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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

What's on your summer reading list?

What's on your summer reading list?

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What are you hoping to read this summer? Here's my list. The Big Short - Michael Lewis http://www.amazon.com/Big-Short-Inside-Doomsday-Machine/dp/0393072231 My husband got this for his birthday and I've been stealing it unofficially now for a few days. It's the story of why and how the U.S. economy tanked in 2008. Hardly light reading, but his writing style is mercifully conversational. A Happy Marriage - Rafael Yglesias http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Marriage-Novel-Rafael-Yglesias/dp/1439102309/ I heard a really great interview with the author on Fresh Air that made me want to read this. It's been gathering dust on my night-side table so I'm hoping to make some progress at the beach. Education Nation - Milton Chen - http://www.amazon.com/Education-Nation-Leading-Innovation-Schools/dp/047... A positive and uplifting book about education innovation by Edutopia's Exec Director Emeritus. (coming out in July) What books are making their way to your summer reading list?

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Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

I always try to incorporate Young Adult books into my summer reading. Not only do I personally enjoy it, but it keeps me up-to-date with books to recommend to my students. I even have a section of books in my room called "Saunders' Picks!" - books I've read that I recommend to students. I didn't realize how powerful this would be but students regularly ask if they can borrow one!

This summer: "Mockingjay" - the final book in the "Hunger Games" trilogy. It's due out the end of August. I pre-oredered it - yes, I even got the Mockingjay pin, which I wear in school!

Molly Myers's picture

I bought this for a book club through edweek.org and read it straight through. I especially appreciated Nathan's humility and reason. It both comforted me and challenged me to think more deeply and purposefully to solve some of the issues facing my school. I recommend it wholeheartedly for those interested in long term school reform ideas over quick fix packaged reforms that seem to be so popular these days.

I am also reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" with our AP Bio students and all of us are loving it. It is a great story that combines science, bio-ethics, and social history.

Ida Brandão's picture
Ida Brandão
Senior officer at the Ministry of Education in Portugal

I'm reading a book published in 2006, from a spanish-basque professor of history and philosophy, which has been a very surprising and enjoying experience.

So much commercial junk is promoted and other far more interesting works, like this one, are left in the shadow.

The book is an essay that addresses issues of contemporary society,such as public and private spheres,fast transformation,globalization, media impacts, citizenship, identity, democracy and pluralism, common culture, political philosophy, social responsability.

It is an in-depth reflexion on the contradictions of universal participation in public spaces and the fragmentation of interests, the illusion of unity in a world of differences.

Penelope Vos's picture
Penelope Vos
Primary teacher from Australia, author of "Talking to the Whole Wide World"

Two thirds of US elementary school kids are not learning a second language, even though it would build their cognitive potential, give them confidence, help their English and give them a broader intercultural perspective.
If your class is missing out, you can fix that in the new school year by teaching them Esperanto, as you learn it yourself, using "Talking to the Whole Wide World".
Esperanto is the ideal first foreign language because it takes only 100-200 hours to learn and it gives access to dozens of cultures.
Have a read at www.mondeto.com and get set for an amazing adventure!

Kathleen Cushman's picture
Kathleen Cushman
Author and speaker about lives and learning of youth; co-founder, WKCD.org

I interviewed 170 teenagers for this book from What Kids Can Do (WKCD.org) and I swear they taught me more than I ever knew about what it takes to get really good at something -- starting with what they did out of school, then asking experts how they got good, then applying what they learned from that to their work at school. Then together we came up with a challenging list of questions and checklists for teacher -- about curriculum, about homework, and much more. I hope you will stop by Fires in the Mind dot org to let me know what you think!

John Watkins's picture

Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery, by Kathleen Cushman. Kids talk about what it takes to get really good at something, explore adult expertise, and talk about performance. And then how schools might learn to support this kind of practice. Kathleen is a great writer and really honors and respects what kids have to say about matters that are important to them.

John Watkins's picture

Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery, by Kathleen Cushman. Kids talk about what it takes to get really good at something, explore adult expertise, and talk about performance. And then how schools might learn to support this kind of practice. Kathleen is a great writer and really honors and respects what kids have to say about matters that are important to them.

John Watkins's picture

"Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery." Kathleen Cushman writes about what kids say it takes to get really good at something, and then to get even better, their experiences interviewing adults who are experts, what it's like to perform, and then how schools might better support this kind of practice. Cushman writes with great respect for the ideas of the kids she interviews, and the results are always insightful and intriguing.

pat's picture
pat
Inclusion Teacher, NJ

Anything that does not require me to think! I save all of my summer reads on my nightstand during the school year - you know the books - James Patterson, Danielle Steel, Mary Higgins Clark - and read late into the night! As school approaches I will then start picking up by "teacher" reading to refresh before we go back.

Heather Tullius's picture

I've just dug into the first few pages, and already I'm inspired. Besides this, I am working with Understanding by Design, and I also plan to hit the stacks of unread books next to my bed. One of those is Spell of the Sensuous, which is actually about how language and the ubiquity of books for reading changed our relationship and connection to the world. That should be an interesting read!

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