Industrial Age to the Information Age to the Age of Empowerment.
We live in a customized society where my Subway sandwich is designed to meet my needs, where I can customize my iPod to my musical interests, and even tailors my book recommendations to my reading preferences. Yet, our educational system continues to be structured with time as the constant factor and learning as the variable. Now is the time for education to begin to customize teaching to meet the individual needs of our students. This book will encourage you to reflect on your vision of school.

Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design
Planning a new unit? I highly recommend this outstanding resource by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Jay McTighe. This book blends two instructional models into one powerful approach that will impact the learning of all students. These authors tackle how to create standards-based units focused on performance based assessment (backward planning) in a way that ensures students not only understand content but can also apply it in meaningful ways. Understanding by Design focuses on what we teach, while Differentiated Instruction focuses on whom we teach, where we teach and how we teach. After reading this book, I am excited to revise my spring units in order to connect our fourth grade content to my students in more meaningful ways.

Make It Real: Strategies for Success with Informational Text

Bettter Answers

Learning Words Inside and Out
These three professional books were selections for the Literacy Leaders' Network this year. Make It Real by Linda Hoyt is an excellent reference for reading informational text with students. The graphic organizers and lessons are pratical and easy to implement. The second edition of the book Better Answers by Ardith Davis Cole is outstanding! This newly revised text includes a CD with power points and numerous graphic organizers for kids. The book outlines clear lessons and structures for helping students to write clear, cohesive answers to constructed response questions. Learning Words Inside and Out is a wonderful professional book to support explicit vocabulary instruction beginning in the early grades and continuing into middle school. The text contains numerous ideas for lessons, games, classroom displays and suggestions for making vocabulary part of our daily instruction. I highly recommend all three of these texts!