It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Professional Books for Summer Reading


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers

With summer just around the corner and the school year coming to an end, I’m excited about the thought of having a little  more  time to catch up on summer reading.  Part of that includes my pursuit of the latest and greatest professional books that will help me in my goal of “reflecting and refining” my teaching practices.  Here are the books I’m excited about reading this summer…


The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers – Jennifer Serravallo

First on my list is Jennifer Serravallo’s new book from Heinemann.  I first learned about this book from my wonderful far-away teacher friend Sharee Gaiser.  She shared the book with me on Facebook and told me she was making many connections to my book  Reading Power.  So now I’m excited and curious about reading it!  Jennifer Serravallo has a few other books that also look interesting – one on small group instruction and another on conferencing.  Watch a short video clip of Jen talking about how her books go together.


Grammar Matters: Lessons, Tips and Conversations Using Mentor Texts K-6 by Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty

I often have teachers ask me for references for grammar books.  While I am not a big supporter of grammar excercises in isolation, children do need to learn correct usage and structure of the language within the context of their writing.  So when I saw this new book by the authors of Mentor Texts, Nonfiction Mentor Texts and Poetry Mentor Texts – all three are well used books in my professional collection – I was very excited!    This book is a handy reference for helping students learn about parts of speech, idioms, usage issues, and punctuation and, like their other books, uses specific mentor texts (picture books) to support the lessons.  Who knew I could get excited about teaching grammar?!

59 Reasons to Write: Mini Lessons, Prompts, and Inspiration for Teachers Kate Messner

 “One of the greatest gifts of writing is the way it nudges us to look more closely not only at the world but also at ourselves.”   I  love everything Kate Messner writes -her picture books, her novels and her professional books.  She is my hero!  This book grew out of Messner’s popular online summer writing camp, Teachers Write.  It is her strong belief that if we are going to help our students to be writers, we (teachers) need to be writers ourselves.


The Unstoppable Writing Teacher – M. Colleen Cruz

Isn’t this a GREAT title?  And cover?  And if that weren’t enough – forward by Lucy Calkins?   “Veteran teacher and author Colleen Cruz takes|common concerns, struggles, and roadblocks that we all face in writing instruction and helps us engage in the process of problem solving each one.”  This one is a MUST read for me this summer!

                                             22775554      thinking

Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners.

Creating Cultures of Thinking:  The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools

by Ron Ritchhart

Yes, it still is and always will be about thinking for me!  I discovered this author by accident when I was presenting at SENSE Charter School in Indianapolis last month.  Making Thinking Visible was sitting on a table and I was immediately drawn to the title because thinking and metacognition is at the center of all that I believe.  I’m looking forward to hearing his message in both of these books.


Reading Nonfiction:  Notice and Note – Signposts and Questions – Kylene Beers & Robert Probst

 I met Kylene Beers and Bob Probst at a reading conference in Saskatchewan last year and heard them speak about their previous book Notice and Note: Strategies for Close ReadingIn this book, I learned about their term “signposts” – places in text that alert readers to significant moments readers need to “notice and note”, then question and explore them through their own interpretations.  I’m eagerly awaiting the release of their new book, which will not be until October (but I’m including it on my list anyway) and learning about Nonfiction “signposts”!

well played

Well Played: Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number Games and Pictures Gr. 3-5    

             Linda Dacey, Karen Gartland, and Jayne Bamford Lynch

I make an effort to move out of my comfort zone and read ONE non literacy book every year.  I am the first to admit that Math is not one of my strong subject areas so this book looks like a perfect choice – and it has “thinking” in the title!  (This book comes out June 30th)

So there you have it…. my list of professional reads for the summer!  I may not get through them all but I’m going to try!

What professional books are in your TBR pile this summer?


Filed under It's Monday, Professional Books

12 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Professional Books for Summer Reading

  1. The Reading Strategies Book is a fantastic new tool for our toolkits! If you are interested, there is a group discussing this through Voxer right now.

  2. Wow–you have a great collection of professional books in this post. I just stated The Unstoppable Writing Teachers and I love the Reading Strategies Book. I’m ordering Kate Messner’s book now–I keep hearing about it.

    • Thanks, Melanie! Lots of buzz about the Reading Strategies book! How is the Unstoppable Writing Teacher so far? I love Kate Messner so I KNOW this is going to be a great read! Seems we are on the “same page” when it comes to professional reading!

  3. You have a very ambitious reading list for the summer– and that’s just in your professional texts! I was tickled to see we have a lot of books TBR in common. Jen Serravallo’s book looks like a “Must Have”–as I studied the Table of Contents at Amazon it looks like it may be a book that you can read parts of as you need them– more of a true handbook. I hope so! Kate’s 59 Reasons is also in my stack– want to start it soon since Teachers Write starts in 2 weeks! And yes, The Unstoppable Writing Teacher is also on my list (I wish I could say I don’t judge a book by its cover, but I totally DO sometimes– and I knew I had to have this book when I saw it!) I already own (and have read part of) Making Thinking Visible, and the nonfiction Notice and Note book can’t come out fast enough for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these– you helped me solidify my decision to buy a couple of them (I’m sure my husband would appreciate that! 😉 ). Good luck with your list!

    • How goes your summer professional reading? I’m not getting through as many as I had hoped and feel my list was a little too ambitious! I have been really enjoying 59 Reasons to Write and have flipped through The Unstoppable Writing Teacher as well. I’m busy enjoying some pleasure novels as well and LOTS of picture books so haven’t read as many as I had hoped! What about you?

      • Oh, my…. Again, “So many books….!” I’m back to school (for all intents and purposes) next Monday, so time is running out. I read Grading Smarter Not Harder, and I’m in the middle of Mindset, 59 Reasons, and Reading Wellness. I really needed to get through some others as well…. Fortunately (I guess) my reading doesn’t have to stop when school starts! As teachers, when do we ever do something “as we had hoped”? 😉

      • Reading Wellness is a new title for me so I will check it out. I know the “so many books – so little time” feeling! I have a month of summer left but am already feeling the panic of not reading all that I wanted to read! I agree – it’s hard to ever feel satisfied – “If you’re not feeling inadequate, you’re probably not doing your job!” – a quote most certainly applicable to teachers!

  4. Thanks for this list Adrienne. I’ve put some of them on a list for teachers at our school who have formed a learning team focusing on writing. (We’ve already got your book)

  5. What an amazing list of professional development texts that teachers MUST read this summer. I have to get back to Wild Things. 🙂

    • I think my list was a little too optimistic but I am enjoying Kate Messner’s 59 Reasons to Write very much! So far, that is all I have managed to get through! What professional books are on your TBR pile for the summer?

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