As an educator, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring a diverse array of books, each one shedding a unique light on the fascinating realm of education. From classroom management to promoting authentic engagement, from understanding the power of habits to diving deep into the mechanics of our thinking, and from comprehending the gravity of grit to the joy of turning a classroom into an adventure – every book I’ve read has left an indelible mark.
After careful consideration and reflection on these enlightening experiences, I’ve curated this list of 15 inspiring and insightful books for your summer reading list. These books cover a wide range of topics including effective classroom management, fostering a thinking environment in the classroom, leveraging the power of habits, navigating the intricacies of our fast and slow thinking, mastering deep work, the importance of grit and perseverance, worry management, early morning productivity, understanding rapid social changes, motivational drives, the longevity of ideas, and innovative teaching techniques.
Each of these books offers a wealth of knowledge and insights that have the power to transform your perspective and practices, both personally and professionally. As you embark on your summer reading journey, I am confident that you will find these books not only educational but also profoundly enjoyable and enriching.
For those of you with an insatiable appetite for reading, I encourage you to check out my other blog, Selected Reads. Here, you’ll fnd an even broader array of book recommendations that span across various genres. And if you’re looking for more summer resources, be sure to visit the ‘Summer Learning‘ section here on Educators Technology.
Summer Reading List 2023
Here is my top picks for the summer reading list of this year, 2023:
1. Better Than Carrots or Sticks, by Dominique Smith, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey
In “Better Than Carrots or Sticks,” authors Dominique Smith, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey, widely respected educators and authors, offer an actionable guide to establishing a classroom environment centered on cooperation and respect.
They propose a shift from the traditional reward and punishment approach, emphasizing instead the importance of students taking responsibility for their actions and working together to rectify behavioral issues. This leads to long-term and far-reaching improvements in behavior.
2. Hacking Classroom Management, by Mike Roberts
Mike Roberts, renowned speaker and Utah’s English Teacher of the Year, presents in “Hacking Classroom Management” an array of practical strategies to revolutionize classroom management. Roberts suggests 10 innovative ideas that transform classrooms into engaging learning environments, making rules and discipline redundant. These techniques are applicable to both novice and experienced educators and are designed to make you the teacher students will never forget.
3. Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain, by Zaretta L. Hammond
Zaretta L. Hammond’s “Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain” tackles the persisting challenge of the achievement gap among culturally and linguistically diverse students.
With the demanding standards of the Common Core State Standards, diverse classrooms require a robust framework to foster student engagement and facilitate profound learning.
Hammond provides an innovative approach, combining cutting-edge neuroscience and culturally responsive pedagogy, to guide educators in crafting brain-compatible instruction.
4. Teach Like a PIRATE, by Dave Burgess
Dave Burgess’s “Teach Like a PIRATE” is a ground-breaking guide filled with creative ideas, practical methods, and inspiration derived from his “Outrageous Teaching” and “Teach Like a PIRATE” seminars.
This book provides the key to unleashing your passion as a teacher, creating highly engaging lessons, fostering a sense of community in the classroom, and turning your class into a transformative experience for students. The book includes over 30 captivating ‘hooks’ and 170 brainstorming queries to elevate your creative thinking as an educator.
5. Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, by Peter Liljedahl
Observing teachers struggle to engage students in meaningful mathematical discourse inspired Peter Liljedahl’s “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, Grades K-12.” This practical guide distills Liljedahl’s 15 years of research into fostering thinking classrooms.
It offers 14 strategic teaching practices that facilitate a conducive environment for profound mathematics learning. These practices, their rationale, and their practical execution are detailed in the guide, along with accounts of their effectiveness in nurturing thinking abilities.
6. Atomic Habits, by James Clear
James Clear, an acclaimed expert on habit formation, introduces “Atomic Habits,” a powerful resource to help individuals achieve their goals by mastering small, impactful behaviors. He presents practical strategies to build good habits, eliminate bad ones, and harness the power of tiny, daily changes.
Clear’s talent for simplifying complex concepts makes this book a comprehensive guide for behavioral change, drawing upon insights from biology, psychology, and neuroscience.
7. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
In his internationally acclaimed book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman explores the dual process of human decision-making: quick, intuitive judgments and deliberate, reasoned thinking.
By highlighting the common pitfalls and biases that trip us up, even when we believe we are being logical, Kahneman encourages a more informed, deliberate approach to decision-making. The book is an enlightening resource that provides techniques for more measured and intelligent thinking, influencing the choices you make in all aspects of life.
8. Deep Work, by Cal Newport
Cal Newport, in his highly regarded book “Deep Work,” emphasizes the power of focused, undistracted work on complex tasks. The concept, first introduced on Newport’s Study Hacks blog, suggests that deep work enhances productivity, leads to mastery, and fuels a sense of fulfillment.
In today’s competitive economy, it’s a crucial skill, yet many individuals struggle with distractions and fail to harness its power. Newport’s book is a clarion call for a better way to work and achieve success.
9. Grit, by Angela Duckworth
Angela Duckworth’s “Grit” is an essential read for anyone aiming for high achievement. The renowned psychologist takes readers on an illuminating journey to understand the key to exceptional performance.
Duckworth contends that the winning combination of passion and perseverance, not innate talent or luck, truly makes a difference. The book offers personal narratives, insightful observations, and potent lessons on the pivotal role of grit in overcoming failures and achieving success.
10. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” offers a transformative approach to dealing with the perennial problem of worry. Carnegie insists that it’s often our own fears and worries that deceive us the most. Worry doesn’t solve problems; instead, it robs us of our peace.
By investigating the causes behind worry through various case studies, Carnegie provides helpful advice for combating these anxieties. This timeless classic is a must-read for anyone struggling with worry and seeking a way out.
11. The 5 AM Club, by Robin Sharma
Robin Sharma’s “The 5 AM Club” builds on a revolutionary morning routine that he introduced over two decades ago. His innovative approach has helped his clients achieve optimum productivity, maintain excellent health, and cultivate peace amidst life’s complexities.
This meticulously crafted book, written over four years, will guide you through adopting an early morning habit that has helped countless people achieve extraordinary results and enhance their sense of happiness, usefulness, and vitality.
12. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
In his groundbreaking book, “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell delves into the concept of the ‘tipping point’ – the magical moment when ideas, trends, or social behaviors reach a critical mass and then spread rapidly. He examines the fascinating social dynamics that instigate swift changes beneath many everyday phenomena. Gladwell’s innovative analysis elucidates the profound impact of seemingly minor things.
13. Drive, by Daniel H. Pink
“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink challenges conventional beliefs about motivation. Pink asserts that in today’s world, high performance and satisfaction stem from the deeply ingrained human need to direct our lives, learn and create new things, and contribute positively to the world.
His book elucidates the three crucial elements of genuine motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose, fundamentally reshaping our understanding of what truly drives us.
14. Made to Stick, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Chip and Dan Heath’s “Made to Stick” is a profound exploration of why certain ideas endure while others fade away. The authors dissect the anatomy of lasting ideas and propose strategies to make ideas more memorable, utilizing concepts such as the ‘human scale principle’, ‘Velcro Theory of Memory’, and ‘curiosity gaps’. This invaluable guide offers a transformative perspective on how to effectively communicate ideas.
15. Teach Like a Champion 3.0, by Doug Lemov
Doug Lemov’s updated guide, “Teach Like a Champion 3.0,” offers practical wisdom on the art of teaching. It provides strategies to foster a classroom environment that promotes student engagement, trust, respect, accountability, and high standards.
This edition includes new teaching techniques, informed by the latest cognitive science research and culturally responsive teaching practices. Furthermore, an expanded collection of companion videos enhances the learning experience.