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by Erica Fischer on Jun 17, 2013

20+ Great Summer Reads for World Language Teachers

All i need.... by hoshi7, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  hoshi7 

Most of the #langchat teachers are anticipating the end of the school year, although sad that next week (June 20th) will be the last #langchat until the end of August. What better way to relax into summer break than with a good book talk?

On Thursday’s chat, we discussed some great professional development books that teachers are planning to read this summer. Although some of them are specific to a certain language, many of them are perfect ways to get excited about teaching next year, even if you aren’t a world language teacher!

20 Great Reads for World Language Teachers

Languages and Children (Helena Curtain and Carol Ann Dahlberg) – With a focus on communicative language teaching as it reflects cognitive and second language acquisition theory, this classic in the field provides a wealth of strategies and activities ready to use in the K-8 foreign language classroom.

Fluency Through TPR Storytelling (Contee Seely and Blaine Ray) – The definitive treatment of TPR Storytelling by the originator and by a longtime TPR teacher/author. Language acquisition expert Stephen Krashen says, TPR Storytelling is much better than anything else out there. (@CoLeeSensei)

To Sell is Human (Daniel H. Pink) – The author reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.

Lesson Study: Step By Step (Jacqueline Hurd and Catherine Lewis) – Lesson Study empowers teachers to seek out answers from one another, from outside specialists and research, and from careful study of students during lessons that incorporate teachers’ collective knowledge.

Why Don’t Students Like School? (Daniel T. Willingham) – This book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals-the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Daniel H. Pink) – This book claims that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Will Richardson) – This book provides an in-depth look at how connected educators are beginning to change their classroom practice.

Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator (Dave Burgess) – This book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator.

The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing (Alfie Kohn) – This book reveals how a set of misconceptions about learning and a misguided focus on competitiveness has left our kids with less free time, and our families with more conflict

Fires in the Middle School Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from Middle Schoolers (Kathleen Cushman and Laura Rogers) – In this book, middle school students in grades 5 through 8 across the country and from diverse ethnic backgrounds offer insights on what it takes to make classrooms more effective and how to forge stronger relationships between young adolescents and adults.

Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessing and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom (Rick Wormeli) – This book offers the latest research and common sense thinking that teachers and administrators seek when it comes to assessment and grading in differentiated classes.

Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College (Doug Lemov and Norman Atkins) – Teach Like a Champion offers effective teaching techniques to help teachers, especially those in their first few years, become champions in the classroom

Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World (Tony Wagner) – This book is a timely, provocative, and inspiring manifesto that will change how we look at our schools and workplaces, and provide us with a road map for creating the change makers of tomorrow.

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (John Medina) – In each chapter, the author describes a brain rule – what scientists know for sure about how our brains work – and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Carol Dweck) – World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset.

I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High (Tony Danza) – I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had is television, screen and stage star Tony Danza’s absorbing account of a year spent teaching tenth-grade English at Northeast High — Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3600 students.

How to Grade for Learning (Ken B. O’ Connor) – This new edition of the bestseller demonstrates how to improve grading practices by linking grades with standards and establishing policies that better reflect student achievement.

Teaching with Love & Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom (Jim Fay and David Funk) – Jim Fay and David Funk’s truly positive approach and time-tested ideas and strategies will empower teachers to effectively manage classroom dynamics while bringing the joy back to teaching.

The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules For Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child (Ron Clark) – These positive rules will help teachers have better relationships with their students, promote success in their classrooms and avoid burnout.

The Passionate Teacher: A Practical Guide (Robert L. Fried) – The Passionate Teacher draws on the voices, stories, and success of teachers in urban, suburban, and rural classrooms to provide a guide to becoming, and remaining, a passionate teacher despite day-to-day obstacles.

More Stellar Books for World Language Teachers

The Story of French (Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow)
The Story of Spanish (Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow)
Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14 (Chip Wood)
Japanese the Japanese Don’t Know (Takayuki Tomita)
Captain Calzoncillos (Dav Pilkey)
Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School (Andy Hargreaves and Micahel Fullan)
Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. (Daniel Coyle)
Untangling the Web (Steve Dumbo and Adam Bellow)
How to Talk So Kids Can Learn (Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish)
Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs (Cathy Vatterott)
Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen (James F. Lee and Bill VanPatten)
Teaching With Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It. (Eric Jensen)
Instructor’s Notebook: How to Apply TPR for Best Results (Ramiro Garcia)

4 Ways to Avoid #langchat Withdrawals this Summer

#LangRead. With all of the great book ideas, @tmsaue1 suggested that some of the #langchat participants get together over the summer to discuss professional development books that they were reading. œdifferent folks could read different books and share their reactions, thoughts, and summaries.” A lot of teachers supported the idea and began to build the #langread document on the #langcamp common folder right away!

#AIMLang. Some teachers mentioned the desire to have an AIM focused #langchat group. Within moments, @AudreyMisiano announced, œ#aimlang’s first chat…a historic event!!!! June 25, 8PM.”

#langcamp. #langcamp is also still on for this summer and is a great way to avoid boredom. This will provide a way for world languages teachers to get together and do some professional development, work on common units and get to know each other better. With all of these great “extra-curricular activities to choose from, world language teachers are reeling from all the opportunities. @CoLeeSensei said, “OMG! #langchat begat #langcamp and now….#langread!”

Conferencing. Finally, a number of teachers also suggested participating in person-to-person language chats through conferencing. @msfrenchteach suggested participating in an AP Institute, while @justinfrieman recommended a Kagan workshop and AATF. @mmeloveland said, “iFLT conference for sure! Also, TeachforJune has webinars.”

Thank You!

We’d like to give a big thanks to our moderators, @CoLeeSensei and @msfrenchteach, who helped us share our book ideas for the summer. There were so many great books that we might have missed some. You can find a full transcript of the conversation in our online archive.

Thank you for being a part of langchat by reading the summaries. If you would like to become more involved in #langchat, feel free to share your ideas with us! We are always open to ways of thinking about world language teaching.

Additional Resources

Why the Accelerative Integrated Methodology (AIM) works
Untangling the Web Interactive eBook
Top 50 Linguistics Blogs
For the Language Nerd
De-Grade Your Classroom and Create Mastery Learning with Narrative Feedback

Elementary in Spanish
Erica Fischer
Erica is the founder and CEO of Calico Spanish. Her passion for teaching her own children to speak Spanish led her to create Calico Spanish. Our mission is to give all children the opportunity to learn to speak real Spanish for life.


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