Tag Archives: Robert Probst

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Professional Reads for Summer 2017

top 10

Well, summer is here!  Time for family, relaxing, travelling, holidaying, sorting cupboards, cleaning garages, and best of all – TIME TO READ!!!  And while the school doors might be closed, I find summer a perfect time to catch up on my professional reading!  From Inquiry-Based learning, Growth Mindset and Maker Spaces to reading, writing, and thinking strategies – there are some GREAT new resources to help motivate, inspire, and refine our practice, including some resources to support the new BC Curriculum.   (Please note that I have not read all of these books, but I am including them because I have heard good things about them and/or they have caught my eye and look very inspiring!)

Here are my top 10 recommended professional books for summer reading….

1 Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters

Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

Three years ago, I presented a workshop at a Reading Conference in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan.  The conference was held in a hockey rink – in my memory, the zamboni came to clean the ice between each speaker (actually that didn’t happen – but it felt like it could have!). Presenting at the same conference on their then new book Notice and Note were Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.  I attended one of their sessions, and they mine.  We drove back to the airport and the hotel together.  I was star struck, if I’m being honest, and although I tried very hard to be “cool” in the car ride across the flat prairies, it was difficult for me not to start patting their arms or squeezing their legs. I’m THRILLED to have their new book on the top of my summer TBR pile!

2. The Writing Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Writers Jennifer Serravello

I LOVED Jennifer Serravello’s first book The Reading Strategies Book, so am very excited to read her new book on writing. Her books are VERY practical and have lessons you can use right away. I can’t wait to read this one!

3. Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact, Low Stakes Writing – Ralph Fletcher

I am a huge fan of Ralph Fletcher and have many of his previous books on teaching writing.  As a writing teacher, it is hard to find the balance between teaching structure and giving kids a chance to “just write”.   In this book, Ralph Fletcher proposes a new concept:  greenbelt writing. Writing that is “raw, unmanicured, uncurated…I am talking about informal writing…I am talking about low-stakes writing, the kind of comfortable composing kids do when they know there’s no one looking over their shoulders.”   I am very excited to read this and learn some new strategies for less structure and more “joyful, whimsical, playful” writing time.


4. The Power of Inquiry – Teaching and Learning with Curiosity , Creativity, and Purpose in the Classroom Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch, from Australia, is the “guru” of inquiry based learning and I am a new fan girl of hers.  I have heard nothing but rave reviews about her and this book so am eager to dive in.  Here is a quick preview of her talking about this book.

5. The Nerdy Teacher Presents: Your Starter Guide to Maker Space – Nicholas Provenzano

I have to admit the concept of “Maker Spaces” is a new one for me… and with so many ideas floating around, I was on the lookout for a simple guide with practical suggestions and real-classroom ideas to help a newbie like me get started.  I believe this might be just the book I am looking for!

6. SPACE: A Guide for Educators – Rebecca Louise Hare

“It is not about decorating learning spaces.  It is about designing them to amplify learning.”  Okay – I did judge this book by its cover – and the simplicity of the cover with the sophistication of this quote captured my attention.  LOVE the phrase “amplify learning“.   I also liked this description:  “In addition to nudging thinking forward, SPACE provides practical design tips and uses images and testimonials for hacking learning spaces on a realistic budget. This book is designed to motivate, grow capacity, and energize educators to begin shifting their learning spaces to support modern learning for all students.”

Shift This!: How to Implement Gradual Changes for MASSIVE Impact in Your Classroom

7. Shift This!: How to Implement Gradual Changes for Massive Impact in Your Classroom – Joy Kirr

I often refer to a “shift in thinking” in my workshops – small movements of thought that give you a new perspective.  This book caught my eye simply because it had the word “shift” in the title, but after glancing through the contents and a quick “flip read”-  I already have some take-aways:  having a sign out sheet by the door for the students to be in charge of their own bathroom breaks; changing “homework” to “independent practice”.  A perfect summer Pro. D. read!

8. The Growth Mindset Coach:  A Teacher’s Month-by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve – Annie Brock and Heather Hundley

Yes, I am a teacher of routine and planning and I also love practical.  So I am ALL OVER a book for teachers written by teachers that has well-laid out lessons broken down into a month-to-month plan!  YES!  Practical and applicable and includes:
– A Month-by-Month Program
– Research-Based Activities
– Hands-On Lesson Plans
– Real-Life Educator Stories
– Constructive Feedback
– Sample Parent Letters

Major pre-read book love!

9. ThinQ Kindergarten:  Inquiry-Based Learning in the Kindergarten Classroom – Joan Reimer, Deb Watters, Jill Colyer, and Jennifer Watt

Kindergarten Teachers!  I haven’t forgotten about you!!!  Here is a book focusing on inquiry-based learning especially for the kindergarten classroom.  Easy to follow with lots of helpful tips.  A version of this book for middle grades is also available:  ThinQ 4-6: Inquiry-based learning in the junior classroom.  

Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day

10. Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day  – Dean Shareski

Through all the changes and challenges we face each day as teachers, we sometimes forget to have fun!  In this quick read, I was reminded how much we have to be joyful about in education.  A great reminder to find and embrace that joy because our students deserve it.  Full of practical ideas to bring joy back into your classroom – this is a great summer read!

What professional book will you be reading this summer?  Thanks for stopping by!



Filed under Growth Mindset, Inquiry Based Learning, Maker Spaces, Professional Books, Top 10 Tuesday, Writing Strategies

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