Category Archives: Books teachers Recommend to Teachers

Team Work, Book Clubs & a Podcast – A Comment

Aren’t ideas always depicted as lights that are turned on?
Naomi’s Photos

While the title of Tyson Seburn’s fascinating post is “Serial Podcast for Extensive Reading”, I was only able to focus on the novel idea of using transcripts of an incredibly popular podcast tale for a book club when I read the post the second time.

The first time I read the post I was totally floored by the team work of Tyson’s staff and how a team can promote an instructional goal. Working with the constraints of time and not overburdening the staff, they set up a virtual book club program to promote extensive reading across the board, including all students and teachers. It is more than just a division of labor.

The pigeons’ staff room?
Naomi’s Photos

If you think the expression “floored” is a bit dramatic, consider the following. I’m currently working my way through a book called “The Power of Teacher Teams” by Troen & Boles. It talks about how truly good teacher teams not only help lessen the load of the individual teacher but actually improve students’ academic achievements. Sounds wonderful, right? Reading Tyson Seburn’s post had me fantasizing there for a short while that our multi disciplined staff of special education teachers could promote extensive reading in the students’ mother tongue in such a manner. An art teacher, math teacher, history and civics teacher should also be able to promote reading, right? Many Deaf and hard of hearing students do not like to read. Reading improves academic achievement across the board, so every teacher should be on board with this goal. At least in theory…

Unfortunately, the book scares me completely. While writtten in a very readable manner, it makes it clear that it is REALLY hard to get a staff of wonderful teachers to work efficiently together to achieve goals across the board like that. It involves organized sessions devoted to working on team-work skills, preferably having an outside instructor to get everyone to see that it actually matters and could be done.

Unaccessible…
Naomi’s Photos

One of the nice things about people who write blog posts is that they are perfectly happy to answer questions and one can simply write to them. Tyson Seburn confirmed that his staff had also had specific team training sessions.

Sigh…

Anyway, to get back to the question related to using transcripts of a podcast for a book club – I’m all for it. A podcast such as Serial offers a compelling narrative and rich language , with the added bonus of general knowledge.

Personally, I stopped listening to Serial very quickly. I do not like the true crime genre and do not watch such TV shows either. But that’s just me. So let me run the Douglas Adams  group in the book club ….

Books Teachers Recommend to Other Teachers

*Photos by Gil Epshtein

My aunt in the U.S.A.  has said she wants to send me a book. I went looking for recommendations.

Since I couldn’t find such a list I’m starting one myself. I hope placing the recommendations in one place will be helpful to others and will allow me to have a list to look at next time someone wants to send me a book!

Please feel free to add a book recommendation!

slightly open doors

Here are four books I own and recommend:

1) The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer

The Courage to Teach

This book deals with our feelings as a teacher. For example, Palmer writes about how we can get hurt by being vulnerable with our students yet how being vulnerable allows us to really connect : “ Unlike many professions, teaching is always done at the dangerous intersection of personal and public life”.

Not light reading but really relevant.

2) Never Work Harder Than Your Students by Robyn R. Jackson

Never Work Harder

The author writes as if you were hashing out the issues with her face to face. Lots of practical advice regarding structuring classroom practices so that the children benefit and the teacher doesn’t collapse from overwork! Very readable.

3) The Classroom of Choice: Giving Students what they need and getting what you want. By Jonathan C. Erwin

Classroom of Choice

The author focuses on the emotional side of the learner. As he points out – who doesn’t know students that could do well academically but don’t because of emotional issues?

Lots of practical things to try out no matter what subject you teach.

4) Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in English Language Teaching By Luke Meddings and Scott Thornbury

http://www.deltapublishing.co.uk/titles/methodology/teaching-unplugged

Just began reading this one. I’m very interested in the theory and am eager to learn more about it!

The following are recommendations by other teachers. I haven’t read any of them YET! Please add your own!

let there be light!

5) Images by Jamie Keddie

Images

Recommended by @harrisonmike – “lots of practical stuff”!

6) We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Talk about Kevin

Recommended by @harrisonmike – “A MUST READ!

7) Five-Minute Activities: A Resource Book of Short Activities by Penny Ur and Andrew Wright

Five-Minute Activities: A Resource Book of Short Activities

Recommended by @CeciELT – An old favorite!

(note: I HAVE read this one though don’t own it! Great!)

8) Bluff your way in Education by Nick Yapp

Recommended by IateflPoland – “for the cynics among us, only 64 pages long, funny too”! “A very humorous, skeptical look at the profession by a teacher who became a Headmaster and went back to being a teacher again”.

Bluff

9) Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom by Tricia Hedge

Teaching and Learning

Recommended by @nutrich – {Have used } “during DELTA and my MA module on approaches and methods. It’s accessible, not too academic”.

10) Visual Impact Visual Teaching: Using Images to Strengthen Learning by Timothy Gangwer

Visual Impact

I remember getting a warm recommendation for this book and that it is full of practical ideas. Although I duly noted that info I’m embarrassed to say that I did not note who recommended it… Will be happy to add that information!

11) Lexicopoly 1: Reproducible Resources for Language Teachers by Helen O’Brien

Lexicopoly

Helen (@warnhopepark) was kind enough to send me activities in the style that appear in the book. An impressive array of varied activities designed around a theme.

“Lexicopoly is packed with ideas for integrating vocabulary, grammar and language functions through speech.”

The comment-space can be used to add suggestions of your own!