5 New Books to Add to Your Reading List

I’m always on the hunt for new books to help sharpen my saw and I’ve recently found a few worth sharing.

Here is a list of 5 books I’ve found myself digging back into on a regular basis to help me answer questions, guide my coaching, and just work smarter.


Leverage Leadership, by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo

A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools

leverage leadershipI heard about this one through the Coaching Teachers course I took on Coursera. As soon as I saw Orin {course facilitator} had recommended it, I jumped right on Amazon to purchase it! The chapter of the book that I’ve gravitated the most towards, is on Observation and Feedback. Reading through this chapter, in conjunction with the Coaching Teachers course, gave me a new way to frame my debrief conversations: probing questions to ask, examples of bite sized and high leverage action steps and building in time for practice/implementation.

It’s been super motivating for me to continue to push myself in the area of effective feedback. With each coaching conversation, I feel like I’m getting a little better, and this book has been helpful with that. Oh, and it comes with videos of coaching conversations which I’ve watched and rewatched.

Leverage Leadership by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo


Transformational Literacy

Making the Common Core Shift with Work that Matters

transI’ve been trying to get my hands on as much information as I can related to the Common Core and close reading of complex texts. And this book nails both areas on the head! The information it’s provided on the instructional sequence of close reading {in text and on video} has been super helpful for a current coaching cycle I have going with a 4th grade teacher. We started by watching the video provided, doing some reading, and then thought about what parts would make sense to apply in the context of our work.

If you’re studying Common Core instruction at your school the book includes a professional development guide you can use. It’s more aligned to upper grades, so if you’re looking for primary Common Core, this one probably won’t be the most helpful.

Transformational Literacy by Ron Berger, Libby Woodfin


Great Habits Great Readers

A Practical Guide for K-4 Reading in the Light of the Common Core

great habitsSpeaking of Common Core in primary, this book has been a great resource for me in this area. It’s the first, and so far only book I’ve found that speaks specifically to reading instruction as it relates to the CC standards.

The section on guided reading is especially good and I’ve been referring to it frequently through my coaching with teachers. What I think I’ve especially appreciated in the book is the emphasis it places on identifying next steps and choosing texts for students based on Lexile levels or bands. We’ve relied on the traditional Fountas & Pinnell leveling system for so long, it’s a push to think about text selection differently, but a good push I think. And I’ve got a lot more to learn in this area.

Great Habits Great Readers by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, Aja Settles, Juliana Worrell


Leaders of their Own Learning

Transforming Schools Through Student Engaged Assessment

leadersIf you’re interested in learning more about student engaged assessment, this is your book. Using data consistently and effectively with students is huge! Yet, this is an approach to assessment that many of us aren’t taking advantage of. I did some work with this book at the beginning of the year when I was teaching half-day, and I wished I’d had more time to put my learning into practice, as I had only just started to dip my toes into what could be done.

If you’re coaching and working with a more advanced teacher, this book would serve as a good push in learning, maybe for you both!

Leaders of their Own Learning by Ron Berger, Leah Rugen, Libby Woodfin


The Miracle Morning

The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8am)

morningI love routines {yep, sure do} and I’m a total early bird, so this book was right up my alley. Although I’ve always had some kind of morning routine going on, this book presented a new framework for taking full advantage of your AM time. Since reading it, I’ve done some shaking up of my own morning ritual and am working on being more consistent with it. Each morning I try to include time to work on my blog, exercise, journal, and have even started doing some visualizing of my goals.

I kind of want to write a book called “The Miracle Morning for Teachers” because I really believe it’s such an important daily ritual that supports your success and happiness in lots of different ways.

As teachers and coaches we’re giving so much of ourselves to others during the day, my vote is we give a little time to ourselves as well.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Do you have a book you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

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