I've decided to do a weekly update about education things that I love. I decided to begin with four things that I am currently using in my classroom that I LOVE.
1. Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Communities at Work - a practical guide for PLC teams and leadership (2nd Edition)
Authors: Richard Dufour and Rebecca DuFour
Cost: $14.99-39.95USD (Depends on the edition that you purchase.)
I selected this book because it's extremely organized and walks leaders through the process of creating and sustaining true Professional Learning Communities. Oftentimes, we label department or team meetings as PLCs, but they fail to embody the components of true PLCs. I love this text because it includes reproducibles, so a school leader--or any leader for that matter--can complete the PLC process from beginning to end, while still stopping to re-evaluate the effectiveness of the PLCs that he or she has established.
2. The Skillful Teacher: Building Your Teaching Skills
Authors: Jon Saphier and Mary Ann Haley-Speca
Cost: $57.16 USD
Okay, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. I tend to refer to it as "The Teacher Bible". This book walks you through anything that you possibly wanted to know about being a teacher, and teaches you a few new tricks! I think that this book should be on EVERY educator's bookshelf.
3. Kagan Cooperative Learning
Kagan is a program that supports cooperative learning in your classroom. There are plenty of resources available for purchase, but I highly recommend you attend the professional development that they offer. Kagan covers everything from how to seat your students, to how to group them, to how to call on them for participation. They provide plenty of activities that help establish a safe classroom environment in which students feel comfortable sharing.
4. Reading Apprenticeship at WestEd
My final addition is Reading Apprenticeship. Reading Apprenticeship is difficult to describe--I wouldn't call it a program, but more strategies. Reading Apprenticeship helps students learn how to think about their thinking. They become more thoughtful and can better use evidence to support their ideas.