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Monday, July 23, 2012

"Must Have" Books

Here are some books that are based on best practices.  I feel every teacher would benefit from reading this research. Click on the book image for more information on the website.   I have also included a link to the researcher's/author's website..

These books are basically how to manuals for implementing a reading workshop and a writer's workshop in your classroom.
Leveled books enable more differentiation in small group instruction.  Fountas and Pinnell also wrote this helpful resource on guided reading.  


Jan Richardson

This book is fantastic.  The appendix at the end gives suggestions on how small group instruction should progress.  I especially like how she has specific skills that should be mastered at each reading level.  This facilitates lesson planning and how to effectively differentiate instruction. 

Donald R. Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Shane Templeton 

and Francine Johnston  

This book contains a spelling inventory which is extremely helpful in determining small groups at the beginning of the year.  It also is an invaluable resource for learning how to teach word work.  This is one of the best books I have every owned!

Product Details


Kathy Ganske

 Product Details

Kathy Ganske's book delves deeper into word sorts. 
 It provides more assessments and analysis.

Darrell Morris
Darrell Morris puts everything in perspective.  He focuses on helping struggling readers.  The Howard Street Tutoring Manual is full of great ideas for implementing a tutoring program at a school utilizing a group of volunteers.  I have tried some of the techniques in the book during my graduate coursework and found it to be highly effective.  

Every year I review this book just to get my creativity flowing again.  A friend let me borrow Spaces and Places and I fell in love with it.  It will soon become one of my beginning of the year review books to get back in the groove.  Every year a couple of weeks before school starts, I pull out all my favorite teaching resources and a spiral notebook.  As I flip through each book, I make notes and wish lists in my spiral notebook.  It really helps me organize my thoughts before returning and start the year fresh with new ideas.  Now with all this wonderful technology, I will add cruising pinterest and favorite blogs to this yearly ritual.

Essential Readings on Fluency
This book is a collection of articles by several different authors.  Of the authors, Rasinski is the expert on fluency.  In the first article/introduction, I love how he defines fluency.  I think oftentimes there is too much emphasis placed on trying to get children to read faster rather than read for meaning.  I would rather a child read with prosidy (expression) at an appropriate rate rather than try to reach a specific number of words per minute by reading as fast as possible in a monotone voice.  Please review his wonderful suggestions on how you can build fluency in your classroom.

Boushey and Moser (the2sisters)

This is a must have book in every classroom.  It offers great techniques in building stamina, reading with a buddy, and guidelines for independent reading.  The best part is the IPICK chart.  You will have to read to find out!  When I did my action research on how to help children self select good fit books, this resource was invaluable!

The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher
Over a decade ago, I read this book and EVERY year, I review it.  It is an absolute must for new teachers.  Veteran teachers can get re-energized by this dynamic man.  Harry Wong is a genius!


  1. Hey, Andrea! I LOVE The Next Step in Guided Reading, too!!! Great book.

    Have you read Guiding Readers: Making the most of 18 minutes? I started it this summer but hadn't gotten to finish it. It's one of my goals to get done this summer. You can read it online for free at:

    Extra Special Teaching

  2. Hey Angelia!

    I haven't read that one yet. I will have to check it out! Thanks! :)