Books I've read recently...and my thoughts on each.
I wanted to read something different and this was different from the previous books I had read. I didn't think it was very well written. The book had an interesting twist at the end that I thought redeemed it a little.
Another classic that I had never read. I loved this one. I found so many parallels with this book and what is happening in our world today with how propaganda can influence people (or animals that talk).
Man's Search for Meaning
This book was a gift from two of my graduate students. I really enjoyed it. The first half of the book talks about the atrocities of the Holocaust. The second half talks about more philosophical ideas. I need to reread the book and think about the ideas that Frankl talks about. Finding your passion and helping others is one of the takeaways for me from the book.
The Writing on the Classroom Wall
I read this book because I love the activities the author, Steve Wyborney, creates and shares. It was a good book. It had some really good ideas about creating a positive classroom culture.
Bold School: Old School Wisdom + New School Technologies = Blended Learning That Works
Good book. Recommended to me by Travis Lape at an EdCamp. I really like the RigorRelevance framework. It's similar to SAMR, but in some ways I like it better.
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
My daughter recommended this. I liked it a lot. A good story that made me appreciate my family and friends. It also made me think about the unique gifts people have.
Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds by Carmine Gallo
Great book! I love TED Talks and this book helps explain how and why the presentations are as engaging as they are. I think this is a great book for teachers. As we deliver lessons, we should be thinking about the secrets talked about in this book to engage our students and help them learn.
Buffalo for the Broken Heart by Dan O'Brien
I purchased this book at Kevin Costner's Tatanka Museum in Deadwood, SD. I'm glad I bought it. I've always been curious and intrigued by buffalo, but this booked opened my eyes to their history and the come back they are making. This book helped give me a deeper appreciation for caring for the environment. Here is one quote in particular that stuck with me: "In the face of the world's exploding human population and the apparent victory of materialism over all other worldviews, restoring the strength of the prairie ecosystem seems futile" (p. 26). I'm so glad people like Dan O'Brien and Mimi Hillenbrand are willing to try.
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Another book recommended by a colleague. This is a great book. It helped me develop empathy for students with dyslexia and a deeper appreciation for the importance of developing relationships with students. If you're a teacher, you should read this! Relationships. Relationships. Relationships.
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
A colleague recommended this book. A great book for teachers, students, and others to read about the struggles of homelessness and students in our classes that don't have enough. It's hard to learn if you're hungry, dirty, tired, and don't have a solid support system. As teachers it's easy to get frustrated with students for not doing their homework or not paying attention. Often times we need to dig deep to find the root cause.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Another book recommended by a colleague. The metaphor, don't judge a book by it's cover, holds true for this book. The main character has cerebral palsy. She is judged and bullied because of the way she looks and what her body can't do, but what's on the inside is amazing.
Explore Like a Pirate by Michael Matera
Lots of great ideas for adding gamification to your classroom. If you're doing gamification, this is a book you should keep on your bookshelf and reference frequently for ideas.
Who Was Albert Einstein? by Jess Brallier
I do a gamification activity in my classes called #ChasingEinstein. I wanted to learn more about Albert Einstein and find a book I could give away as a prize. The "Who Was..." series is great. Short, informative books about a lot of amazing people -- Anne Frank, Neil Armstrong, Walt Disney, Jackie Robinson, Amelia Earhart, Abraham Lincoln -- and the list goes on. These would be great books for a classroom library.
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
My 12-year-old daughter recommended I read this. She loves graphic novels. I was hesitant to read it, but I'm glad I did. The story is about a girl living in NYC and trying to make friends and find her place in the world. It's a good story and it sparked good conversations with my daughter. If you have kids, read what they read every once in a while, it's a great way to have a conversation with them.
Another book for my boys. My oldest read it and said, "I knew all of that stuff already...". I really like the info on how to treat girls with respect. It talks about what to do when you like them, when you don't, when you break up, when they break up with you, etc. It's good for teenagers to hear these messages multiple times from multiple sources.
To Kill a Mockingbird
One of my favorite books of all time. I loved the story and the writing. We can learn so much from Atticus. This is one of my favorite quotes: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”